Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Messy, Crazy, Exhausting Life: Learning to let go of perfection

Wow. Well, it has been a super duper long time since I've posted anything on this blog. Not that the thoughts haven't been there, penned, recorded, photographed...I just haven't gotten it all down yet. To be perfectly frank, I'm tired. As summer is in full swing and the kids are playing non stop I keep seeing all the things I need to be getting done. Yes, maybe some of this mindset is coming from the urgency of the baby coming in December but I feel caught up in the rush to have a clean(er) house-let's face it, my house always needs work, to be a more playful, fun mom, a better planned/organized mom. In the midst of knowing that all of that is just my own insecurities shining through, I still find the struggle to be real, pressing, stifling.

I have long struggled with the appearance of having it all together and I pray continually to overcome that. I grew up in a home where everything was always picked up and put away every day, and the house was cleaned every Saturday from top to bottom. My sister would spend what seemed like hours getting her bed made so perfectly that there wasn't a single wrinkle in it (and I did love to run in and jump on her bed after that perfection was reached-that didn't go over too well). I was the ONLY person in that house that had a messy room. My closets weren't organized, my shoes were thrown together, my drawers were stuffed full, my bed was always unmade, and my floor was always a tripping hazard. Don't get me wrong. I love all things organization. I like having a place for everything, I just don't always get it back there. When I put a book away it didn't just go on the bookshelf. The entire bookshelf was reorganized by author name, size, color...whatever. Trust me, I still work to overcome these instincts. With 4 kids and another on the way I have learned to become the person who just gets it put away and, if there is time later, we re-organize the bookshelf/toy bin/closet. But my family comes from a long line of perfectionists and I wasn't one of them.

My older girls playing outside creating their own messes.

I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal. I don't feel the need to know the gender of my baby ahead of time, I like the surprise and figure there will be plenty of time to figure out clothing. I generally plan a trip and then we kind of wing the details. I set up our homeschool lessons but we don't always start at the exact same time. Sometimes I just wake up and we throw some stuff in the car and hit the road for the day, or weekend. I love spontaneity and I really enjoy the go-with-the-flow mentality. This doesn't mean I don't plan, it just means the plans are always lose. Very few things are completely restricted. This makes the family I grew up with absolutely crazy. Thankfully my husband is similar in this mentality so we don't butt heads too often. In fact, I am more detail oriented than he...and that's saying something!

I get exhausted just thinking of visitors. I worry what they will think of the house. Is it clean enough? I may have a cleaner house than I have had in months but all I see are the things I didn't get to. Not the things that are done. I'm very good at saying, "if you want to visit me, come whenever you want. If you want to visit my house, make an appointment." I'm very good at saying those things and generally I mean it but I also have a part of me that cringes at the thought of people truly seeing my messy house for what it is. My messy house that reflects our messy lives. Our fun-filled, stress-filled, over-packed, just a touch on the insane lives. I always worry what people leave thinking. What comments will I receive? Will my guests be uncomfortable? And I stress that our tiny, messy house will be judged. We have MAYBE 1200 sq feet of living space and a whole lot of family inside it. All. The. Time. That equates to a big mess. I suspect, however, that were I given more space it would be a mess too because that's just who I am.
My youngest brought her bike inside all on her own and rode it straight into the living room. I had literally just cleaned or there wouldn't have been room for her. Most of my pictures of the kids inside have some kind of mess around them, I guess I caught one with a clean background! Woot woot!

I am striving to be better. I am striving to be more disciplined but I will never put cleaning above all else. I just can't do it. And I'm okay with that...most days. I know that one day my house will be clean all the time. It will be quiet. I will have time for lots of reading, lots of crafting, lots of time...and I will truly miss this crazy, messy life I am currently living. In the meantime, I will do what I can to get through my days without feeling too much guilt. I will try to value my time with my kids and wishfully watch my friends take vacations to exotic locations while I am...cleaning. But, I will know that I was very blessed to be given such a life filled with 4 beautiful daughters and another coming addition, a truly loving husband and wonderful father, an interesting slew of animals, and a very often messy house. I will take a break from the worry, allow myself to relax, and just enjoy my life...messy, chaotic, unorganized, and...amazing. I know I'm not alone...I pray I'm not alone. Who's with me? Let's agree to quit wearing ourselves out and just enjoy life.

Here's hoping for more from me in the future!

Happy Creations~