Good enough, Part 2

Older daughter:  Mommy, why are there smiley faces in the dust at the base of the computer?

Me:  Because your brother thought it would be funny to draw smiley faces in the dust at the base of the computer.


After my (thankfully internal) response to my daughter watching me just sit, I started to wonder: how much is enough when it comes to housework? It’s different, obviously, when you’re up and able-bodied and not wandering around in a slightly zombified state due to lack of sleep; the state of the house post-partum is absolutely allowed to be different than the state of the house with a reasonably well-rested mom. I’d spent months thinking about and writing about simplifying “stuff;” now I was forced to simplify–or at least prioritize–housework. And I had to really commit to something, instead of just pondering ideas in an abstract way. My final verdict:

If it’s vital to the smooth running of the household, it gets done. Dishes, laundry, meals: yes. The family needs to be clothed and fed; those few things are not optional. (Who did the cooking was absolutely negotiable….whether that be my husband, Planet Sub, or me. Usually in that order.)

If it didn’t involve those few things, it could go. The family would pitch in at some points, but we still often had copious amounts of dog fur all over the floors, and a fine coating of dust all over the furniture. (Except the dining room table…there was a fine coating of Legos all over the dining room table.)

The baby is now six months old, and I’m feeling much more human now. We had my daughter’s birthday party at the end of September, my son’s at the end of October, and we’ve even had people over a few times for fun. The house has improved greatly, now that I’m not coma-mama. But for that little bit of time, that was what I needed: just enough, to be good enough.

It doesn’t have to be perfect….

A few weeks ago I wallpapered the lower part of our front hallway.  I love the paper, I love how it looks, and I especially love that my front hall no longer greets people with an icky brown color.

That being said…

I’d struggled with one sheet–just one–in trying to keep the edges from curling up.  I don’t know why one gave me problems and the rest of the hall went fine, but one sheet was being difficult, and when it was all done and dried, there was a gap.

The gap, mind you, is probably less than an eighth of an inch wide, in-between two sheets of plaid wallpaper.  If you’re not looking for it, you’re not going to see it.  I was fussing over it, though, the day after I’d finished the work; about why that piece was so difficult and everything else went fine…. and my daughter looked at me and informed me, very seriously, “Mommy!  It doesn’t have to be perfect!”

I am so, so thankful, that out of all the things she’s heard me say to her in her short life, that was one that stuck with her.  As often as I’ve said it to her, you’d think I might listen myself.