I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist. Those of you who know me in real life know this already. I rarely do things perfectly but I constantly seek to. This is one of my personality traits, just as I am a planner, and very detail oriented. Being a perfectionist is not bad in and of itself but can be bad if you can't sometimes let things go.
As a mom of three, and a household manager of five, perfection is a unattainable goal. The members of my family are as diverse in personality as the colors of the rainbow. Some of my family members, while of course not perfect, handle this side of my personality well, other members of my family end up feeling like no matter what they do it is never good enough. This of course is not my goal.
Hubby is funny, in a smart aleck sarcastic way, but he is also loving, and caring, and an amazing best friend. I truly enjoy his company more than anyone else on this planet. He is not a planner, he is laid back, goes with the flow. He is not a perfectionist, he is a doer, he gets things done.
B is very similar in personality to me. Of course he is his own person, with his own traits, but he really is more like me than not, God help him! He does not seem to mind my perfectionism but probably since he is a lot like me.
Wyn is a different personality all together. She is not like me or hubby. Actually hubby says he sees a lot of his ex-wife's personality in Wyn. She is the middle child and often feels like she is stuck in the middle, not the oldest and in charge but not the baby and coddled. She is a bit of a pleaser and she gets most frustrated when she spends time cleaning her room and I find 10 more things that need done.
FiFi is very similar in personality to hubby. They both are more quiet and reserved in personality, until they are comfortable with you. FiFi is generally a very compliant child but more emotional than any of my other two children, as the slightest thing sends her to tears. She doesn't seem as bothered by my quest for perfection but sometimes simply asking her to clean her room can send her to tears so you never really know.
As a mother and wife, I have to balance my needs with the needs of my family. I struggle with my need for everything to be perfect. I want my kids to look nice, with matching clothes, and clean faces, and brushed hair. I want my kids to be well behaved but I think I have realistic expectations for how nine and seven year olds behave. My biggest struggle recently is in keeping the house clean. My kids think everything thrown about is a fine way to live. Hubby can step over the trash on the floor and wet towels on the floor. I cannot!
I know some people will say, "give up, just let your kids rooms be disasters and just focus on the rest of your your house." I have tried this. It simply does not work for me. I cannot handle the clutter! I am not a crazy clean freak myself but the clutter makes me crazy. I can handle clutter to a certain degree but when every room upstairs looks like a bomb went off I refuse to just leave it like that day after day. The thing I cannot understand is how is gets so messy so quickly. Within in an hour or two it looks like a bomb has went off again. It is not just toys, it is trash, it is dirty laundry, it is wet towels, and it is just too much.
I know it is their age but I do not understand why they cannot clean up an activity when they are done with it, before they move the next activity. It really is not that hard and would make picking up their rooms at the end of the day a snap.
So moms, weigh in. What are your house rules? Do you insist your kids pick up after themselves? Do you feel like a maid? Do your kids pitch in? Do you pay your kids allowance based upon their rooms being cleaned and helping around the house?
Generally my kids are very helpful and even help with household chores like taking out the trash or washing dishes when asked. I think they have gotten old enough that I need to institute some sort of chore chart and weekly allowance to manage it. In theory I think this would put the responsibility back on to them and leave everyone feeling less frustrated.