Thursday, April 19, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Perfection

P is for Pretty tired of this challenge right about now. And yes, I’m a day behind. But at this point I’m determined to Push through. So, on to P.

Sometimes it’s okay to do things “half-assed”. I know. That sounds slack and lazy. But hear me out. We do want to do things with excellence. But sometimes the best way for me personally to do better is to embrace mediocrity. What I mean is, when I stop striving for perfection, I actually end up doing better.

This A to Z blog challenge is the perfect (sorry) example. Several times I’ve gotten behind and had to post the next day or post two in one day. If I’d decided to either do it perfectly or not at all, I would have given up the first time I messed up – probably around day 3. And I’ve been less than satisfied with some of my posts, but I’ve just had to let it go. And just do it. Imperfectly.

I read an excellent blog about perfection in parenting recently. 
We let our perfectionism interfere with our relationships with our children. We’re so imperfect, yet often we expect our children to be perfect. We fuss at them for getting dirty or for bad table manners or for not listening. But they, even more than we are, are growing and learning. Expecting perfection from them frustrates everyone. Instead, we can embrace them exactly where they are and then lovingly guide them. (Instead of screaming at the top of our lungs, “This is the 50th time I’ve told you to clean your room! What’s wrong with your hearing?!” Not that I’ve ever done that.)

I can keep expecting to walk in and find his neat, perfect room cleaned exactly to my standards after having been told to clean it once. But all that’s really going to do is drive me insane. Accepting him and loving him in his imperfection is where I have to start if he’s ever going to be able to learn and grow.

One of the best gifts we can give ourselves and our children is to let go of perfectionism. We never reach it anyway and end up beating ourselves up half the time for falling short. Let it go. You’ll enjoy life more. I know I do.


  1. Kind of like what G.K. Chesterton said - "If something's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." :)

    I have to remind myself of that sometimes, being a bit of a perfectionist.

  2. I spend a lot of time making sure my kids know they don't need to be perfect, but I think I need to relax more about my expectations for myself in order for them to believe me.

  3. Enjoyed your post, never mind if you're behind, family and other things must take prioity.