On Perfection

Mondays are usually reserved for my weekly “how do you do it” series. Today, I’m taking a break. I think I just needed to get this out there and set the record straight – if only in my brain.

I am not perfect. I really, really, really want to be. But, alas, I am not. It took a professional therapist for me to realize it fully, though. Since childhood, it was hard-wired in me to excel at everything I did. While I believe part of it was my parents always wanting the best for me, I attribute my stubbornness and desire to “get it right” from my first-born status. I know this because I am the mom of a child who is starting to look a lot like me when it comes to perfection.

The reality is none of us like to fail. We all want to be good at something. And, the human in us wants to be good at lots of things. Problem is, God doesn’t give us all the same gifts. So as I peruse Pinterest, click around on Facebook, watch television and chat it up with my friends and neighbors I have come to realize that I, indeed, am not perfect. As someone recently commented on a blog I read, “We keep comparing our outtakes to everyone else’s highlight reels.”

As I document life here at Team Whitaker, I put a lot of myself out here in cyberspace. But I keep some of it back. I mean, who wants to read how I 100% completely lost it with my kids the other day and locked myself in the bathroom and cried for five minutes? I can’t vent about some people or situations because, well, I can’t. All y’all, for the most part, see my highlight reel. I do keep it real, but I reserve the ugly stuff for God. Somedays I do get it right and I am quick to blog about it. Who wouldn’t, right? Other days I get it wrong and I blog about it, hoping you get a good laugh and I save myself a therapy session. And on other days, I write it down and just before I hit “publish,” I delete it.

My reality is that if you come by my house on a Monday morning, it will look like a bomb went off in my living room. Monday is laundry day. I never make my bed, ever, unless I know someone is coming over. If you come by unannounced please don’t walk in my room. It’s never picked up. In fact, I leave my drawers open, my shoes all over the bathroom floor and my clothes are draped over the bathtub. It drives Scott bananas. Our closets aren’t always perfect, the kids aren’t always charming, I’m not always smiling and my prayer life is often a quick “Hail Mary” before I move on to the next disaster.

But, in 20 years when I look back on the blog and recount these stories to my kids, I want them to remember the highlight reel. I want them to see how much fun they had at Art Camp, how our library visit went all wrong and why the last day of school is the best day of the year. Shoot, I want to remember the highlight reel. I want to bask in the beauty of motherhood, not wallow in its shortcomings.

Here’s to every mom who woke up this morning feeling like a failure, like she’s one cup of coffee (or in my case, Dr Pepper) short of falling on her face. Today, it’s my prayer I begin to let a few things go. Today, I’ll give it all I have and then – as a sweet commenter said a few weeks ago – coast on God.


  1. Blair on July 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

    So good to remember! Thanks for keeping it real, Kathryn!

  2. Amber on July 16, 2012 at 9:48 am

    This was EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning…thank you! The online world has made it even easier for us to compare ourselves to others. Rather than counting our blessings, we instead count our shortfalls. We all need to remember that we are on our own journey.

    And I agree with you — the blog should be the highlight reel. Your kids will cherish these words throughout their lives! Have a great day, Kathryn!

  3. Molly on July 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

    It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other!

  4. Kathleen on July 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for putting it out there. I think people who blog know that we usually only write down the good stuff. However, I have non-blogging friends who think I’m wonderful just because they caught a 5 minute snippet on my blog cooking with one of my kids. What they don’t see is the reality part of the other 15 hours of the day. I yell, my house is a MESS, and I spend WAY too much time on the computer. Ugh….the imperfection!

  5. Carrie on July 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I {heart} this post! In the blogging world, it is easy to forget that no one is perfect.

    • Kathryn on July 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Very well said, Carrie.

  6. Scott on July 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You are perfect to me!

  7. Mothering From Scratch on July 18, 2012 at 6:28 am

    {Kathy} “Leaving the ugly stuff for God” is a great way of talking about restraint in the blogging world. It is as if the extremes are represented: highlight reels and scary confessions. Somewhere in the middle is where we need to stay. We don’t harm people then, either by portraying something unrealistic or something inappropriate.

  8. Nicole on July 18, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Hi friend… Thanks for keeping it real and for being such an encouragement to all of us… I once had a sibling comment to me that I only put the good stuff on our blog. I talked to a dear friend about it, and her response was… “Really, do we want to remember the bad?” So grateful for you!

  9. LuAnne on July 19, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I’m so glad I clicked on your twitter link! I really needed to hear this today!


  10. Michelle on July 19, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Excellent post, and one of your best…although it’s hard to pick. I’ve been away a while, busy with life, and it was nice to catch up. Virtual encouragement to Luke and all of you. He is making AMAZING progress! I can’t possibly truly imagine how it feels facing all his various challenges and also enjoying his uniquely glorious personality, but I can definitely tell you’re getting it more right with him and all your kiddos much more often than you’re getting it wrong! Blessings!

  11. Kathryn on July 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Oh my sweet stars. Each one of your comments made me grateful for the life I’m living and the people in it. Thank you!

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