Strive for Balance (Do Not Think in Terms of All or Nothing)

For perfectionists, we tend to want to do everything right—or we won’t do it at all.  If we can’t be perfect, then we will be perfectly imperfect.  So if you tend to get caught up in the trap of wanting everything or nothing to be a certain way, try to see that there is so much more middle ground that can be equally if not more pleasing than the extremities of production.  As this relates to raising children well, it helps to have goals (developmental, emotional, academic) for each child to help give direction, but remember that balance is the real goal—not a specific achievement.  Strive for balance in your own life, too.  There will always be housework to do and messes to clean up.  We know that we will get to all of this because this is how we are—we care, and we want to do things well.  So when we truly can’t get to all of it (because that is the nature of our lives right now—our children are the sum of what we do, pretty much), it helps to remember that balance is the objective—not being able to check things off a checklist per se.  Balance.  Emotional and mental balance.  Work-life-relationship balance.  Parenting and personal balance.  Seek to find the middle with things, and generally it will be better than the result of perfectionistic compulsions.

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