It’s Hard Out Here for a Perfectionist – Who’s Not

So I’m new here, in this town, where I live.  You know?  The move and such?  Many of my good friends have moved out of state recently or just gotten lives or something.  I’m starting to make new friends slowly.  I’ve met some amazing people whom I’m getting closer to, but friendship is largely proportional to time served.

I have not served hard time with any of these people yet and you can’t bond over one 10 minute park date.  So yesterday afternoon, some girls from my new church congregation found my address somehow and came over to say hi.

I was excited and mortified.  I was wearing my sweats and hadn’t showered.  The house was insanely disastrously filthy.  I invited them in because, for the love I want friends and here two people were on my doorstep, but I was totally chest-crushingly embarrassed at the state of my house.  It was one of those “How can people live like this?” kind of days. 

So I told them it was a “project” day.  I was making curtains and sewing Laylee a new “poof” since hers recently had a run-in with a carton of chocolate milk and a long stay in a plastic bag hidden under the stroller in the back of my car.  Color me shocked.  She didn’t like the moldy black polka dots.

Some days are for cleaning and some are for projects and, I said, “Today is a project day.”Â  They were really nice and one of their sons even peed on the wall of my bathroom to make me feel better (his mom cleaned it up, by the way.).

But when they left, I couldn’t get over my feelings of self-doubt.  Karen wrote a fabulous post recently about not conforming to other people’s expectations of what our priorities should be and not expecting them to conform to ours.  I loved it.

The problem is, I’m not even conforming to my own expectations for myself and I don’t think they’re too lofty.  Clean up the dishes at least daily.  Bathroom scrubbed once a week, laundry done before you have to go out and buy all new clothes, being at least vertical to say goodbye to Dan-O in the morning, etc. 

I had a while where I made excuses because I was in a post-partum-funk (to put it mildly) and then I had the moving excuse.  With the girls yesterday it was the “project” excuse, but at this point it boils down to priorities.

After things crashed when Magoo was born, I had to re-evaluate my perfectionist expectations, give myself some slack and be sure to take some time for me.  Now I’ve gotten high on the slack pipe one too many times and I’m having a really hard time tightening up the right garter straps.

I reorganize the pen drawer instead of putting away the junk on my counter.  I clean out the toaster, rather than rinsing the breakfast dishes.  I make a tutu to avoid hanging towel rods.  I read instead of calling up new friends.  I blog but don’t work on my book.

I feel like neither a good wife, mother, homemaker, writer, friend, organizer or Kathryn right now.  I just hate the feeling that I could do better but I’m not and I spend days like today working my absolute butt off, only to realize that each layer of work reveals 50 more that I hadn’t thought of yet.

There are many people who are frustrated with me right now and I’m at the top of the list.

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