Thursday, January 19, 2012

(Day 18) the lies.

(I wrote this a week ago, but it never felt right to post. Until today)
I have been thinking a lot about this post. I write it in my head while I clean, or have a particularly bad or hard day when I feel like a failure. Which I will admit, happens. I will write it today while my kids are {finally} both asleep even though I should be napping, cleaning the house or making dinner. But I have to get this out. I need to write this for myself, to convince myself of something. This is part 1 of a couple blogs on the same subject I want to write. But I need to start now. Because I have a bad habit and it will kill me if I am not careful. 
while I sit in a messy house
the kids and I are still in our PJs
I haven't eaten breakfast
or taken a shower
and it's 11:00am
all I can think about is
All the other mothers I know
with their constantly clean house
kids with their perfect, clean clothes
Enjoying a healthy meal
While she sits at the table in a beautiful outfit
 Wearing pearls
And it's 8:30am.

And then I feel like a failure. My home with overflowing dirty laundry and dirty dishes, even though I try with everything I have to keep it clean and organized. I spend almost every spare second doing that, but to no avail. My 2 kids under 2 take all my time. I have an excuse, right? But yet I can't cut myself slack. Whenever things don't go perfectly, I think about everyone else and how things must always go perfect. Because that is what I see. 
But in reality?
I am sure that things don't always go perfectly. I am sure they sit in their jammies, with their house a mess and their kids running around in a diaper just as often. We are so hard on ourselves. We assume perfection in everyone else and cast so much judgement on ourselves. Truth is, no one is perfect. No one's life is how we  imagine. We need to get past the lies that we tell ourselves.
That we aren't good enough
That we aren't perfect enough
That we aren't strong enough
That we aren't special enough.
Life isn't about "perfection". It is about living and enjoying our life. How can we truly enjoy our life and live if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and lying to ourselves? I am a firm believer in a quote that I read the other day. "Comparison is the thief of joy". Truer words have never been spoken. If we compare ourselves, we feel less about ourselves and then we will not feel true joy. 
Everyone has hard days
Everyone isn't perfect
Everyone is allowed to have hard days
Everyone has low moments
that is not failure. That is life.

So my bad habit? The stress of not being "perfect". Of not having a "perfect" house 24/7. Of not having "perfect" meals every night at 5pm. Of not having "perfect" clothes. Of not having a "perfect" life. I am done. I am done expecting perfection out of myself all the time. I am done not giving myself breaks. I am my worst critic and I am done.
Hi. My name is McKenna and I am done comparing myself to women that don't exist. 
I am done living under the shadow of a lie.
I am done allowing this lie to dictate my life and steal my joy because I compare my life to it.
My life is perfect, mess and all,
 and I love it.

Part of the day my house looks like this:
Richard came home for a quick dinner break while I was folding laundry
And part of the day my house looks like this:
3 hours later after my nightly cleaning (not that it took that long to clean haha) before the kids bedtime. Richard had just gotten back from school. we were happy.
And thats ok.

Because this is what really matters:
Happy, healthy, loving family.
Not a perfectly clean house 24/7.

Do any of you feel the same way? What helps you "snap" out of it when you start comparing yourself to others?

p.s. these pictures are from yesterday (1/18), so I am a day behind, but I decided to post it today so I was current. I will post pictures from today and tomorrow on tomorrows post to even it out.


  1. I don't know what you are talking about. I always sit around eating breakfast in my perfectly clean house wearing pearls..... or not. LOL I totally know what you mean, and I only have one kiddo to worry about right now!! I am constantly pushing myself to keep my house spotless because I feel like it's what a perfect mom would do. You are not alone in this! Thanks for posting about you every days. It brings me back to reality.

  2. McKenna, I read your blog often. I don't know why, but I always want to. Maybe it's because your life is everything mine isn't... staying at home, children laughing and screaming, a "messy" house, supporting a husband who is attending school. I don't have any of that and it feels like a glimpse into a life that I am so looking forward to starting some day.

    I want you to know that in all of my reading, I always knew your life wasn't perfect. No one's life is, but I struggle with the same thing. Until very recently, I cared so much about having the perfect job, house, everything, that I let suck the joy out of life and it hurt a lot of my relationships. Then I realized that for every day I wasted worrying and comparing, I lost hours and moments of my life that I could have filled with joy. My mom posts inspirational quotes around our house and I remind myself of one of them when I am tempted to compare and wallow away in self-pity:

    "This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good." - Author Unknown

    I know you do well at filling your hours with joy because you post a lot of really great things. Just remember, none of us is perfect. Not one. Also remember how very beautifully blessed your life is. Thanks for sharing your struggles. You are not alone in this at all.

  3. I think more people live the messy chaotic life than we think. I mean I didn't even get a chance to shower yesterday until both girls were asleep!! Thanks for writing this!

  4. McKenna, I love this post. It reminds me of an article I read the other day:
    2011 Lesson #2 : Don’t Carpe Diem

  5. Thanks, Kenna. I needed this reminder today. Just the two of us manage to make our house messy.

  6. Love the post! The funny thing is I always put you in that category of clean home, perfect kids, healthy meals, cute outfit... I've never seen your place like that. But somehow it makes us women feel better to know we are not the only ones and to know that the women we think are perfect (you) are actually very much like ourselves! When my house is a mess (which is like all the time) I just remind myself that my kids will more likely remember the memories we are making every day!! You are an awesome mom/wife/example! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. I used to compare myself with a lady I'll call "Paula Perfect", she had a similar number of kids, and was a similar age, but she seemed to do all that I did, PLUS earn money giving music lessons, have a vegetable garden, run for exercise every morning and be fit and trim with her hair and clothing looking great all the time.
    So, I decided I would test my perception by asking her.
    She laughed and shared that the garden in front of their home was cared for by her father in law, that her husband watched the kids each morning to give her a chance to exercise (mine was not willing to do that as he was/is a work-a-holic and had so much work he wanted to do that he left early and returned late)- while her husband taught school and so was home early,
    --- she did have a better system in training her kids (her oldest were four girls, while I had two boys then two girls)to be responsible by having them do specific chores around the house.
    ---She shared with me a list of the meals they had had the last week, and she wasn't serving the gourmet meals I imagined- but also had a night of Mac and Cheese too.
    --- she had never had a challenge with her weight, and she had very easy pregnancies and TONS of energy all the time, while I had struggles to just get through each day, and my body hurt all the time (fibermiliagia ((sp))I learned later- among other things)
    --- anyway-- yes, we tend to compare ourselves at OUR WORST, with others at THEIR BEST,
    what a downer!
    --- None of us have the same situations, our histories are different, our bodies and our spouses and our kids, and our houses, etc ALL is different. About the only thing the same is that we live in the same nation-- but where in each town, or even which apartment in a complex can make a difference! (neighbors noisy/not or lots of stairs, or less storage etc!)
    "comparisons are odious" my mother used to say-- and the only time we should be comparing is our selves to our selves to discover what works best or something we are considering buying or doing!

  8. "An immaculate house is the sign of a wasted life"
    there are systems that can help us do things easier and FLY LADY (Finally Loving Yourself)on line has a lot to choose from.
    One that she has I am still working to do-- it is just about the dishwasher (I love it that I have one where we are living now!) She says, to run it last thing at night, (or as soon as it is full enough)) and empty it first thing in the morning- (as ASAP) then Immediately put soap in the dispenser and as dishes get dirty, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher then, you never have any dirty in the sink! AMAZING! I love it! (ok you may have to was a pot that won't fit in the dishwasher).
    I am still on the look out in my gramahood, to find easier ways to keep my home clean. This morning, I admit, I just shoved the mostly folded sheets into the linen closet. :( -- I want to go back and with a felt pen, label each corner of every sheet, with K, Q, F, T - then label the shelves the same, as it is a pain to open a sheet and find it is the wrong one. I may switch to keeping the sheets for each bed in the closet of the room they go in. Before, I have put them in plastic bags under the beds too. Another trick I discovered, is putting all of a sheet set, top, bottom & extra case if full or larger , inside a pillow case of the set, then with the seam edge of the case labeled, I KNOW if I have the right size. ( I need to downsize to a smaller house!!!!)

  9. Kenna, I think you are doing everything just perfect. Just about any changes I could possibly think of would be a bad thing. I love and appreciate you honey. Thank you for all that you do!!!

  10. LOVE this post! (and your goal of a pic a day :D)While I was reading it I was thinking of a song my mom would sing all the time in our home. It was from a CD my Grandpa got me when I was younger and I can't find it to buy it for my mom, driving me nuts, but anyways! The song is called "You don't have to can to get to Heaven." Here are the lyrics: "There are cobwebs in the corner, jelly on the floor. My laundry hasn't been caught up since 1984. Next door I have a neighbor who cans peaches by the ton. She made her children's play clothes, she says her laundry's done. I used to let it bother me.
    I searched the good book 'ore. My research is conclusive, I never knew before. You don't have to can to get to heaven. Goodness can't be measured in a jar. You don't have to sing or sew or wash your garden hose. You'll make it. Be the best of who you are.
    I should be washing windows, I'd rather write a song. I'd rather hold a child's hand, it won't be little long. We've got to stop comparing, don't fill your mind with doubt. Do the things that matter most. Do the things that count.

    Way to recognize this McKenna :) It's so easy to compare, thanks for helping me to realize how I need to stop! :D

  11. i think you took the words out of my mouth! Love this post and I love reading your cute little blog!

  12. Mckenna this was so beautiful to read. I am completley insipired about not comparing myself to others I totally do it too. I'm in such a different point in my life but I still relate to your story so much. I started to tear a good way. I'm gonna be honest old friend I miss you and we had a lot of great times in High School. I am so happy for you and Richard. That is what life is about. Finding that missing link that appreciates and loves you. I will continue to read this and one day I hope to have my own blog about my family :)

    1. This is Laura from High School I haven't made an account yet!


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