If you were to walk into my house right this very moment I wonder what you would think. Would you think me a terrible homemaker because the dishes sit drying in the rack on the counter instead of put away neatly inside the cabinets? Would you look at the pile of stuff sitting on the dining room table and wonder why it’s not put away somewhere out of the way? Would you shake your head as you look out my window into the backyard and see the array of outdoor toys scattered across the grass?
Here’s the thing: life is busy. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Somehow we manage to squeeze a lot into one day; school, two jobs, home cooked meals and homework. That’s not including soccer practices, physio appointments and dishes. Yet it’s still not enough. Something has to give and each and every day I have to make choices about what is going to be sacrificed. In all honesty, as often as possible, chores get placed on the back burner.
I’m a bit of an odd perfectionist. The idea of perfect is what I’m obsessed with. Nothing ever ends up perfect but so much of my life is spent trying to align everything to ensure perfection ensues. The vision I have in my mind is beautiful and is almost always impossible for me to achieve. Yet, I often feel like a failure when reality isn't a reflection of my imagined utopia.
It’s usually as I scan through social media photos or Pinterest when I start feeling defeated. Logically I'm aware that all the photos I am scanning through are just a tiny peak into someone’s life. The little slice they are allowing the world to view, usually filtered and always taken at just the perfect angle. It’s the irrational side of me that will sometimes take a look around my own house and wonder if I’m doing something wrong.
You would think with as much time as I spend scrolling through Pinterest my parties would be visually award winning but they aren't always even worthy of a re-pin. After many a late night spent trying to figure out the best way to lay out my party snacks I've learned that all it takes is good food, fun music and great company to throw a successful party.
I have wasted so much energy trying to be perfect in every aspect of my entire life. I have stressed that my house isn’t tidy enough. I’m ashamed of the piles of clean laundry sitting in baskets just waiting to be put away. I run around every evening like a crazy person trying to clean, organize, help with homework, cuddle and make sure I add a little fun in there. I have tried and tried and tried to do it all, often unsuccessfully and always frantically.
I’ve had to make some choices. They seem like hard decisions to make but in fact they are not difficult at all. I choose my family. I choose to go for bike rides after dinner. I choose to read a couple extra stories at bed time. I prefer to colour with my kids and go for frozen yogurt. I want to enjoy extra cuddles and giggles and fun. I would prefer to make memories at my parties than spend the entire time worried that my loot bags aren't perfectly arranged.
So if I’m going to be judged because my house doesn’t look like it’s straight out of a home décor magazine then so be it. What it lacks in organization it makes up for in love. My parties may not have Martha Stewartesque detail but I promise fun is had, memories are made and there is always laughter.
I’m usually tripping over a pile of shoes as I come in the door at the end of the day and swearing under my breath, but I am always welcomed home by a bombardment of hugs and kisses. Those are worth every stumble I make.
Instagram filters can do wonderful things. Sometimes I have to remind myself that what I see is filtered, posed and perfected. My life is far from picture perfect, it’s flawed, messy and even more beautiful than any photo can ever capture.