One of the hardest parts of being a parent, for me anyway, has been to learn to let things go. I have a small case of self-diagnosed OCD, or as I once read somewhere, CDO…in alphabetical order the way it should be (credit to the author, whoever you are). It probably came from my Mother, who used to have me iron our napkins for dinner and have the house vacuumed so that you could see the lines in the carpet. She’s the most neat and organized person I know, so I blame her for my obsessive need to have lists for EVERYTHING. I have so many lists, that I have lists for lists. But, having kids has made it a lot tougher to check things off them.
I used to do laundry when there was enough clothes for one load, now I am cued to start the washer when the laundry chute gets backed up to the second floor, or when my husband tells me he’s out of underwear, whichever comes first. I used to vacuum every day, but now I wait until my son’s shirt is indistinguishable from the dog’s fur coat, and it is not unusual for the breakfast dishes to sit in the sink until dinner. Or, for there to be so many toys scattered about that it appears a tornado came right through the middle of the house and hit the kids’ toy box, but left the roof. This is not to say I’m a slob. On the contrary. These are the things that drive me crazy on a daily basis. But, to fret over them only puts me one step closer to certifiable insanity. A while ago, my husband told me that it shouldn’t matter what the house looks like, but did I read to our son today? Did I play with the kids? Did I make them healthy food to eat? Did I keep them safe? Since then, I have tried to redefine my standards and am doing my best not to wish things were perfect. Because, if things were perfect, nothing could be better. And, then what would I put on my lists?