Monday, March 20, 2006

Discouraged Perfectionist

I found it! I found the label that fits me exactly! I am a "discouraged perfectionist". What is a discouraged perfectionist? Well, in our Bible Study on parenting last night we spent time covering a book about birth order. In the book, they suggest that 'only children' and 'oldest children' will likely fall into the trap of "discouraged perfectionist" because they realize that they aren't perfect...which isn't acceptable to them...and so instead of not being perfect they just won't try. The book suggested that the discouraged perfectionist would live in a mess, have a life that was unorganized, appear to be flaky, and wait until the last possible second to do work. All of that is me. I found it rather refreshing to have a name to put with my issues!

Don't be discouraged, though, not all 'only children' and 'oldest children' fall into this trap....just the ones with overbearing, control freak mothers! Examples of things this mother might do...the child makes the bed...the mom says it looks great...and then smoothes the covers. This is telling the child that indeed all is not great and so the child then begins to question why they should bother trying if it will not be good enough anyway. I feel that way with my house...why bother trying...I can't get it all done...I can't get even part of it done like I want before someone messes it up!

I know that much of what I read in parenting books is someone's theory and that I need to take it all with a grain of salt...but, I feel that this idea actually has a bit of truth in it. I don't believe every first born child will end up this way...but I do think that as parents, if we ride our children and tell them with our actions that are not enough it will follow them throughout their lives. The same concept works with friends and even husbands. The difference is that as an adult I can choose not to be friends with people who constantly put me down and I could choose to not be married...but a child has no options. They can't leave. Instead they must endure and the end result is oftentimes a "discouraged perfectionist."

On a lighter note, my dog Boots is in heat (which, by the way, makes me happy she is an outside dog)...and when I looked outside a little bit ago there was the cutest white male dog hanging around. I drove around and asked the neighbors whose dog it was...amazingly no one fessed up to ownership...but when I was talking to this cute old man down the street he said the white dog was really sweet and often hung around their house but it wasn't theirs (????)...and that Boots was probably already prego! I looked at him and smiled and said "well, she's black, he's white...they ought to have some cute babies!" He looked at me and giggled...how often do you hear a grown man giggle?...and then said "Maybe they'll be pok-a-dotted." Gotta love a man with a sense of humor!

--Jessica

4 comments:

SuperMom said...

Hey, Jessica! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It always makes me feel good to know there are people out there who can relate.

And girl, I can sooooo relate to the discouraged perfectionist title. It is me. However, I am the baby of four kids and had a wonderful mother who never made me feel like I couldn't get it right. I just seemed to have brought it all on myself. I have recently signed up on the FlyLady website and it is truly helping me overcome some of my terrible habits and keep things in order around here...even though I still have a long way to go. Right now, something smells bad in my kitchen and I have to go track it down. I hate that!! Anyway, you should check it out. Maybe it's something you could use, too. There is a link to it on my blog. (Hope that didn't come out sounding like, "Hey! Don't be a slob!" Seriously...I'm not pointing fingers. Us girls need to help each other out any way we can :-)
Blog on, sister!

jessica said...

I joined flylady on Sunday evening! I am proud to say my sink is clean...and that is about as far as I've gotten! The other 200 emails have gone to a special folder to be reviewed later!

holly said...

Got your shoes on?

jessica said...

No...I think shoes are optional! I am much more productive in flannel pj's with my hair in a pony tail than I ever could be in shoes and regular clothes! But...at least my sink is still clean!