Welcome to another week of growing together!
A few months ago, when I brought back my weekly gratitude practice, a friend introduced me to a group of like-minded writers who come together every week to celebrate ten things of thankful. And that is where I found Sandy of Mother of Imperfection. Woven into her thankfulness each week are lovely stories of growth, moments in which she reaches right alongside her children and finds beauty and learning. I am so honored to share her words with you here today as she talks of her struggle with perfectionism, something I’m sure you know just as much about as I do. Enjoy her words and then be sure to visit her in her space.
To a perfectionist, realizing one’s shortcomings is difficult. As a parent that struggles with perfectionism, it is a harsh reality.
For many of the years that I have been a mother, I have worked like a dog to maintain the control I feel compelled to hold onto when it comes to our lives. My motto has been “Because I said so” thinking that this is all that needs to be said. It has taken me a very long time to learn that control is not only an impossibility, it is wrong.
I am able to find fault in my actions, in ways both big and small, every single day.
I have said no too many times and sometimes for no good reason.
I have gotten angry too many times over a pile of clothes on the floor or an unmade bed.
I have chosen too many times to do laundry or sweep up dog hair instead of playing a game.
All in the name of control….and it is costing me too much.
The perfectionist ways I honed for years have got to be set aside. There will come a day when these children, my gifts, will be grown and gone I will once more have clean floors, made beds, and a laundry room free of piles of clothing and wet towels.
But today, I need to live with the dog hair on the floor for another day to go out and throw the football for them to catch as they jump into the pool, complete with my goofy running commentary and keeping score. I have to let the laundry sit in the dryer for another day so we can laugh like fools playing Apples To Apples and playfully argue the ridiculous reasoning behind choosing the winning card.
They are changing before my eyes. They are growing into their own and I realize that I have got to grow with them. I don’t want them to remember that I only said no or chose a chore over time well spent with them. One day I want to be sitting around the table with their children and hear them telling the story and belly laughing about the time that mom…..
I am and will always be a work in progress. I know that I will still have moments when I stumble. Every day,God willing, I will get a do over. I don’t believe that growth stops and I do believe there is always a lesson to be learned.
Sandy is a wife/mom/cheerleader/chauffeur/tutor/referee/psychologist/nurse to five kids: hers, his, and theirs. When she’s not on a sports field or court of some sort (or the laundry room), you can find her writing about life in it’s sordid reality at Mother of Imperfection.