In this day and age with social media ever present, it is so easy to compare our lives to the lives of others. A lot of times I forget that the things people post on social media are usually awesome moments. So, what about all the not-so-perfect moments? We usually don’t post pictures of us half asleep in the middle of the night with a sick baby and snot on our shirts. I’ve never posted about the fact that I sometimes lose my cool and yell at our kids. The majority of my pictures involve me in jeans instead of leggings and a shirt covered in spit up, which is not even close to a perfect life.
Although social media can make it seem like the lives of everyone else are perfect, it’s usually not the case. Even the majority of times we get together with friends and it seems like they have things all together, we don’t know what their life is like behind closed doors. Most people don’t know what life is like behind the closed doors of my house. Well let me tell ya: taking a shower, doing my hair, and getting dressed everyday takes a lot of time. Most days I bag all the above and wear stretchy pants. It’s not only impossible but uncomfortable bending down and chasing kids in a dress and high heels. Who am I kidding? I never wear heels!
My husband and I get in fights. I have attitude after a long day and it annoys him when I have attitude. I don’t always love bath time or bed time with the kids. It takes so much energy to bathe three kids and tuck them all snug in their beds after five stories, a train ride, seventy kisses, and twenty hugs.
Growing up, for some reason I always felt pressure to be perfect. I had to get good grades. I had to have my projects and homework done well before they were due and I worked hard to be the best in my chosen sports. The first A- I got was in tenth grade chemistry. I remember feeling sick to my stomach for a few nights thinking about the blemish of the – on my A. It was horrible! Somehow I got over that one, but think of my horror when I got a B+ in Math in eleventh grade. Oh the pain!!! As I took harder and harder classes I got more comfortable with not being perfect, especially in college when I was singing hallelujahs about the C+ I got in Physiology. I still worked hard to get good grades, I just wasn’t so disturbed when grades didn’t turn out perfect.
Although I got over the non-perfect grades in high school, perfectionism creeps into other aspects of my life. I found myself comparing my marriage to others marriages. I compared my faithfulness to other people’s faithfulness, I even compared the way I parented to others parenting, and on and on. Although we can’t always control the first thought that pops into our head, we can control the second, third, and any other thought that follows after. Because these thought creep into all of our heads, I came up with four ways to kick them out. When negative or perfectionist thoughts creep into your head, try thinking of these four things:
How to Battle Perfectionism:
- Remember you are doing the best you can with the skills you currently have.
- Don’t compare your worst day to someone else’s best day.
- In the hard times when things aren’t “perfect” remember the almost perfect times.
- Give yourself some slack! Your kids love you unconditionally, therefore love yourself unconditionally.
Times can be hard. It’s okay to feel all your feelings, but it is also important to love yourself for who you are. Leave the dishes in the sink and the laundry unfolded every now and then. Listen to your body and do what you can do. You’re awesome–remember that!!
In what ways are you not “perfect?”