October 16, 2009

Guilt and Perfectionism

We homemakers and mommies are in a precarious position. Especially those of us who blog and read blogs. I think the majority of us greatly desire to be the best we can in all areas. Yet being the best doesn't always look the same in each family.

I have always struggled with a fear of failing. I don't want the bad grade on my job. I don't want to fall short in any area of my life. Well, this sets me up for failure because I am human. If I start slipping in some area, then I begin comparing myself to others, or even worse, my PAST self!

" I wish I could do _______ like I did before the baby."

" I used to do _______ and __________ but now I just don't have time."

I remember reading a post on another blog, describing a woman like this:

This particular lady grinds her own wheat and bakes all the bread, has 8 children, breastfeeds them all, homeschools, keeps her house spotless, sews all the clothes for her family, raises chickens and milks her own cows, makes her own butter....Yet how would you feel about the lady if you knew she was an unbeliever? Suddenly it doesn't look so attractive does it?

The most important thing we can have for our families is a heart that is sold to the Lord. When our goal is to shine His light everyday in every way, then that is more important than that list of accomplishments up there.

Still, I get into the 'perfectionist' trap and then feel guilt. When the laundry is backed up again, the floor has junk all over it, the kids' rooms are a disaster, the dishes get piled up, the fridge is stinky, the windows are all smudged, the yard is littered and the kids are half naked when daddy gets home, I feel some GUILT! Big huge time guilt. I also get to feeling guilty for not being able to focus on my husband and the lack of time/ability to exercise and lose weight. Yet, it can't be helped right now.

And when I find myself getting stressed because the throw pillows aren't in the right place, or the cooking utensils are in the wrong drawer, then Miss Perfectionist has taken residence. Where is the balance?!

I don't know! I do know that having a plan each day helps. But then the to do list can sometimes mock you when you've worked hard all day and not ONE single thing got done on that list. I also know that if you get up earlier, things go so much better. I am in the process of creating a new home management binder. It's smaller, or skinnier, as I am leaving my recipes in the older big one. Basically I am working on daily routines for myself and a weekly plan, because I have lost track of things a lot lately. Life will go much smoother if I can focus on these things. And then one day, suddenly things will get easier, and there will be more time for those things.

And then, I'll think wistfully upon my baby's newborn days, my three year old's cuteness, and be sad that it's gone :) Why do things work this way?!?

Anyways, if I am doing my absolute best, then I shouldn't have anything to feel guilty about. If I do, then I need to go to God's Word and read what He thinks about me, and resist the enemy. He'll leave if you resist and take the guilt with him.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!


momto9 said...


Mrs. Darling said...

Be careful of broad assumptions here. :) There are women who are believers and do all the woman in your paragraph does. I have a sister with 12 children who homeschools, grinds her own wheat and cornmeal, makes her cheese and yogurt, does her own sewing, teaches her children vast amounts of Scripture passages by memory, has a huge garden, lives on a massive dairy farm, cans all her own food, and on and on.

Now having said that I do agree that it is not wise to compare oneself with all the women you read out there. God has something that only you can do or you wouldnt be here. Your spot on earth is just as special as theirs and Gods plan for you just as great as His plan for them.

But back to my first paragraph, I just wanted to clarify that some women do all that and they are believers and yes, it does look very attractive and there really is no fly in the ointment to make it appear less attractive.

Anneatheart said...

Mrs. Darling,

Yes! I realize that there actually are women out there that do that, in fact I was thinking about your sister and the many Amish/Mennonite ladies who do those things and ARE believers.
However, I was just trying to point out that sometimes we (me) tend to look at the list of good things and accomplishments that some do, rather than the motive behind it :)
I wish I could do it myself! But, i have a different path at this point. I guess I was basically writing to myself.

Rose said...

Good post.I'm also in the process of tweaking my hmb binder. Looking forward to seeing yours if you share.