Sometimes I have skid marks.
There. It’s all out in the open. I said it.
I mean, it isn’t something that I’m necessarily proud of, but it’s something that’s become absolutely necessary.
Here’s the thing. I’m a self-diagnosed recovering perfectionist. That means in the earlier years of my life, my mind was consumed with trying to figure out how I could keep my house perfectly clean and organized at all times. And it only got worse after having children. I made sure that not a single thing was out of place and everything got cleaned on a schedule, including my toilets.
Skid marks did not happen.
But now, now sometimes I have skid marks. And this is why it’s OK.
Almost 7 months ago, I found myself buried deep in the darkness of postpartum depression. And in those first dark months, almost nothing got cleaned. It took everything in me just to get out of bed, let alone scrub the toilets and sweep my floors. I heard the crunch of Cheerios under my feet as I walked across the kitchen floor and had laundry overflowing in the baskets for weeks (everyone almost had to buy new underwear). And yes, there were definitely skid marks in the toilet bowls.
Now that I’m a few more months into this whole depression thing, things are starting to get a little cleaner around here, but it’s far from perfect. I’ve come to realize that just how much having a clean and organized home ranked in my heart compared to quality, present time with my family. And for what? So that our house could look picture perfect while we sat in the living room and didn’t mess anything up? There has to be a happy medium, and for me that’s been found in reevaluating my priorities one day at a time, sometimes hour by hour. And often times that means picking and choosing what gets done around the house. But for a recovering-perfectionist, that can seem like the end of the world.
Until I see these faces, and I remember that they are my world. Then suddenly the skid marks don’t seem so world-ending.
So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed by the dishes in your sink, the never-ending piles of laundry, your crumb scattered floors, the fingerprint covered windows, and the dining room table that seems to constantly be covered in clutter, remember to take a few moments to look at the faces of those you clean for. And remember that it’s them you have been entrusted with first, not your skid mark stained toilets.
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