Recovering from Perfectionism

Seven months old and into everything.

I’m a perfectionist. I want things done right and need order in my home.

While being a perfectionist isn’t a bad character trait, it makes being a mother of little ones very difficult. My innate desire is to ‘have it all together’ but the reality is I’m really a mess.

More importantly though, I’m recovering from perfectionism.

My desire to have everything in order within my home and for my children to fall into an easy routine has been taking the joy out of my life.

Covered in orange juice

The reality, I have a toddler who doesn’t appreciate my desire for neatness and order. I also have a baby who wants to be held by his mama and refuses to nap unless he’s nursing or being worn.

Even though I want a very orderly home, I desire to be a joyful wife and mama more. 

I’m learning to be okay with toys all over my house. The world does not stop if we don’t pick up the entire house before bed. Dishes can wait in the sink for a few hours or even overnight. I don’t have to stick to my ironing schedule. It’s okay that I have a baby who just wants to be held.

One messy baby after munching a teething biscuit.

Expecting the disorder and more importantly, being okay with it, is making me a better mama!

I still love order and I’m still taking steps to make my household run smoothly and orderly but my goal is not perfection.

Do you have any tips or advice for this recovering perfectionist? 

responses to “Recovering from Perfectionism” 10

  1. Remember, just like the kids have phases so do the parents….This is just a phase and it will be over soon. Enjoy it for what it is-baby hugs and toddler excitement, even if there are are messes that go along with it. You're doing a great job!

  2. You sound so much like myself…I crave order also…My 2 boys are teens now…But, I found that the best way to maintain my own happiness and theirs also was to involve them from the get go in the cleaning up, decluttering, and organizing…Instilling in them that orderly, peaceful surrounding are wonderful places to work and live in and that they are worth the effort…theirs and mine…And I must say, I hear all the time from my boys friends that come over how nice our house is and their rooms! Teach them while they are young and make it fun…sing the clean up song…set a timer and race 😉 My boys loved mopping day the most…I would give them wet soapy sponges and or a bucket (only using baby bath soap) and let them "skate" all over the linoleum…then into the bath with fresh sponges to clean the bath/shower…But, some days are just messy especially on biter biscuit treat days…Oh my the mess 😉 But they sure do love them!

  3. I totally understand! My daughter is three and she has that same tendency so I am blessed to have a child who enjoys helping me clean and loves to help! She gets sensory overload with mess and sound as well, so I need to maintain order in her room especially if she is to have calm rest and sleep. Thankfully, minimizing her belongings and our belongings in our home has made this task so much simpler for us!

  4. I can't say I have any real tips. I'm in the same boat as you. Although ever since I had my son last year, I have lowered my expectations of what a "clean house" means. For me personally, I can't think straight unless I have somewhat of a clean house. My minimum requirements these days is to have the house dusted and vacuumed at least every 1-2 weeks or so and I'm happy.

    1. I am with you on the whole "I can't think straight unless I have somewhat of a clean house." Keeping the house tidy keeps me sane! I'm just trying to remember during the day that toys all over the house is just a sign of life and active play and not really clutter or mess! 🙂

  5. I am in the same page..
    I need to maintain my house organize otherwise my husband goes nuts he doesnt understand how busy can be my day, sometimes I feel very sad for not having any help.. how do you guys deal with stress? I am sure we are all happy with our kids and thankful for having a house and a family but we all can fell overwhelmed sometimes.. I would like to hear form you on that Rachel.. thank's

    1. So sorry your husband is not understanding of the difficulty of being a mama. My husband understands caring for children is hard and he wants me to neglect the housework, cooking, laundry and so on before neglecting the children {neglect is a strong word but he'd rather me sit and hold our crying baby than have a super clean house!} I'm blessed with an understanding husband and I know many husbands don't fully understand the difficulties! Just a thought, maybe try to share an hour by hour recap with him so he knows you don't just sit on your bottom. Or maybe one day don't even pick up one thing that the children get into so he can see what you do {that your house doesn't normally look like a tornado hit it!}

      As far as dealing with the stress, we talk about our stresses. We acknowledge that raising kids is hard. Even if we had a cook, a housekeeper, had absolutely no responsibilities whatsoever but caring for our children, it would still be hard. We're molding and shaping people, it's a huge, huge task! I think just acknowledging that it is such a difficult task makes some of the stress a little better. We haven't been very good lately about going out on dates but we know that it's worth the money spent on hiring a sitter and going out to invest in our marriage. Even on a tight budget, you can't neglect your marriage. If money is tight and you can't pay for a sitter/go out for dinner, try to barter sitters and go out for ice cream but make an effort to invest in time as a couple to recharge, refresh and work as a team in regards to raising your children!

  6. I love coming here to check on your post.. Could you post some tips about how to feel a woman too and not only a messy and tired MAMA, I am so disencorauged this days.. Thank you

    1. Friend, just know I'm there with you right now. I am far from being put together and feel like all I do is care for children and my husband gets the leftovers. One thing I do is count blessings, I try to remember during the day the things I am thankful for like having healthy children, a home, a husband, food and so on. Focusing on the positive things really changes my attitude during those more difficult days.

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