Kinda hard to admit, but it’s true: I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Thankfully, life has its ways of helping me truly see and laugh at the futility that comes with perfectionism. So often, we moms find ourselves wading through self-imposed, impossible-to-meet perfectionist tendencies.
While not our usual intent, moms often compare ourselves to each other. And, of course, social media doesn’t help: We see (the edited versions of) other moms online and think, “Heaven, help me! I am so not _____ (you can fill in the blank).”
It’s so easy to forget that folks often sanitize online postings before posting. As a result, moms can feel and internalize frustration, jealousy and even sadness over FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). The truth is: None of us can claim perfection, and we all make mistakes.
A most recent, personal example: School morning routines can be brutal some days. Throw in a forgotten homework assignment or unsigned permission slip and your morning can go left. Quickly.
I thought I finally nailed down a solid system to streamline our household’s routine – i.e., wake up 30 minutes early to avoid the last-minute rush out the door. Kids’ lunches packed? Check. Clothes ironed and ready to wear? Check-check. Backpacks packed? Check-check-check.
I glanced at the clock on the oven – and patted myself on the back for saving a whopping eight minutes on the clock. Because, let’s face it: Eight minutes in Mom time is like eight hours in regular time.
Humming a merry tune, I sashayed into my restroom to shower and get dressed for the day. Saving eight minutes felt like winning the lottery. I smiled as I grabbed my hair products, wondering how luxurious it felt not to rush. And as I did, I mistakenly put foaming blue soap in my hair instead of my foaming blue hair mousse. Twice. In four minutes.
Eight minutes lost. Back to square one.
The irony of it sidled up next to me, tickling my funny bone. And all I could do was laugh.
The gift of eight extra minutes was lovely while it lasted. But, the gift of laughing at myself – not taking myself so seriously – was way better, by a long shot.
Photo credit: Joseph Phillips
This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.