Perfectionism: the enemy of the homemaker.

Everyday the house gets out of hand, but it is possible to adapt to situations of “chaos” if we put our family happiness first.

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This past week, I again discovered the essence of homemaking. I spent four days in a camp with girls aged between 7 and 11 in a nearby city. The scene, a beautiful house near the sea. The ideal conditions for an unforgettable experience. Summer has just started!

After we arrived I was so occupied with the organization that I almost forgot why we were there. What reason did I have for organising that camp? Certainly I wanted them to keep order and to respect each other and to teach them many other good habits. However, this task took so much energy that I forgot what really mattered. Loving them was far more important than keeping things tidy or following the perfect schedule we had planned.

I am a perfectionist, it is really important to me that everything is in order and things are done the way they should be. I need to prepare everything and have control as much as possible. A big part of my perfectionism is because I’m passionate about giving my best to everything I do. I think when we set ourselves out to do something, we should do our best without compromising or giving excuses. But organization does not always equal perfection, and that is ok.

I defend true professionalism when it comes to house chores. However, I know that there are things far more important than the high standards I set for myself. It is preferable to be remembered as a person able to keep calm and enjoy family moments than being a neurotic perfectionist… and this I have to repeat to myself several times a day.

I always remember the moment Ron Weasly showed his friend, Harry Potter, “The Burrow” for the first time. Once they arrived at his family’s house, he said “It’s not much, but it is home”. And to his surprise, Harry was fascinated. Despite the fact that the house looked in perfect chaos, Harry could perceive the family love he had never seen at his aunt’s house. Because family love, and not order or perfection, is what makes a house a home.

Perfectionism can be our biggest enemy. We have to learn to accept that everyday the house gets out of hand. Occasionally, it is something too big to reach and it is ok not to be reachable… It is like the water that runs through your hands because it is impossible to hold. Most of the time the needs of the people in our family are much more important than a “flying sock” under the bed. Learning to deal with this imperfection with joy and calm is the essence of homemaking. The solution is to love so much that we can adapt to any situation for a greater good: our family happiness.

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