Stop Letting Perfectionism Steal Your Joy

My tired, temporary eyes can’t find something soothing to rest on. It’s too early, too dark, my brain too sleep-starved. The plates from last night’s dinner are in an unsteady pile by the sink, the full dishwasher asks to be emptied while my children ask to be filled, and so I serve oatmeal from a spaghetti-splattered microwave and breastmilk from my aching body, rubbing my eyes.

My eyes: they’re in this moment, which sounds like a good thing, but right now it feels like a trapped temporality—I’m stuck here. Stinging eyes see undone laundry, toys that I should repair, pantry appallingly disorganized—a household mismanaged, I suppose. Look deeper; you’ll see trim that wants painting, kitchen without backsplash (still), chairs with screws slowly loosening—a household always under construction.

Imperfection everywhere. If I’m honest, these trapped moments feel frequent and all-consuming sometimes. Raising babies comes with plenty of imperfection because babies don’t care about clean houses. Working from home and staying with my children enclosed by these same four walls gives my eyes too much time to study the drywall cracks on the bathroom ceiling and the slowly deteriorating paint on my living room furniture. Perfectionism wags its finger at me, showcasing my housekeeping (and other) failures like a nightmarish Vanna White. And the category is… how Emily is failing and has failed, circa 1990-2017.

I want things to be perfect. I want my house perfect, myself perfect. According to my Instagram feed, anything less is off-brand. Read more at gloryannaboge.com.