Feeling inadequate was a part of life for me for far too long. As I learned about my son’s ADHD and understood that apple didn’t fall far from the tree, I wondered if I could be a good mom to my kids. I know several people who are born organized. One of them is so organized that she has all of her spices in alphabetical order and all labels in her pantry facing forward. I am amazed by her organizational skills and threatened on more than one occasion to lock her in my house for a week just to see what happened. I have a family member who gives the most beautifully wrapped presents I’ve ever seen. They are so exquisite I almost don’t want to open them. Then there is my mom. My mom is so organized that I can tell you what she is doing based on the day of the week. I know when she does laundry and grocery shopping and what days she lunches with friends. I find these women fascinating in their orderliness.
Feeling free and feeling inadequate
I, on the other hand, am what you might call a free spirit. I never saw the value of a clean room growing up. Make a bed? I was just going to get back in it that night. Pick up my clean clothes? They were easier to find on the floor than in my messy, overstuffed drawers. Cleaning? Boring! Order? Overrated! Life was about fun. Why let house cleaning get in the way? Living in the moment and by the moment was a thrilling, joyful ride, and I loved it most of the time. That life, however, comes with a cost of frantically looking for misplaced note cards for term papers, lost homework, missing car keys and stressful situations for yourself and those around you. I thought ADHD meant feeling inadequate for the rest of my life. So many days I wanted to be organized. Sometimes I hated myself for my lack of housekeeping skills. I am a college educated woman for goodness sake. Why couldn’t I figure out how to keep my house clean and organized? I knew how to clean. Why was this so hard?
Not only free spirits feel inadequate
Years later, I found out a secret about organized people. Many organized people struggle with their need to have control over their lives and homes as much as I struggled with my inability to organize, schedule and have control over my life. I could drop everything to run out to lunch, finger paint with my children, go to the park or make popcorn and watch a movie with my family, but I would beat myself up later for not getting the housework done. My organized friends didn’t do those things with their children because they weren’t in the schedule or would make a mess they didn’t want to clean up. They were feeling inadequate because they didn’t have fun with their children while I was feeling inadequate about not attending to our home. Found out there is a solution. It’s called balance. It’s amazingly simple, but not always as easy as it sounds.
A different view of balance
Balance is creating a simple plan that works for you. It doesn’t mean you do all things or pay attention to all things equally. It means you find a balance of what you want and need to do to have the life you want. The trick is actually doing it. What I learned to do was create a plan that let me take care of my home and have fun with my family, fifteen minutes at a time. When my children were as young as 3 years old, they pitched in daily with home care. We made a positive difference in our home and then had fun the rest of the day. For the first time, feeling inadequate was replaced with feeling like a good mom. I know that sounds impossible to some people, but it worked for us and we loved our life. Years later, I teach this concept to struggling moms so they can have their best possible summer with their children. My children are all adults now, but my Facebook video Let’s talk about Summer from 2018 shows I still use this great concept to keep moving toward my dreams. It won’t be perfect, but I believe perfection is overrated. You can, however, have a home you love with a plan you can live with and without feeling inadequate.
Learning to work to our strengths
The bottom line is that we all have tendencies toward over working or under working based on our personality. The good news is we can all find balance and peace, and we can appreciate the strengths of each other as we live this crazy thing called life. I am still learning to be a fun and organized person and the journey is a blast! If you want to improve your own journey, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day!!Click here for ways to support the Moving Toward Better mission.