Imperfect Perfectionist

Well, I’m a perfectionist. I can thank my maternal Grandmother for that. I feel like the first step is admitting it. Then every step after that is trying to be, unsuccessfully.

I woke up this morning, after my self applied spray tan last night, I had a perfect drool mark going down the side of my face. As the day goes on, I’m hoping no-one will notice. So much for my flawless fake tan.

In regards to parenting, I feel like it is a setup to fail, over and over and over. Think you know what you are doing one second and wondering what the heck you were thinking the next.  I feel guilty just holding and cuddling my baby, then I feel guilty when I’m not. I feel guilty for taking time for myself, when my other 129892833 seconds of the day I am wiping butts and tears. If a perfect parent exists, let me know and I’ll send flowers from the other 99% of us.

I try to keep a tidy house, but when it’s tidy I feel guilty. Usually because then my kids are sitting in a room surrounded by my perfectness and not their happy stuff. Enter guilt.  I don’t know why a messy house drives me insane?! When I am at someone else’s house, I’m more comfortable if it’s a little crazy.  I guess it makes me feel normal!  The more perfect it is, the more my anxiety creeps up!  Weird..I know.

Mealtimes are my least favorite part of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a foodie at heart, but some days is a frozen pizza kind of day. I just want quick perfect healthy meals to appear on our table. If you want to get a dirty look, just ask me what’s for dinner? (AJ can verify–poor guy.)

I could never be perfect at my job being a dental hygienist. I tried. I tried to make my bosses happy by being innovative and productive. I tried to scrape every little piece of calculus and plaque off of every surface. The occasional “good job”, and “you’re my favorite hygienist” gave me a temporary sense of accomplishment, but I still went home feeling like I didn’t do enough. Totally self induced.

I value my friendships SO much, but I feel like I’m the crappiest friend. Some days, I feel like I am just lucky to have all my children fed and showered. I am blessed to have friends from my childhood that I could call on at any second, friends from college that would drop anything, friends that I used to work with that feel like family, my widow sisterhood is incredible, and family that I love enough to call my friends. If I were to spend time with all of these people as much as I would like, my family would suffer. If I ignore my friendships, my friendships would suffer. It’s a lose-lose for a perfectionist.

Well, I hope if you’re reading this and feeling imperfect, you are feeling less alone. Believe me, you’re in good company.

Until the next nap time…

Sarah Deatherage Steele

I am a Mom of 3, re-married widow, dental hygienist, fresh food snob, grief supporter for widows, and the creator of Comforting Keepsakes Sympathy Gifts.  My husband, AJ and I hand make and finish every detail of our Memory Boxes, in our garage! I love my family and friends, second chances, exploring new places, and of course food!

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