Messies Anonymous and other steps to freedom

I picked up a book at the library on Friday and God has used it to give me a huge breakthrough to walking closer to him in more freedom than ever.

You see, I thought I was a Messie. According to Mrs. Felton, on a scale of 0-10, on which 0 is disaster and 10 is perfection, Messies are 1-3, Cleanies are 7-10 and average housekeepers–those whose homes fall into disarray on occasion, but not often and not for long, merit a 4-6 rating.

0–No one cares to enter your house.
1–Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
2–If you had to, you could at least find one clean towel.
3–The dishes are clean, but stay out of the upstairs bath!
4–At least once a week, everything’s spotless- for a day.
5–You can read a book without overwhelming guilt.
6–The minister’s wife can drop over unexpectedly without panicking you.
7–You can hold elaborate luncheons twice a week and have everything neat by 3:30 p.m.
8–You gave away the dog and made the kids understand.
9–Your children aren’t allowed downstairs, except to eat (neatly).
10–No one dares to enter your home.

She implores us to strive to be a 4-6–a successful, average housekeeper. Their houses are satisfactory most of the time, varying with the circumstances. They don’t even think a lot about their houses; they just keep them up.

This is what is astounding for me. This is the revelation. Are you ready?

I already AM a successful, AVERAGE housekeeper. If anyone stopped by, any time, I would be pleased to have you. I would love to have you. Please, stop by. (I also really, really like company and someone to talk to)

I just struggle so much with perfectionism. I NEVER feel like what I do is good enough. I have never been able to be ok with good enough. I think, “I must do it right. I must do it perfectly.”

I think I somehow have to earn the privilege of staying home with my children. I have to keep a show home, or I’m not good enough. I have to make healthful nutritious meals from scratch, or I’m not good enough. I have to have well behaved, model children, or I have somehow failed as a mother.

Sometimes, I can recognize those lies, but sometimes, I can’t.

God did give me some wonderful skills and abilities, but right now, while I’m learning to conquer this perfectionistic part of me that takes all the fun out of life, I’m going to strive to be successfully average.

And it will be wonderful.

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9 thoughts on “Messies Anonymous and other steps to freedom

  1. I loved this post. I completely understand everything you are saying and totally relate. It has taken a lot of prayer and talking and time to get me to a point where I am able to accept less then perfect. When my kids got old enough to start misbehaving I really struggled because I started taking all of that and placing it on myself. I have only just recently figured out that just because they misbehave sometimes it doesn't mean that I am a bad mom. I even get so bad sometimes that I end up getting frustrated with things I actually really enjoy, like knitting. It took a few weeks for me to realize that it would be alright if I decided not to knit everyone in my family a winter set, I am still trying to convince myself actually. So all that to say…I am right there with you.

  2. I hear you loud and clear. Staying at home is *my* job so I also think everything should run like a well oiled machine….just like when I had a *real* job. That is why full time parenting/homemaker is such a trip for me because I CANT MAKE IT RUN like the machine I used to. Its so hard but each week I make inroads into coping with it. I agree with Heater – I did Flylady for a season and it really taught me so much.

  3. Your kids will not remember if the dishes aren't done or the floor isn't cleaned. They will remember you took them to story hour, painted faces and had friends and family over to play. Who wants to be remembered for having vaccuum lines in your carpet!? I don't!

  4. Awesome post…I needed to hear that…I have a 6 month old and a 5 year old and I feel that I should cook more and have a perfect house, even though I am totally average as well. Thank you!! 🙂

  5. "I think I somehow have to earn the privilege of staying home with my children. I have to keep a show home, or I'm not good enough. I have to make healthful nutritious meals from scratch, or I'm not good enough. I have to have well behaved, model children, or I have somehow failed as a mother."
    I struggle with this daily…it's just lately that I've started to overcome it. I would love to become successfully average, too.

  6. I've always admired you as a mom who seems to have a good balance on life. You let your kids be kids and make them a huge priority in your life. I think your doing things pretty A OK! Glad you got some affirmation from this book.

    This was a great post… any chance you'd want to link it up at my weekend thoughts carnival this Sat? It'd be perfect!!

  7. This is great – I could have written this. I constantly struggle with this – but each bout comes a little further apart and I sink a little less deeper. Wow – the "have to make everything from scratch" is so me sometimes… 🙂 Blessings!

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