You don’t have to be perfect.
Your life doesn’t have to be perfect.
Your work doesn’t need to be perfect.
How many times have you looked at the laundry covering the table, the dishes piled up so close by in the sink, and the toys strewn over the floor and wondered what was wrong with you? Why you couldn’t get everything done in a day? Why you felt terrible guilt over the undone housework when you sat and played with your little loves, and then when you whipped through housework felt terrible guilt over not playing with your babies?
It is the idea of perfection that undoes us in life and in work. Now, please don’t shake your head at me! Not yet, anyways 😉 Yes, perfection is a grand ideal: we all want to be perfect parents, perfect entrepreneurs! After all, who wants to make mistakes? Perfection is a wonderful motivator! Or so it seems…
But it is this idea of perfection that we are constantly striving for that is also is our downfall. Especially when it comes to work and parenting.
After all, how many times have you refused to publish (or at least poured sweat over!) that blog post? Kept yourself up all night with worry about a product launch? Made yourself nearly sick waiting to hear back from a publisher? (Maybe that one is unique to me… 😛 ) All because you thought your work might not be perfect enough!
I know I have done this!
And then when it comes down to parenting, I have run up against the exact same perfectionist-driven resistance. Because I am a perfectionist when it comes down to housework I desperately try to get everything done before playing with my daughter, making me feel terribly guilty for having waited so long to engage with her! And then because I have been so busy – or am terribly busy at the moment – I feel guilty for not giving her everything that she wants….and terribly guilty for having to scold her or correct her.
Because I need to get work done, and housework done, and still parent, I find myself constantly in a lose-lose situation. Then I beat myself up over not being able to balance it all and make myself feel worse and worse.
But this is not the way it should be! Feeling terrible about the way I show up as a wife and a mother and an entrepreneur means that I truly do end up showing up poorly in all areas of my life, no matter how I was actually doing before I started beating myself up.
A discouraged mother is a tired and impatient mother. And a discouraged entrepreneur is a tired and unproductive (and thereby unsuccessful!) entrepreneur! You see, discouragement is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it sucks you of your motivation! And all because of your perfectionist standards.
Because we are human, though, we can’t be perfect. No matter how hard we try! Now, I’m not telling you to stop striving for perfection in your inner, spiritual life. But I am here today to tell you to stop striving for perfection in the rest of your life! Instead, strive for balance!
Sure, some days your are going to have extra housework. And others you are going to have extra business work. The idea is to compensate! Balance out your extra busy housework and business days with time just with your family.
Plot it on a calendar if you must! Looking at your work and and housework and family time blocked out in different colors on your phone can be very reassuring when you come to doubt yourself
And while you balance your life, remind yourself:
There is no perfect mother!
Only good mothers.
So be the best you can be! And encourage yourself every day. Seek out encouraging friends! And pop back here for weekly encouragement, too 😉 In fact, sign up for my weekly newsletter right here and get my blog (as well as little bits of news!) delivered right into your inbox.
Have a beautiful day full of laughter and baby smiles!