It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of wanting to be perfect. It seems to come naturally to look around and feel like everyone else has it all together.
I can never get back the hours I spent on Pinterest looking for the perfect little girl nursery. And while the nursery turned out pretty cute (and maybe a little bit trendy), I have to admit I had little restraint when it came to Pinterest.
Social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram can quickly become a breeding ground for greed, envy, discontentment and all sorts of ugly attitudes in my life. It doesn’t take long to be consumed by the desire to get everything I want.
Now there is nothing inherently wrong with those social media sites as long as they are a tool to serve others and celebrate the life I have been given. But as soon as I’m using them for my own glory and to elevate my status, I’m in danger.
I have to remember to evaluate what’s important: if my child’s nursery looks like a Land of Nod ad or if it’s functional and comfortable for her to sleep in.
Is it so critical that her first birthday party has handmade tissue paper garland, cute paper straws, chalk board labeled food items and the perfect smash cake, or that we enjoy being together celebrating our sweet one’s life?
And again, the cute room and special birthday decorations aren’t themselves bad if my intent is pure. When approached with wisdom and perspective, Pinterest can be a great launching point for decorating inspiration, adorable baby showers, and road trip activities for kids. I found many wonderful ideas there.
Life is a balancing act.
Enjoy beauty and creativity, but don't elevate them to unhealthy levels. Knowing ourselves and where our gifts lie can allow us to do amazing things in life while serving others. But putting ourselves and our desires above what’s really important gets things out of balance.
Here’s how I endeavor to remember what’s important:
1. Limit my time on social media.
When I feel myself going down the road of discontentment, I know it’s time to take a break from social media for a week or so.
2. Practice gratitude.
I intentionally keep a small journal of things I’m thankful for: from the sun shining in my window in the morning, to the cardinal that sings in the woods behind my house, to giggles of my little girl, and the weekend getaways with my family.
3. Spend time reading the Bible.
Honestly, this should be first because when I’m not actively seeking to know God through the Bible, my perception is way off. The Bible says that God loves and values me because He created me. And it affirms that when I simply trust Him—not when I’m perfect—He is pleased by me.
Relationships are one of the most important things to me, and I try to love others in a way which communicates that they are significant and valuable. But if I’m striving for perfection, I tend to sacrifice my relationships and send the wrong message—particularly to my daughter.
Little eyes and an impressionable, developing mind and heart are always watching and learning from my actions. So I’m seeking to re-evaluate my desires and temper them with wisdom and perspective so that my sweet girl knows she is more valuable than the way her bedroom is decorated.
How do you keep perspective when trying to combat perfectionism?
Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.