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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Just Perfect

Went in for well baby checks last Friday. Good news, kids are healthy and normal - whatever that is for this insane Momma. I, on the other hand, was so told to chill my pill all in a matter of 5 minutes. How is it that our pediatrician can walk in saying, "Oh yes! Wow! This is your life everyday. Constant, nonstop chatter, questions, whines, cries, groning and moaning." Okay, so maybe not that extreme, but you get the gist. My pediatrician is overwhelmed just by our presence in his office and yet he somehow manages to accept it, move on, and tell me exactly what I needed to hear.

"You can give yourself a break. You are a good Mom. You can quit feeling guilty about not being able to give equal, adequate attention to each child. Quit torturing yourself by thinking you have to have it all together. Get back to square one. If all you do is eat dinner together as a family and Dad wrestles with the kids, then your kids will turn out fine."

My response while holding back tears was "I know. My perfectionism is killing my, but I am working on it!"

His response was, "Ha! You keep working on that, but don't expect them to be!"

After leaving his office, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders and I could now function at a somewhat only half-crazed looney. Even though the poopy pants at least twice a day at inopportune times and places like Meet the Teacher Day and play dates at friends. Even though the incessant whining to go play on the neighbors "4 liter" (four wheeler) and misunderstanding as to what quiet means during "quiet time," which to my son sadden demise is not tossing a tennis ball against your siblings wall during their nap time or this. Even though the wee one manages to throw the ring toss stick into the toilet that has yet to be flushed. Even though the kid's still inevitably have an internal clock that tells them to all melt down simultaneously at exactly 5:15PM everyday while I am attempting to prepare a half-way healthy, yet edible meal by the time my hardworking hubby gets home. Okay, I will stop with the "even thoughs." They could go on forever and literally bore a hole in your head or just make you quit reading this blog. Which ever comes first, I will truly understand.

Moving on.

With all that rambling, my point is how did I get to this perfectionistic mother stage? Why do I think dinner has to be ready to eat as soon as Daddy gets home? He doesn't expect, even though he truly appreciates it. Somehow, good intentions get misconstrued so easily for me.

Tonight was great. Homemade pizza, in-laws, neighbor kids flooding our backyard, water hoses, backyard soccer, beautiful weather, brownies, movie with hubby. Simple things...Momma is happy. Just thought I would write a note of praise, because God knows if grumbling were a sport, I would own several Olympic medals...of course, they don't all have to be gold :)! My attempt at not being a perfectionist. I think I am doing fairly well!

9 comments:

Samantha said...

Elizabeth, you are an amazing Mother. I know there are many reasons why you want everything perfect however to your children you are their world and you make it perfect for them. Try and give yourself a break and just enjoy laughing and playing with your kids (they will not remember how tidy the house was but they will remember how Mummy and Daddy played with them and loved them)

the.fortes said...

I am like you, Elizabeth. I only have one and I agonize over how much or how little time I am spending with him..."am I being selfish if I need to sit down for 20 minutes while he is still awake?" "Is it horrible of me to always go out with him everyday since he is so bored at home (and so am I)", "I want to clean the house, but I have a whiny child" on and on and on. Your pediatrician (my old pediatrician) offered to put me in a straight jacket at one point, so you are not alone with being told what's up by that wonderful man. Thank God he is honest. Here's a great book...http://www.amazon.com/Real-Moms-Elisa-Morgan/dp/0310247039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252150956&sr=8-1. Holly let me borrow hers and it is helpful.

Gena said...

I love you Elizabeth. You're so honest about motherhood. I think every time Moms feel that way, Satan is doing his best to chip away at their last bit of sanity. Guilt and perfectionism can be so crippling. I struggle with both of them at times, but just have to pray my way out of them. You are a great mama.

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Do you know I was very much a perfectionist BEFORE kids? They have a way of humbling you, just making you realize that IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! Perfection, that is.
Being a godly mother is the most important job you'll ever have. I really made it my goal to provide a consistent, stable life for them. I, too, worked really hard at providing balanced meals and pleasing my husband. (One of the best things my husband did for me during those years was calling from work about 3 or 4 p.m. and asking if he could pick up something for dinner - happened about once a month. So I'll put a bug in Josh's ear!) Don't feel bad about taking a little time off for yourself. I neglected myself for several years and I'm thankful the consequences weren't too bad. I think I've mentioned it before, but Friday Playgroup SAVED my sanity...
Just want to encourage you to HANG IN THERE!

Summer said...

you are an inspiration to me. and the less we pretend we have it all together and the more real we become, the more we can bless others. thanks for the reminder.

Kayla said...

I use to be this way and went crazy and now am the opposite! Now I struggle with not caring/trying enough (with dinner), lost confidence, thinking its just going to get messy again so why clean it, tuning out kids whiny voices so much to where I don't hear their sweet voices at times either. They will sadly say "mommy you aren't listening to me!" I need to find some middle ground here!! Thanks for the reminder!

Kelli said...

AMEN! Of course you know I am right there with you - I could have written your post! Our last week was crazy and I know I was too short with the kids. Thank you for reminding me my household is normal for 3 little kids. And things don't have to be perfect! I think I know that but struggle because I think others are judging me. Hang in there! You are doing GREAT!

Elizabeth Mullins said...

Girls! Thank you SO much for your encouragement! You gals are all very special and I appreciate you very much!

Natalie Hudkins said...

I feel the same way! Thanks for sharing. :) Good luck tomorrow.