Confessions of a recovering perfectionist

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Shira commented on a recent post that she wishes she could have a little of "my potion for perfection." I smiled and laughed out loud when I read that comment. First, thank you Shira--you actually made my day. Secondly, I have a confession to make...MY HOUSE IS MESSY! And I am disorganized these days!

Yup, that is right. I used to be a perfectionist. Oh yes. My medicine cabinet was alphabetized, my pantry was perfectly organized, there wasn't any goopy stuff on the shelves in my frig! You could drop by my house at any time of day or night and it was pretty immaculate. In fact, one day my husband suggested that we mess things up a bit just to seem more welcoming. A cleaning woman once told me that she heard my house would be the best job to get because it is already so clean.

Those days are long gone. Somehow with two kids I kept it together. I could still get it all done. But oh about 9 months ago that all changed. First, the school papers started piling up. Then, I noticed the receipts from shopping were not getting filed. Finally, there was a lump of clothes on my once pristine closet floor (GASP!). I was driving myself crazy trying to get it all back together. Then I decided to let it go. I thought...I could make myself exhausted and stressed over trying to have a perfect house OR I could get on the floor and play with my toddler. I am on the floor a lot. And yes, you could still drop by any day or night but you'd see a "lived in" home now. I figure it will look this way until Kate is in pre-school. By the way, my closet is still arranged by season and color--light to dark. I am not THAT messy! Although, there are usually some clothes and bags on the floor these days.

Now, if only I could get Kate to do a little more of this...


or this....I might be able to get back to my perfectionistic ways!



Like mother, like daughter.


  1. Ha, I have never posted before, but I am with you. I consider myself a recovering type A, but since the adoption of my two toddlers, forget it! I feel your pain, but admire your choice. The floor is a much better place to spend your time:)


  2. Too cute! Growing up, my mom had a "Bless this Mess" sign that she would break out at times to make sure people knew, she knew it was messy. But it really was never messy, just not to her standard. It's hard when you have such high standards! I love "lived in" homes, SO much cozier!

    She is too cute!

  3. I too have learned to let it go. Like Shelby has said it is much better to spend the time on the floor making memories than cleaning it up.

    PS: Stop by my blog I have nominated you for an award....

  4. I truly believe that children break that Type A personality down, and in a very good way. I'm so glad to hear that you have piles of school papers and receipts, just like me!

  5. Oh you crack me up!! I have never been that organized but I always have wanted to be. I gave up years ago on the during the day cleaning. I usually just keep things kind of picked up and then after the kids are in bed I do a big clean up where I put toys and other stuff away. I am now living (which by the way is driving me crazy but I am trying to get over it) with a big Little Tykes climber in my family room. Mia love is and it provides her with a lot of play fun therefore I am trying to not let it bug me but it does. I think our home is cozy and lived in. If you stop by midday you will see toys everywhere. Kitchen is clean (ish) and the house is generally clean but toys take over everything. Anyway, it takes a lot to let it go and good for you for doing that!!

    Christy :)

  6. Thank you! I needed that!
    First, you made me laugh with the pics of Kate "reading" her magazine, but second you made me feel a little less horrible about the fact that my house is less than perfect these days. (I used to be a bit of a perfectionist myself, but not even CLOSE anymore.)
    I always think that when Lily is older I would prefer her to remember her childhood as one where her momma was good at puzzles and books - rather than at cleaning the house.
    (It would be great if I could be good at both - still workin' on that)
    P.S. You are doin' a great job, momma.

  7. Very cute post, Kim. And oh how I can relate!! Good for you for allowing yourself the joy of keeping it as close to perfect as it can get with three little ones running around.

    I am a floor mom - always have been, always will be:) Now, I have to go clean up the toys and run a brush through my hair before I step out into the world...


  8. I'm right there with you! My mother-in-law once told me something a long time ago that I'll never forget, she said, "Lisa, your kids will never remember how clean their house was growing up, but they will remember the time and attention that you gave them." That put things into perspective for me. So when I have a pile of clothes to fold, dishes to put away etc., and my kids want to play, I let those sit and I play with my kids!

  9. Hi, Kim -- I can totally relate to this post. I was completely organized BC (Before Children) and my house was always neat and tidy. I am very Type A so this is how I prefer to live. However, I soon realized after Kamree was born that I just had to let the little things go or I was going to go crazy. After 18 months (and after retraining myself), I am actually enjoying my kids in our messy environment. The only time I really pick up all of the toys and clutter is when expecting company. Otherwise, you enter at your own risk!

  10. Your not alone....there are other's like you out there, like moi....(gasp)

  11. A woman after my own heart! See my recent post about the gift my father gave me for Christmas. Enjoy Kate and clean the house later!

  12. My house is 'lived in' as well. With 3 kids and 2 pups, I would drive myself insane otherwise! I love the vacuum pic! Last Christmas I got Sophia a purple Dyson vac just like mine, and she still gets it out to vacuum when I do. Adorable!

  13. You are too funny! Thanks for this post. You made my day!


  14. you are too funny!!
    my emi told me the other day ( did i already tell you this?) that our house was too neat & tidy, that she was embarassed to have people over because our house is too clean...oh please

  15. I feel a little bit better now knowing that I'm not the only one out of control sometimes...
    Yet somehow I feel you are a little bit modest, you have a wonderful magazine like family and house, your kids are so well behaved and you are always smiling on the pictures. Good for you!!!
    I have three toddlers and I'm over my head,most days I have a migrane and on occasions my house is spotless. Will you come over and help? LOL :)

  16. I am very similar, I have to have the house clean. Now and then things will get out of place, but it doesn't last for long. However, I know that will change the day we get our daughter. I'm sure your time on the floor is much more fun! Great photos of Kate, she is just so cute!


  17. Oh Kim, can I PLEASE see a picture of your closet?? :) I love that you can share this, and enjoy the moment you are in right now. If you stopped by our house, I think it would pretty much look the same, lived in and cozy, it's HOME!!

    (I cannot wait to be on the floor!!)

  18. I hope you got that I was just kidding about seeing a picture of your closet :)


  19. Maybe she will be an interior designer!!! Oh and don't worry about the house, the kids need a little mess to appreciate when it is immaculate!!!


  20. Another very cute and oh so true post! I wish I could attest that I am also a type A, but alas, I'm a type B to the extreme especially when it comes to cleaning, specifically mopping the floors. I do it because I absolutely have to to keep my type A husband sane, but don't you hate it when it's nice and sparkly clean and then spaghetti sauce splats all over it or the dog does something to it that it hasn't done in years! Just kind of makes you say why the effort when it's going to get yucky again as soon as I'm done. One of the many joys/sorrows of life with toddlers and every age inbetween. Kate looks so adorable reading Southern Accents. She is so very fashionable! She gets that from her Mommy I'm sure.
    Kim and Katiebug

  21. Boy, I need to be a little more like you. Our house is clean for the most part, but we have too much clutter. With all of the kids and their things and my's crazy. We'll get everything organized and then a week later we're at ground zero again.
    I just love Kate's clothes...they are SO cute!

  22. Oh you made me laugh, and you took the words right out of my mouth. I just give in when all of us are here, I want my house to be a home, and with that comes the mess. I would love to see that closet of yours, I bet it is lovely. I wish we lived close so that I could just stop by for a visit!

  23. P.S.
    Your header looks great, and I was in Whole Foods today, I thought of you the whole time I was in there, I picked that Omega stuff that you recommended for Myah!

  24. love the way the blog is looking great job! Love all the pics.

  25. I'm also recovering :) It's hard to let it go sometimes but I do. My dh was way more of a perfectionist when we met but after our son was born he realized that if our house wasn't "perfect" it really didn't matter and it doesnt. Great pics by the way :)

  26. Ha! You are so funny! You would probably have a heart attack if you saw the state of my home. In my dreams I would dream of my home being in the state that yours is now.... oh, if only I could be more like you Kim....
    Now..... COULD KATE EMMERSON BE ANY CUTER?!?!?! I think not! And you dress her sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooodarling!!!

  27. She is precious! How did you do your blog?(if you want to tell me! If fine not it is OK)I have been trying to forever!

  28. Oh boy, do I understand! Well, you are definitely doing the right thing being on the floor with Kate and enjoying that time.
    I'm the same way with my closets and pantries,(no surprise there) and have to make sure my home isn't too neat at times too. It's quite sick actually.
    It's a blessing to have a family to mess it up~ that's what makes a house a home. :)
    I love the picture of Kate vacuuming, what a great help she is!

  29. Oh, and what a beautiful post for your friend Staci, she sounds like a wonderful friend and mother.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her! :)

  30. I'm picturing a smug housekeeper kicking back in your basement chatting on the phone with her friends and enjoying a little snack, then cheerily waving goodbye to the children, and tossing you a "See you next week!"
    I myself have got a few closets that would make anyone gasp!

  31. I love this post.... I am glad to hear that the closet hasn't gotten out of control... If you don't surrender that I would say you are doing fantastic!!!!
    Praying for sleep for both of us!


  32. Admitting is the first step to recovery...

    You will NEVER regret getting on the floor with Kate--even if at the time you do see the dust bunnies...


  33. We call it the Clean Gene in our family, and I think my DNA has gone whacko lately, because I'm living in Messy Land too these days!

  34. OK, if these pictures show the messy house side of you, you are never allowed to come to my house! I actually can't live in clutter or mess though, so I do keep things pretty cleaned out (I am a purger, definitely not a hoarder!) but some days I wonder what I do all still looks like a mess at the end of the day...but we've had a fun day and yes, that's what they'll remember.

  35. Oh, can I ever relate?????!!!!!!
    However, these precious "mommy days" pass by way too quickly, so I applaud you for crawling onto that floor with your precious little one! You will always treasure those moments in your heart!

    You are such a fabulous mommy and I can honestly feel that love for your children each time I read your posts!

    Bless you, my friend!

  36. Your daughter is precious!!

    I loved your pictures, the snow was beautiful. I only see this in pictures!!

    Blessings to you this TT!

  37. yes...things have changed here as well with two little ones AND a teenager! That's just life! ;)

  38. You don't know how happy you've made me with this post!


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