Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rambling and Reflection

I am a very busy woman, like most mothers out there. I am a recovering perfectionist when it comes to a clean home, an currently finishing up a dissertation, studying for a licensing exam, in the middle of moving, and so on. However, I put spending time with my daughter a top priority. I certainly do not claim to be an expert at time management-in fact it is an area I struggle in. However, perhaps I can share a little of what I’ve learned about myself along the way. Probably, the most important thing I’ve learned in the past two years is to at least start to let go of perfection. This has been an extremely difficult lesson for me to learn. My mother is a perfectionist, you see. She never has a dirty dish in her sink-as soon as an item is used it is washed. It used to be that unless every area of my house was perfect, including closets and drawers, I felt like my house was dirty. Now it is a mess quite a lot of the time. This hasn’t been easy for me, but really it has been what my family needed. I realized that my perfectionism meant that I couldn’t delegate any tasks or allow anyone to help me. Afterall, if they didn’t fold the washcloths the way I wanted them folded I would just redo them-Who would want to help this type of person? Most importantly, soon I realized I was actually happier with a little bit of household domestic chaos. No longer did I freak out everytime someone moved the remote control from where I had it (I’m not exaggerating, yes I seriously had a place for everything). Did I want my child to look back on her childhood saying, “Wow, mom sure was clean” or did I want her to say, “Wow, mom was sure fun and always had time for me.” Now, most days I’m happy if I get one or two items done on my to-do list. Instead, that time is filled with giggles and memories. I’m not going to lie and say I’m completely recovered. Certainly, there are times when you can find me with a toothbrush down on the tile or scrubbing the walls. However, it’s not every week. Once my husband saw I wasn’t just going to redo everything he did, he started helping me out on a regular basis. You know what-he mops much better than I ever did. Don’t tell him I said that though.