I am a perfectionist. This is a problem because I am also a mother. Things will never ever, ever be the way I want them to be. There will always be clutter and chaos in my house until my children grow and then I’m sure I’ll miss the noise and the clutter, because that’s what we tend to do. We tend to get so immersed in our lives that we don’t appreciate things until we look back. Today my perfectionist ways are getting to me. Here are the reasons being a perfectionist sucks.
1. The GODDAMN Breakfast Bar is NEVER Clean
Lineman seems to think magical elves live in our house and they come around every night to pick up the clutter on the breakfast bar. In reality his haggard wife does it while she is multi-tasking a million other things because it bugs her. Most of the time the bar refuses to be cleaned. Sometimes it beats me down and I let the things build and build until I have a break down and freak out on the kids like the world is ending. My need for the bar to be clean is really stupid. Who gives a damn if there are always random tools and papers from school and assorted items that have been taken away from the baby and put on the bar? I do, because my need for a clutter free house begins with my breakfast bar. One day I will beat the bar and then I will rip it out to prove my point.
2. The Squiggly Lines of Spelling/Grammar check
I know I am going to misspell words especially when I am typing like a crazy woman trying to get a thought out of my head before it disappears never to return again. I know that I can go back and fix all the mistakes when I am done writing but I just can’t. I can’t wait to fix the spelling errors because that red squiggly line is just staring at me telling me I missed something and my anxiety increases until the line goes away after I fix the problem. This has caused me to lose a lot of work in the past. Obviously if I saved my work more this would be a non-issue but I’m just not that cool.
3. Cooking in a Messy Kitchen is Like Some Slow Torture
I cannot cook in a messy kitchen. I burn dinner because I’m trying to do dishes and wipe down counters and then I have a for REAL breakdown because I know better than to attempt cooking dinner in a dirty kitchen but I continue to try and then everything is wrong with the world. Lineman KNOWS this about me. He is fully aware that if I come home from work to a dirty kitchen I will not start cooking until the kitchen is cleaned. This has started more than 1 fight. He has finally gotten on the bandwagon though. If he sees the kitchen is dirty before I get home, he cleans it so his dinner is cooked to perfect and his wife is happy and smiling while cooking it.
4. I Cannot Simply “Proof Read”
If something is poorly written it makes me crazy. I don’t write for a living but I’m fairly adept at it. I can tell you that when I read a funny newsletter I tend to be more willing to read another and then I might possibly be interested in the company writing the letter. So when my mother hands me a letter to her church I cannot simply proof read it. I have to re-write it and make it funny and cute. The same is true of when Lineman asks me to proof read his college papers. I am so damn neurotic that I can’t let it go. Is it my degree? No, well kinda because I help A LOT. Would his papers be fine if I just checked for weird sentence structure? Yes. Can I talk myself into letting it go? NO I CANNOT because my world needs to be fucking perfect and if I’m going to proof read I might as well do it right and just re-write the paper. It’s exhausting and I. Do. It. To. Myself!
5. I Miss Out on Cool Things Because I Can’t Calm The Hell Down
My children are amazing creatures. They come up with strange and silly ideas and dances and they want me to be in their world. I love that. I hate it when my perfectionism gets in the way of me being a mom. I want to stop cleaning the kitchen and watch the baby spin in circles and laugh, but if the kitchen isn’t clean then I can’t cook, and if I can’t cook the children will starve, and I’ll go to jail for child endangerment and my life will be over. See that slippery slope? That’s where I live. I just want to be able to ignore the breakfast bar and the messy kitchen and how many times Thing 1 misspelled words while happily doing homework. Because if he is happily doing homework pointing out misspelled words gets lots of sighs and whines and turns into fighting about letters on a page. I want to just sit on the floor with The Baby and not worry about the mess I’m going to have to clean up later. I just want to live in the now. Sometimes for brief glimpses I’m able to do this, but mostly it’s the constant go, go, go that keeps me busy because if it’s not perfect and rosy I’m obviously failing somehow.