My confession today as a stay-at-home mom took me a long time to come to grips to. As a perfectionist with OCD I used to think I could, and should be able to do it all…that I should be good at everything. Truth be told…that is just not so. Sometimes it is better if we just accept the things we do not do and save ourselves a lot of time, energy and stress. My laundry list is as follows…
When I was probably about 10 years old my grandmother, the incredible seamstress that she is, and I decided that she would begin to teach me to sew. This went on for a while and she even bought me my own sewing machine. I made a few things and my interest in it just sort of dwindled. Then my sister came along a few years later and literally just took over. I mean she can sew like nobody’s business and whip something together without a pattern, without a drawing, with just an idea in her mind…much like my dear friend Chrissy. Yeah, I cannot do that. Even to this day, like 20 years later, my sister still has “my” sewing machine which she has used more probably in the past week than I ever have. I struggle these days just to sew a button on or mend a tear in a seam…and if we’re being honest, I usually just have my sister do it because she’s better at it. I have come to the conclusion that it is okay that I do not sew. I can come up with fabulous ideas for outfits and costumes and I have my sister, my BFF, my guardian angel to make it a reality…thus…I do not sew (unless I absolutely have to).
I have always wanted to be really good at cake decorating. Don’t get me wrong I can make a cake from scratch and homemade butter cream frosting just as good as any bakery but when it comes to presentation…not so much. My cakes look “homemade” at best. My sister-in-law…she can make a cake that looks just like a cute little monkey and the spitting image of Elmo…this I could never do. My cakes might taste great and I would never even consider a store-bought frosting, but they certainly don’t look perfect. I’ve decided, that’s okay. I will confess that before this realization I, like my Grams, have been known to take a perfectly good layer cake and shove it down the garbage disposal because it “wasn’t even”…yeah not one of my best moments. Let’s just say I’ve learned I do not decorate cakes (well)…as you can see.
My next confession is kind of ironic but true nonetheless. I really like my house to be clean. Dust, crumbs, smears and smudges drive me crazy. I’ve gotten a lot better than I used to be (3 children 5 and under will do that do you) but I still clean more than I probably should. I have however decided that on a daily basis the areas that my Swiffer duster does not reach does not get dusted. I figure that being 5’1″ I should take advantage of the fact that I am married to someone who is 6’5” and after all, I’ve birthed him 3 babies…the least he can do is dust my curtain rods, fixtures and cabinet tops every few weeks which is usually more like once a month because I take out the trash, I paint the walls, and I do everything domestic around here else except mow the yard and shovel the driveway and all the handy “manly” stuff. He can help with a little dusting, right? See how I’m justifying myself? And he is helpful, don’t get me wrong, he cleans up after dinner, he carries laundry up & down stairs, he does all kinds of things but I’m here all the time and I should be the housekeeper. BUT…I do not dust things I cannot reach.
My last and final confession is going to drive my mother and my Aunt Pam absolutely crazy. When I vacuum I do not move the living room furniture each and every time. I grew up in a house where my mother vacuumed every single week (as do I) except she moved and changed the furniture around every time. She’s not much bigger than I and I have no idea how she moved our behemuth of a china cabinet (FULL by the way… never breaking ONE piece) clear across the room, but she still does it. I will occasionally move our heavier-than-a-dead-preacher couch and suck up random cheerios and fishies but every week…absolutely not! I will never forget when we had a video shoot here at our house for a company I used to work for and they moved our furniture to record us and of course there was a loose cheerio right next to the producer’s feet. I prayed the entire time he wouldn’t step on it and when he left the room I scooped it up. I do not move the furniture every time I vacuum.
So there you go, the perfectionist in me does have a few loop holes. I have saved myself a lot of time, needless disposal of perfectly good cakes, countless bumps, bruises and stubbed toes, and much temptation to curse by allowing other people to do the things I simply do not do. We all have our strengths in life and mine do not happen to be sewing, decorating cakes, height or strength in moving furniture. I am okay with these things and have accepted the things I just do not do. When I am faced with having to do one of these things however I no longer get stressed and upset when it doesn’t turn out perfect and seamless. I’ve learned to throw the mommy guilt out the window. In those instances I rely on this verse…
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
What are some of the things you DON’T do?