I am admittedly a perfectionist. There. I said it.
For years I have tried to deny it but it's true. It's both the good angel and ugly beast that haunts me as the trait has served me well in certain aspects of my life and not so positively in others.
With two kids I felt I was able to manage the disorganized chaos, keeping my head just above water; however, now with three kids ages three and under, I find it close to impossible.The few times I've accomplished getting our house in a picture-perfect state of cleanliness, I've sacrificed much more important stuff; such as, reading books with my kids or cuddling with the new baby in my life. You know....those real to-do's.
I recently had someone over and I found myself frantically trying to perfect our home before she arrived--throwing piles of crayon art into drawers, carrying my "junk" bin down to the basement, wiping off the top of the stove--when I thought to myself, "why am I doing this?" If this woman really is my friend she won't care about the balls of cat hair that billow up into the air when the door closes behind her (yes, it does happen) or the cranberry juice and play-doh stains on the couch.
At that very moment I made a pledge to myself. I refuse to clean up to impress anyone. My priorities are to be a good mom, wife, family member and friend. If I'm focused on being all of these things, that's certainly more important than killing myself to keep a clean house.
So, how's a slightly-reformed perfectionist to handle this? By acknowledging that yes, I do realize it's a mess in here, but that's how it's going to be. Yes, I wish the windows were a little more sparkly or the shelves of the frig free of leaking milk carton stains. But, this is part of my life right now and the best thing I can do is accept it.
One day I will have a clean home again but it won't be full of tiny giggles, cupcake-smeared faces or paint-stained hands. And that makes my heart ache a little.
So, until then, here it is: you're likely going to see a mess when you come to the Menoni household but it's our own, special BEAUTIFUL MESS.
The new sign that now hangs proudly on our entry-way door: