The Standard

As my husband and I walked out of the movie theater Saturday night, we had a lot to talk about. “The Help” is the kind of movie that stays with you and gets you thinking. It teaches while it entertains. As we walked through the parking lot and made our way back to the Bed and Breakfast, my husband talked about racism. I talked about the housewives.

(image via

The housewives were all so “perfect.” Their hair was always in place, their clothes were always perfectly worn and perfectly accessorized. Their houses were clean and they always had food on the table.
And YET.
All I had to say about them was how dysfunctional they were! Their attitudes -their actions and behaviors were so far from healthy.
So WHY do I hold myself to their standards every single day?
Why do I hold myself to the standards of dysfunctional women who look gorgeous every single day but don’t clean their own house, raise their own children, or cook food for their family?
They had a maid, for crying out loud! And I spend every day carrying guilt when I don’t somehow meet up to their standards. Isn’t that ridiculous? It is -but I’m sure I’m not the only one.
There have been a few glorious days when I’ve looked smashing, cooked smashing food, and cleaned my house like there was no tomorrow.
And at the end of the day, there was NOTHING left of me. My husband came home to what I thought was his (and my) ideal, and there was nothing for him but some tasty food (which, let’s face it, only goes so far).
And so I laughed at myself, heartily, as we drove back to our room.
Do you know what? I’m a terrible housekeeper, but I’m a good cook. I’m lousy at prioritizing, but I’m a good mom. I don’t look perfect every day, but I get my make-up on most days.
And isn’t THAT the ideal: a┬átricky sort of balance between what I can and can’t do? Truth be told, I could really use a cleaning lady, but I’ll get by for now. I’m not terrible at it, you know. It’s just that there’s 3 of them and one of me.
It won’t always be like that.
Someday there will be four of them and one of me. Ha!

All I’m trying to say is: ease up on yourself today. Stare your limits in the face and then give them a great, big hug. We are not all made to be perfect. We’re made to help each other on the road TO perfection, and what could be better than that?
Not even a sparkling clean house, freshly manicured nails, and a fresh peach pie on the table.


  1. Great post. I really need to work on emphasizing (to myself) the things I’m good, and make sure I don’t give up on all the other things. (like organizing and house cleaning) I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I liked the book, so I need to! (as soon as it comes to the cheap theater)

  2. I think I’m going to put your last paragraph on pretty piece of paper on my fridge….it was THAT good. Or I might even stitch it onto a pillow–the pillow I sleep on at night so when I wake up in the morning it stares me right in the face. :)

  3. Well now, I think a clean house would be pretty close to heaven, and I’m so far from having a clean house that a lot of times, I feel like my home is the opposite of a heaven on earth. It is a hard balance of determining what you can and can’t do, and what you should and shouldn’t feel guilty about. I’m working on it. And I need to see that movie.

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