I sit here writing my thoughts down wearing my PJs, no makeup on, hair in a greasy Ďmum buní, totally exhausted after the day Iíve had. Nothing has gone as Iíd planned, something Iím getting more used to as time goes on.
You see, I am a perfectionist, always have been and itís something that has served me well in some aspects of my life yet proved to be a hindrance in others.
Being a perfectionist is hard work. Iím often tired from striving to meet my own high demands and so gutted and angry at myself if I fall short of my own expectations. There are far more disappointing moments than celebrated ones due to the unreachable bar I set for myself.
The high expectation on myself is never something I expect others to live by and Iím far more encouraging of others than I am of myself.
Before my darling little boy Henry arrived, I had a pretty routine life. Something the perfectionist in me thrived on. Predictability allowed me to succeed and have what looked like a pulled together life.
Then Henry arrivedÖ
Henry is an awesome little boy and a very chilled kid, however, there are times when he isnít easy, when he has soiled every spare outfit in his nappy bag or most recently, was so sick I was stuck in the house for two weeks looking after him. What Iím learning very quickly is that there is no room for perfectionism in parenting and really no room for this in my life in general.
Perfectionism doesnít make you feel perfect; it makes you feel inadequate ó Maria Shriver
Life is not like you see on Insta ó perfectly clean and styled houses, well dressed and behaved children, always stylish mum #activewear or an always healthy lifestyle #cleanliving.
The reality is that while you do sometimes have those amazing days, there are far more messy days (non-sleeping child, tired mum, poo-nami, vom.com). Itís in those messy days that you need to learn to let go, know that you are more than enough, that you are amazing and that tomorrow is a new day.
A perfectionist will always make it look like they donít need help. They have boxed themselves into this ďperfectĒ persona. On the outside, it looks like they have it all together but inside that box, they are screaming for help (whether they are honest about that or not). I often have anxiety when things go wrong and donít understand why everyone else doesnít see me as a failure.
Through this new season in my life though, Iím learning and trying to walk in the following areas.
Asking for help: We were never meant to do life by ourselves and especially parenting. It takes a village, remember! Whether itís help to vacuum your floors, have a sleep or just having someone make you a cup of tea and a have good chatÖpush down that perfectionist pride and accept or ask for help!
Embracing the mess: This is the mess of your plans not going how you wanted, your child having a world war 3 meltdown at the most inappropriate times or mistakes youíll make in life. This doesnít make you a failure or a horrible person. It makes you real. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past however you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles but these do have the power to turn you into something better than you were before if you only embrace them.
Letting go: Perfectionists tend to like things done a certain way. Learn to let go and allow others to have the freedom to do things their way. Who said your way was right anyway?
Cutting yourself some slack: Youíll be your worst and toughest critic because youíve gone and set that bar so darn high! Cut yourself some slack and focus on the wins in life. Chances are youíre doing a bang up job!
Practicing thankfulness: Perfectionists need to practice thankfulness daily. We get bogged down by what went wrong that we forget all the things that went right. For me Iím thankful for a healthy, happy baby boy, a supportive, caring and hardworking husband and a home to call my own. Thankfulness helps a perfectionists state of mind.
Being brave to show the real you: Be brave to show emotion; laugh, cry, get angry without worrying about what people think. Be brave to be the real you; have and voice your opinion, dress the way you want, live through the bad hair days and have the confidence that you are amazing just as you are, warts and all.
Finding your people: Find those few amazing people in your life who you can be vulnerable with and who you can honestly talk to when you feel youíve fallen short. You need these people to bring you back to reality and to help un-box yourself from your own perfectionism and remind you that you are enough.
So here I sit, a perfectionist after a messy non-perfect day reflecting on how I want to grow and learn through this season. I realise that Henry is fed, clothed and loved and so am I, so was it really a bad day after all?
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.