Why I Choose Happiness Over Perfection


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This is a guest post from Kristen of Millican Pecan Company.

Perfection. It’s something most of us secretly want, but can’t attain. And even though perfection is not attainable we still somehow strive for it. We want to be the perfect mom or to have the house that looks like it was made for a magazine cover. I am no different.

Happiness is more than an inspiring quote, or a special day (like your birthday or anniversary). Happiness is something you choose every day in your thoughts, your words, and the people you spend your time with. You have to choose to be happy in your life.

When I was newly married I would day dream of the kind of mom I would one day be. I imagined that I would walk out of my house with my little chickadees following right behind me. They would have their hair all fixed with a cute little bow to match their outfit and I would be equally as cute. No messy bun for this momma. No sir. I would be nicely put together with my makeup properly applied. And heels would certainly be something that I would wear on occasion. I wouldn’t rule them out just because they were uncomfortable. No way!

A Not So Perfect Mom

But with each year I get under my belt as a mom I realize all too painfully that the perfect mom that I had once imagined was just that. All in my imagination. Perfection, I’ve come to find, is so far off my radar. It is, as we already mentioned, not possible. But for me, well…the events of my life seem to make a mockery of the goal I once used to dream of. Albeit a pretty funny mockery, I must admit.

You know, normal, everyday events. Like taking the kids to the park. And when we got there I realized my six-year-old had decided to wear her robe instead of a coat. Or getting to church and I noticed that I forgot to comb through my child’s long blonde hair. Which happened to be the same trip to church when one of the other kids forgot their shoes. Or like the time when I went to town with eye makeup on one eye and the other one completely bare.

Everyday Perfect Events

I’m sure you could add your own list of such experiences. We all have them. It’s in moments like these when I’ve muttered under my breath “perfect” in a rather sarcastic tone. Because that’s what it feels like, right? In the moment my goal to do something fun with the kids many times ends up in what some would consider a disaster. It wasn’t as I had planned or pictured in my mind. But then when we get to the park and the kids are having a blast I seem to forget about the bath robe that my daughter is sashaying around in.

She is, after all, quite cute as I watch her from the park bench. She’s not at all concerned with what others are thinking. She’s happy. Enjoying her life in the moment. And I pause and realize I have something to learn from her. My six-year-old is quite wise I acknowledge as my cheeks suddenly turn red from embarrassment. Here I was concerned about things being perfect and I totally lost why I’m doing this in the first place. I want to have fun with my kids. The kind of fun where belly laughs naturally occur. And where happiness wins over perfection.

Happiness Over Perfection

And so do they. They don’t want to be confined by a rigid mom who seeks a perfect life. They want to be themselves. Yes, rules are good and expectations are a must. But perfection and unrealistic expectations are unfair to my kids. So I’m working on this new philosophy. Thankfully, my kids are gracious with my progress in this area. And me, well, I’m working to cultivate joy in my children’s lives. And when I look in the mirror and realize I put one earring on for the duration of the day and totally forgot the other one…I laugh. Besides, I can’t take myself too seriously. Because today I’m choosing happiness over perfection.

Happiness is more than an inspiring quote, or a special day (like your birthday or anniversary). Happiness is something you choose every day in your thoughts, your words, and the people you spend your time with. You have to choose to be happy in your life.

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