Friday, January 15, 2010

Do you ever feel like a failure?

I visited a new friend's house today. It was perfect. She is perfect. Her children are perfect and I imagine her husband is parfait as well. I'm not. I'm so imperfect. My imperfect 3 year old had so much syrup on her shirt that we had to drive home to change her bEFORE said playdate. When we ran in the house, I was reminded of the dishwasher that needed to be emptied so that I could start re-loading it again. The newly-folded basket of clothes greeted me vivaciously, but I quickly closed the door and went on our morning playdate. We had a great time. However, everywhere I turned was perfection. There was not a speck of dust on any floor and dinner was already cooking in the oven in the MORNING! I've done that like ONCE in my whole life! I think of myself as organized, or at least on top of things, but I saw those flashing words from the Wii in my mind: "FAILED FAILED FAILED". And the Wii is a whole another story! Anyway, I started beating myself up because I need to vacuum so badly that the dust bunnies are procreating. Now we vacuumed less than 3 days ago, but the floors are screaming for more. I have 2 baskets of clean clothes to put away and bills and receipts on my dining room table. Our bedroom is a mess on my side with paperwork. I need a home office and haven't figured out how to file away things/put them in a better place than a pile on the floor without one.

But you know what? I spent an hour in one of the children's classrooms this morning. I read to them and helped them with calendar time. I took our youngest on her very own playdate. I fed her lunch and we bought groceries for the whole family. I went to Bible Study last night instead of putting away the laundry or organizing one of my piles. God doesn't care if my house is perfect. He doesn't grade me on my ability to make our home look like something out of a magazine. I don't think I'll ever be that girl. And that's okay. I am perfect... PERFECTLY ME. I am who He created me to be. Some days I'll have it all together and some days I'll barely keep from drowning. And that's okay. He didn't create us to be perfect beings. He knows our imperfections. He sent His very own Son to die for our sins. So after beating myself up about my inability to keep up with my friends who have perfect homes and bodies, I reflected and realized that I am made in HIS image, and that's all that matters:). Pat yourself on the back today and show yourself some love! We are to love the Lord and be who He created us to be, not the girl next door. Isn't that great?

26 comments:

Lauren said...

Amen! Great post! I'm always trying to be exactly like your friend. I would love, love it, but...I spend way too much time with my kiddos and family (not to say she doesn't at all). Cheers to your wonderful friend...and to you!

The 5 Bickies said...

Wow...great post!
Housework suffers while you spend time with your children. I wonder what suffers while she spends time cleaning? There has to be something!

I am more like you....not held back by chores but more likely to choose fun times over caring for a messy house. After all, it just gets messy again.

I have a friend who is super on top of things and always makes me think about ways to be neater, cleaner and more efficient. I guess it's just not the way I am wired.

I am glad you saw the positive in your experiece because I think you are terrific!

Tickled Pink Talk said...

Oh, If you could only see my house right now....and let's just say it doesn't look like your friends! But, i have spent the day with the boys (no school today for some reason) and while I have aspirations of a perfect house, it just isn't going to happen. Unless I get full time live in help. So like I said, it's NOT going to happen! I'm glad you realized that what you are doing is great. We can have a whole other conversation about the wii...

Rebecca said...

Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog. I've spent the last few minutes catching up on yours. I love your post about moving to Florida a year ago.

This post today is great too. Isn't it wonderful that we don't have to be perfect for Him? And that He would never call us a failure? Wouldn't it be great if we could just remember that always, especially when we're beating ourselves up for not being good enough? Thank you for a powerful reminder.

CRICKET said...

I know the feeling and I constantly strive to be a better mom, wife and housekeeper! Right now the tv is on while the kids have a snack, I am drinking tea and siting beside a mound of laundry that needs to be put away. As far as dinner, its marinating in the fridge and will use leftover couscous and a salad. Cheers to imperfection!

suburban prep said...

All the time and I don't even have children.
A very thoughtful post.

AmyRLugo said...

I NEEDED you this morning. My husband NEEDED you to be in the classroom this morning. Thank you for sacrificing that time from your schedule for us. I'm just glad you can't see my house right now.

Kim said...

AMEN! What a great post. I doubt when the kids are grow and we are old any of us will look back wish we spent more time on housekeeping chores!
Your thoughts and wisdom are PERFECT!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Bama Girl said...

This post hit home for me! I don't even HAVE children or a REAL job, and most days I don't have it together. Thankfully I learned to accept this about myself many years ago. I admire you for sharing this with everyone. Cheerz to the imperfection in ALL of us - because we all have something! :-) XOXO

Pearls and Grace said...

Sweet Goodness!

Great post Mama Henley. Really great post. I loved that you chose time with Him over a bible study last night and time with your children over cleaning the house again. You are a wonderful Wife and Mother and a role model to so many in the blog world. You can have a clean house on any given day but the chance to fill up your childrens' love tanks.....that is priceless and precious.
Loved this post.

Pearls and Grace said...

Sorry that should read,
time with Him at a bible study instead of the laundry last night.

Sorry. Clearly I need more sleep.

Big Hugs,

Sibi

pink green & southern said...

Wonderful post from one amazing mother, wife and friend!

EntertainingMom said...

Mama, there is no such thing as perfect. I learned this at a young age actually. It was English Lit in High School and we were reading a Nathaniel Hawthorn story about a girl who was perfect except for a red birthmark on her face in the shape of a hand. She wanted desperately to get rid of it. In the end she did. And what happened next? She died. Nathaniel's moral was that she could no longer keep on living because no one can be perfect. After all these years that message still rings loud and clear. I am sure that somewhere, somehow your friend is not perfect.

And AH, we love you for your imperfections and for keeping it so real!

preppyinnewengland said...

I LOVE THIS POST! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!.........I have been there so many times....and like you, chose to volunteer in my child's classromm, or help with Girl Scout or Cubscouts or other activities instead of folding those clothes, or ironing, etc. Many a day, those dust mites joined my family and hung out in my house for some time!
My children are in elementary and middle school thriving!
I HAVE PATTED MYSELF ON THE BACK when I watch how confident, smart, fun, kind and respectful they are. I'll take that over a perfectly clean and organized house anyday.

sevenalstons said...

I have one of those friends who is perfect. Perfect home, perfect children, perfect life, etc. Another friend reminded me while I was comparing myself to this perfect friend that it takes a certain kind of compulsiveness for everything to be perfect all the time. I'm not wired that way and I'm actually glad I'm not. I don't think it would be much fun to grow up in a home where everything has to be perfect all the time.
I loved your post and how it made me think about how it's okay to put off the superficial to do the real meaningful stuff in life. Thanks for the insight!

Mrs. Expat said...

Someday you will have the chance for it all to be "perfect" and you will find that it is not all that you thought it would be! Enjoy the journey.

Jo said...

There is no such thing as perfect! Those that pretend to be perfect in every way are hiding something that they don't want others to see.

You children {and you} will only remember what you've done together and the spent doing it, not the piles of laundry or dishes in the sink. I promise you of that!

Enjoy your weekend~
Jo

Mrs. Lynch said...

This is such a wonderful post. You were made for God's glory and He loves you just the way you are!!! I'm following you on twitter.My house is a wreck.ugh

HappyHourSue said...

I think it's important to EMBRACE the fail. Go with it, own it, wear it proudly. Like me. :)

Thanks for delurking!

The Flying Bee said...

Hi!

Gosh, you sound just like me! As I read this post, you could have been describing my house! LOL!

Thanks for visiting my blog and following...you have a precious family.

Take care,
Adrienne

Susan said...

I absolutely love this. You have to understand a couple of things. First, you are a great mom to your children. You love them, you spend "quality" time with them and you take care of them. Secondly, and I don't mean this in a bad way, but you don't know this other woman's story. Without trying to insult her, maybe she has sacrificed some quality time with her family to make things so "perfect". No ones life is without faults or imperfections. Most importantly, if you constantly compare your weaknesses to someone elses strengths, then you are going to come out the loser no matter what. We are all different as you know and God doesn't expect perfection from us. If you are happy and your family is happy then don't mess with that. The laundry is always going to be there, the dishes will always needs doing, kids will get dirty, but the time you spend with family ticks away very quickly. Enjoy being you and enjoy the time you have with your family.......the rest will get done when it gets done.

bevysblog said...

You have NO IDEA how timely your post was today! I am doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible Study. My stronghold is desire for perfection in almost every aspect of my life: children's behavior, appearance/cleanliness of home, my own penmanship - for goodness sake!

Now, I am NO MATCH for your friend as I fail miserably more than I would like (like you said, sweet friend!). And the reason is that I love being involved in my precious sons' lives: snuggling with them at night, watching their basketball practices, and reading with Jackson. I just have to release the prideful desire for perfection. Know that I will be blogging about my journey!

Thank you for your wonderful post...

wendy said...

ok, fess up, who is this woman? As 22 other women have attested on your blog, perfection does NOT exist in this world! Who is she? She should be on exhibit!
As for you, my sweet friend, you have been a great encourager to many homes and families!

Beth Dunn said...

I feel like a failure most of my life-quote from Bridget Jones. No one is perfect. Even though my wall paper will be-I'm so flawed!
xoxo
Sc

GrannySmithGreen said...

Oh, oh, oh I LOVE THIS! Do you know how I can TOTALLY relate to what you have written? I try so hard to have it "all together" and NEVER can get there! I've decided that the laundry can wait, the dust bunnies can multiply--the precious LIMITED time we have to be mommies/friends/wives to our Heaven sent loved ones is so limited. LOVE THIS POST!

3 Peanuts said...

Love this. People often perceive me like your "perfect" friend. I am NOT like her at all ....not sure I have ever had dinner in the oven in the morning...but my point is.....I feel so like you. Tonight dinner is rotisserie chicken from Costco and whatever I can find to go with it (blueberries? some carrot sticks) but I played scrabble with the kids,we rode our bikes to the park. My guess is you just caught her at a good moment. trust me...God made us all very imperfect. But just exactly as He wanted us to be.