Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 17: Baby Shower

This is the opposite of the year of less – we had a Baby Shower.  We got some much needed items, like an ear thermometer and some pacifiers.  We had lots of fun and felt very loved by all our friends and family. 

In preparation, we spent lots of time cleaning and preparing food, so we did not have time to do anything related to the year of less.  Deal with it ;)

I do have something to admit though.

                I AM A PERFECTIONIST.  And it has gotten the best of me.


The shower was thrown by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law (THANK YOU GUYS!) and I, for some unknown reason, decided to offer our home for the location of the shower.  We love hosting and having people over, but our living room is not quite big enough for 25 people to sit comfortably.  Anyway, after the shower I felt miserable about the way I acted prior to the shower.  I am a perfectionist.  I know this about myself and most of the time I just brush it off as not a big deal.  But it really is.  Because of my perfectionism, people feel like I am unpleaseable.  Nothing is good enough for me. 

Knowing that I make people feel that way makes me cringe.

The night before the shower I took it upon myself to decorate and set up, even though I wasn’t in charge of the party.  The next day I mopped (which I rarely do), cleaned our dining room chairs, set up more, and made instructions for each of the games we were to play.  Again, I was not in charge of this party.  When my sister-in-law arrived I was whizzing around trying to get everything perfectly set up because I knew Jack would need to nurse soon.  I wanted to do everything myself.  I asked several times how certain things would be done.  I wanted to have everything ready to go 30mins before the party started so we could be ready and relaxed.  The fact that cupcakes were being frosted as people arrived made me feel like a failure (even though I wasn’t in charge of the party).  The idea of the food/drinks not being ready to eat as people arrived made me nervous beyond belief (even though I wasn’t in charge of the party).  My husband playing roller coaster tycoon for a little bit the morning of the party made me rude, bossy and eventually made me cry (even though there wasn’t much he could do for the party).

****(Justin's addition)  I worked a ten hour day before and then took her on a nice date and then cleaned the house until midnight the night before.  I fell asleep with our sick child and my methhead (actually, starbucks-caffinated) wife J cleaned all night.  A Little bit overboard.****

I think I yelled at my mother-in-law, made my sister-in-law feel like crap and made my husband feel that no amount of help he gave me was good enough.  Perfectionism has turned me into a perfect monster.

I am NOT perfect, by any means, but I do try to be.  I don’t want to anymore.

A while ago I was reading a book by Dr. Kevin Leman about birth order, specifically about firstborns.  I picked the book up again at an attempt to figure out how to become less of a perfectionist.  As I began reading, I realized how perfectly he was describing me in his chapters. 

“Don’t miss out on the wonderful opportunities that life has to offer because of perfectionism.”

Seriously.  I do.  When Jane got frosting and barbecue sauce on her face, all I wanted to do was clean her up so she looked presentable for pictures – all I needed to do was laugh it off and give her a hug.  When my mother-in-law apologized about being late, I told her not to worry about it with a tone that said it was not okay, but what I needed to do was truly forgive her and tell her everything was great!  When my husband helped me clean the entire house, instead of staying up later to do all the deep cleaning I thought needed to be done, I should have cuddled up in bed next to him with a thankful heart for such a clean and amazingly loving husband. 

I’ve got some work to do in this heart of mine.  Scratch that.  God has some work to do in this heart of mine!  The good thing is, I am ready.  I realize I am being unreasonable in my expectations of myself and others.  I realize I am controlling, bossy and rude.  I realize that I am the only one judging myself so intensely.  Dr. Leman suggests excellence instead of perfectionism; “Striving for excellence is reaching toward a goal that’s attainable and not stopping until you get there.  It’s deciding I’m going to do things as well as I possibly can.  Excellence is within reach.”

Please pray for me as I am on this journey to becoming less uptight and perfectionistic, and more relaxed, thankful, loving and able to enjoy the moments God has placed in my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment