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I cry over spilled milk

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I want to be one of those moms who doesn't sweat the small stuff, who lets the chaos roll off her shoulders and doesn't cry over spilled milk.

But truthfully, I do.

I am a perfectionist. I have a plan and an idea, but when not executed precisely and according to plan, I fall apart and take on the title of failure.

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I can look past the playdough under the fingernails, the goldfish under the cushions, the food crumbs that are everywhere. It is not easy, but I do it. I look past the imperfections because I love my children. I love them more than my OCD tendencies. But, I have not yet learned how to look past my shortcomings.

I have become aware of how mental illnesses connect and how they trigger a domino effect. My OCD triggers anxiety, the anxiety can lead to a panic attack, and then the panic attack can lead to depression/self-loathing. Once the milk is spilled, I go into a frenzy of picking myself apart. The perfectionist in me will not let go of the so-called mistake, and if I allow it to it will eat away at my soul for days.

Parenting has brought so many of my flaws to the surface. I am learning to acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with wanting to do things to the best of my ability, but that feeling must be tweaked. I cannot control all the little details that may go wrong, but I can control how I react to them.

That is what I want to teach my children. I want to teach them how to work hard and care about the project at hand, but I also want to teach them how to handle failure and disappointment. Whether big or small, not everything will go according to plan, and you deserve to show yourself grace during those moments.

The dishes will pile up; something will probably go wrong at the party you planned, you will accidentally miss a school function, you will not always make it to church on time, and at some point, someone other than yourself will be disappointed in you. Life will continue despite the unseen bumps in the road.

I am no more when life goes perfectly, and I am no less when life takes an unexpected turn.

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