We all know someone like that, or we think we know her, and we secretly hate her. She’s Mrs. Perfect. We would never want to invite her to our house, where we have junk drawers, kids’ toys trapped between the cushions of our sofas, and we serve frozen pizza to our children, who are lucky to find a clean shirt in the drawer, let alone something that matches. We won’t even discuss hair.
We measure ourselves by some impossible standard - the standard of perfection - and come up short every time. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I spent a good portion of my children’s preschool years trying to attain perfection with my home, and all I had to show for it was exhaustion and a serious case of the grumpies. I’ve come to this conclusion:
If “good is the enemy of the best,” then I say that “perfect is the enemy of ‘good enough.’”When you are truly living in your home, especially if that home includes children of any age, you are going to have to be satisfied with ‘good enough,’ or you will positively go insane. You can’t keep every fingerprint off your windows, every toy put away, every pair of scissors out of child’s reach. Unless you plan on living in a museum, at some point you have to “settle” on a reasonable ground for cleanliness and organization - the “good enough.”
Does this mean we shouldn’t try? Of course not.
Being able to find what you need, and knowing things are clean can contribute to the feeling of peacefulness - of being “home.“ But I would not wish for anyone to confuse housekeeping (planning, organizing and cleaning) with homemaking (loving, cherishing and teaching).
Housekeeping is one job of the homemaker, but it is not an end unto itself. A homemaker (who, by the way, does not necessarily have to be a stay-at-home mom - we are ALL homemakers) uses housekeeping skills, and can improve them over time, to further the higher purpose of showing love to her family.
Okay, and now I’m off to clean house - until it’s just good enough!