I am a recovering perfectionist. As a child, I would rip up paper after paper, if the handwriting wasn’t just right. I got straight A’s all through jr. high, high school, and college until my 3rd year, second semester, when I took 18 Science credits. I was tired of the pressure of perfection I had created. I chose to purposely fail my Microbiology final so I could take the stress off and so that I could know what it was like to get a B.
That ‘failure’ was my first step in recovery and I have improved greatly. Now I accept my hodge podge handwriting, my marker stained doors, and my kids less than perfect outfits.
But perfectionism is a constant battle and I find myself relapsing often.
Recently, I found a craft project I had started last year but didn’t finish because I was paralyzed with perfectionism. So many little decisions go into one banner, what if I made a mistake and it didn’t turn out just perfect in the end? So I avoided the project. Finally, I pulled out the supplies and finished it, a season late, perfect or not.
I delayed starting a blog because I wanted the perfect name, the perfect design, and the perfect pictures. I was paralyzed to begin. But I pushed through the perfectionism and do what I do now, although every post is not perfect nor is every picture. And I still have a list of things I want to make better.
Sometimes my perfectionism creeps into my parenting and I think if I am the perfect parent than I should have perfect kids. I do all that I can to be the perfect mom; and then Elle throws a major tantrum and bites my bum while we are celebrating M week at McDonalds with Maya and I wonder what more I can do.
I have to remind myself constantly that IT doesn’t have to be perfect. There is no perfect child, no perfect parent, no perfect craft project or perfect blog. I’ve learned to push through the paralyzing perfectionism and just accept great or even good, because I now know there is plenty of happiness and satisfaction long before perfection.