When to Give up on Perfection

 There are a lot of times in my life when I have this picture in my head of how things should go.  I am by no means perfect.  I almost never have a perfectly cleaned house.  My recipes sometimes fall short.  But, for a long time there was a certain "image" that I wanted to project.

I used to host playgroups when my son was just a baby.  That's how I met a lot of my mommy friends.  We have since moved on.  It's not that we're not friends anymore.  We just live in different cities and now our kids have friends from school and other activities.  But, that's completely beside the point.  When I used to host playgroups I would stay up late the night before cleaning my house and making sure everything was perfect.  I would make homemade muffins. One time I even made a huge tray of finger sandwiches, muffins and other snacks.  These were the days when a playgroup could easily mean thirty people between adults and kids. 

I wanted to be the mom who had everything perfect and completely pulled together.  I wanted moms to go, "How does she do it?"  That "perfection" can become all-consuming though and then you miss out on so much!  At that point in our life the thing I was missing out on was sleep.  Now, the thing I would miss out on would be time with my kids.  

You know what?  I don't need the "crazy" anymore!  I still got a little crazy trying to get things done this past week.  But for the most part, there wasn't too much yelling.  I didn't lose my mind trying to get things done.  I did a little bit each day and although things probably weren't perfect, I'm sure people didn't notice.  

Another one of those things that I have ideas about being perfect is the holiday table.  In past years I've made custom tablecloths, had the matching ornaments hanging over the table, placemats, candles, etc.  

This year the almost eight year old did the table.  I had to step back and say to myself, "It's not the way I would do it, but it's done."  I had a choice.  I could either go crazy and try to make the table how I wanted it and squash her little psyche OR I could preserve my daughter's creativity and confidence AND be done with that part of the preparations.  Of course we left the table how she did it!  The "old" me might not have done that.

It's perfectly festive.  Next year I'll have to pre-plan a little better and then let her help me with what I've already picked out.  Darn!  I thought I'd learned my lesson!

Do you have certain ways you like to have stuff done?  Or are you willing to give up that control?

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