A Constant Chinese Fire Drill

On of the hardest things about being a mom of young children is the perpetual state of chaos that exists in your home. Each day is like a Chinese fire drill in the living room with the toys being the objects of replacement. Unless you are witness to this organization, good luck ever finding that kitchen utensil you gave your child in exasperation as you attempted to make dinner.

Baskets seemed like a viable alternative to the increasing mountain of parts and pieces that my daughter identifies as treasures. However, the baskets fill to a point of overwhelming capacity and then no one wants to deal with the contents. There’s nothing quite like tip toeing your way to bed through the dark house only to kick into the one missed toy that had to be motion activated and in the quiet of the night you cringe as you hear, “I’m a pink teapot hear me whistle…”.

Less stuff would make my life easier, but it’s hard to keep up with the voracious imagination of a toddler without a rotating number of toys and objects that can be touched, pitched, disassembled and worn around the wrist as a new fashion accessory. There is hope. One day my mess maker will also be able to put away the things and help restore sanity to the living room. This will be done at the cost of a once mute child, but what’s the fun without new adventures in life? I vividly remember my 6 year old brother’s new found ability to read and repeat every road sign as we ran errands with mom. As much as I look forward to the ability to reason with my toddler, I know there will be days I wish that she came with an off button. Especially when she starts repeating the speed limit to me.

As someone who thrives in a clean, organized atmosphere, having a child has stretched my ability to stop caring so much about the temporary and start living in the long term. This means that some Saturdays are spent completely cleaning and reorganizing the house instead of hanging with friends, but when you are stuck in bed with a snoring toddler on you because she needed someone to cuddle with, you know that making memories is more important than perfection.

Unperfectly Perfect

Have you ever wondered what perfection looks like? Me too! Yet, if you asked me to describe myself in a few words, perfectionist is probably one of the words that I would use. I’m not the perfectionist that I use to be, but I still like to have a tidy house with clean floors and a spotless kitchen before people come over. My closet is organized by color, season and clothing type. Putting on lounge clothes or yard work clothes that do not match is a great struggle. I will keep rearranging furniture or decor until it looks Pinterest compatible and I’ll fuss over a dessert until it looks as good as it tastes. Yes, I am guilty of perfectionism when it comes to my outward appearance and home.

The difficulty with perfectionism is that nothing is ever quite perfect. Houses don’t stay clean, desserts are eaten, clothing gets worn and after awhile you get tired of the same furniture arrangement. I’m thankful that since getting married I have learned to relax a little. My husband is completely opposite of me when it comes to organizing and cleaning, but that’s ok because it helps both of us find balance. The more I let go or realize that things will never truly be perfect in this earthly life, it allows me to grow in patience, compassion and flexibility. I’m learning to embrace the day to day and all of it’s imperfections, because that is when memories and relationships are made.