Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the pain of perfection

There are certain times when I feel like I've lost my mama mojo.


It may last for a few minutes, a few hours, or at worst, a few days.

Yes, there have been days and days when I have felt depleted of joy when it comes to mothering. Please don't mistake the fact that my love for my children is always there, but my attitude towards the work of mothering and taking care of our house is not always in a good place.

It is my intense drive to provide my children with the best that depletes me the most.

I want them to have the best mother, the best education, the best opportunities for spiritual growth, friendships, sports, etc. I could go on and on regarding the elements of the their lives that consume my thoughts daily.


It is never out of misery that I become consumed. It is always fueled by my extreme love for them.


However, I believe that as mothers, we can love too much. There comes a point when we have to let go. We can't make perfect meals, have a perfect house, achieve a perfect day every day, and have perfect children.


It is futile and UNREALISTIC.

That is a hard reality for us perfectionist moms to accept.


There is a bag full of reality on one side of the scale and another bag of perfectionist ideals on the other. I try to will my perfectionist ideals to create an even balanced state with reality, but those ideals won't budge the scale. They are just too dang heavy.


And to be quite honest, the more I try to get the scale to favor the side of perfection, the more frustrated I become with myself and my children.

No one benefits.

My quest to provide the best leaves me at my worst. I end up impatient, angry, and untimely deeply saddened once I put the kids to bed despite making it a policy to always ask for their forgiveness. I never want them to remember me that way and yet I fear that those moments will leave a powerful impression on them.

So on a day like today, when I crammed too many errands with a non-errand running three year old, got my favorite TOMS peed on by one cute boy who I didn't think was too cute at the moment, and topped it off to urgent care for Jack to get two stitches in his ear after he fell off the sofa and hit it on the coffee table, I am trying to reevaluate why it is that I feel so defeated.


(there's nothing a little Willy Wonka can't make better in our house).

That's just how life rolls. I should know that by now. Especially considering the fact that in the last year alone, I've had Charlie in a cast, Jack with staples twice, Charlie with stitches, and now Jack with stitches.

It's that dang reality thing again.

(a sweet Charlie gave Jack his dollar as his get well gift)


I don't proclaim to have wisdom or answers; just almost 9 years of experience at this gig.

I am learning that in order for me to give my kids the best mom possible, I have to let go of perfection. Giving them my best does not equate to me being the best.

And despite the blood, sweat, and tears (mine, not theirs!), I wake up each morning excited to see their faces again and am optimistic that it is going to be a wonderful--not perfect-- day together.

Much love,


Michelle Elkins AKA Mickey said...

Needed this! Thanks for sharing!

Lesley said...

I just love reading your post's. I need to read this every day!

Alyss said...

This is so encouraging. I love this: "we love too much." I'm glad to see you've figured out how to help with feeling defeated!

Susan said...

Just this evening I said to my husband that staying home is harder than working outside the home any day of the week!
I know I too am too hard on myself...trying to get to everything when really, it's just looking after Ava that's a priority. And taking What.I.Wore pics. I kid.


Brooke said...

Oh yeah. I have those days a lot. It is a tough gig. It's hard to be a rockstar ALL the time :D

Greta said...

Amen and Amen!
Love this one Katie.
Love from,

Betsi* said...

Amen, sister.

Kelli@MoreBangforYourBucks said...

Oh Katie. You have completely read my mind.
But the good news is, I think our kids adore us no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh, this post sounds so much like me it hurts!
I love your way with words.

I am sorry about the sweet boy's injury. I guess that's what I have to look forward to in the years to come... My boy is 2 and so far no ER trips - yet.

Adrian said...

I really like this post. I've been feeling run down the past few days, sick kids, messy house, piles of laundry, little sleep, but you're right it all doesn't have to be perfect. I need to let go! It's hard, but needs to happen. Thanks for reminding me!
And geesh, staples, stitches and casts. You have a bunch of dare devils over there. So far I've been lucky, for now.

Genn said...

Once again, a great post from you Katie.
So true for every mom I think.
I have been so exhausted by my mothering gig right now. just a busy time of year and lots to do on top of the normal everyday routine and it is so easy to not love our job at times. love my kids, yes, love wiping their you know whats and doing eeeeverything else that the job requires... not always.
Thanks for sharing, and for your honesty.
Oh and staples? Yikes, you are one tough mama.

Rebecca @ heartland farmhouse said...

Charlie gave Jack his dollar.....I think that alone speaks volumes mama!!! They are watching you!

LOVE the silhouettes! I hope to find the time to make those one of these days!

Lora said...

great post!! so encouraging. us moms are all in this together! :) lora

Olivia said...

This was the perfect post for me to read today! Thank you for the sweet comment on my post :) New follower!

Erin said...

You nailed it Katie- thanks for the perspective you always bring to being a mom. It is so encouraging!

hannah singer said...

bam. praise jesus!
so grateful for you.
this post is right on, i needed it.

love you! xo

Nessa said...

Oh wow... you are speaking right to my heart. I had been feeling horrible about things the last few days and you described it best... defeated. I have been feeling defeated. Not because things are really really bad - but just because they aren't really perfect. Thanks for the attitude adjustment. Have a great weekend.

Karrie said...

Big AMEN! I just posted something very similar, but your post was a lot more eloquant and hopeful! Mine was just whiney! LOL!

Melissa said...

I soo needed this lately! I have been completely feeling like this and your words "my quest to provide the best has left me at my worst" is so true. Again, your blog is such a positive place and I thank you again!

Michele said...

Hi, I'm Michele and I struggle with the same things!!! I think you already knew that, though. Thanks for putting it out there. I know so many can relate. It's a constant struggle. My big concern with my pursuit of perfection is that I'm missing out on the here and now...this is the good stuff. I always appreciate your perspective. You are wise, my friend!

Jessica Johnson said...

love everything about this post. from the title to the last sentence. perfect. sorry about the ER :( no fun.