Keepin’ it real.

I posted this picture on instagram last week – and was surprised to get a larger than normal amount of likes and comments. One friend even gushed, “I love you for this!”

Much as I appreciated the sentiment, I had to wonder why. Why is posting a picture of my messy kitchen such a big deal? Why do more people like a photo of dirty dishes than one of my cute daughter wearing a boa and princess jammies? Why is admitting our weaknesses, our failures, our messy real lives rare enough to be noticeable?

Is a kitchen counter full of dishes a rare find? Not in my house.

What about overflowing laundry baskets – or answering, “Is this clean?” with a suggestion to use the sniff test? Yep, it happens.

How about yelling at your daughter to close your mouth and eat your dinner – then glaring at your husband when his face starts twitching at the irony of that command? Or finding your to-do list from two months ago and realizing that nope, you never got around to 9 – scratch that, 14 – of those Very Important Tasks? Or forgetting your first parent-teacher conference, cancelling the lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in months [again], or shedding actual tears over the disappearance of your email’s Very Organized Folder System?

True stories, all of them.

This is real life. This is MY life. It’s not polished or perfect or color-coordinated or organized or efficient or even clean. [My bathroom? So. Not. Clean. As in, if you come over, please don’t ask to use my bathroom – and if you do, don’t you dare open the shower curtain!]

I remembered on Saturday afternoon that I’d signed up to take snacks to our small group on Sunday. So I opened my Pinterest app and scrolled through the recipes I’d pinned recently. I didn’t find much that the [annoyingly picky] other two people in my house could agree on, so later that night I clicked around to find something to make.

I ended up making rice krispy treats – so obviously I didn’t find that amazing-looking, but super-easy-to-make recipe I was hoping for. What I did find, unintentionally, was several new-to-me blogs with titles like, “Super Fun Mommy” or “Confessions of a Super Mom.”

Now, while I have thoughts on super moms, I’ll save that for another post. For today, though, I just thought I’d take a minute to remind you – and me – that THIS blog is called Giving Up on Perfect. Because perfect isn’t real, and my life is Super Real.

Will you tell us about YOUR real life in the comments? What’s behind the smile, the cute skirt, the slip-covered couches and the perfectly plated appetizers?

Come on, keep it real with me today.

22 Comments Keepin’ it real.

  1. Sabrina@theunlikelyhomemaker March 13, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Funny, I was searching fot Easter crafts and ended up on some super mom site. I was just a little annoyed :/ obviously if I were a super mom, I wouldn’t need pinterest! Anyway, my kitchen is clean…because my husband came home from work and cleaned it. My hardwood floors are clean, because after my very large 15 year old dog left a pee trail from the front door to the back door, I was forced to clean it. And I have given up putting all the laundry away. I went out and bought 4 laundry baskets to sort clean laundry into. It will eventually get put away, just not now. And I LOVE THE PICTURE!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Argh – pets that force cleaning are the worst! (Although, not really, because if we didn’t love them, I guess we wouldn’t keep them around!)

  2. Dinner at Christina's March 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    That was one of the things that always got me about food blogging. I’d try and angle the pictures just-so to not get anything in the background. If I had, it would look like your counter above.
    I get frustrated with our house a lot b/c I’m used to seeing magazine like settings with online shopping, pinteresting, and blogs. Realistically, nobody’s house looks like that. Even if I deep clean my bedroom there’s still going to need to be a ratty dog bed and a hamper and some piles of half worn clothes or half read books. We LIVE here.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Yes! I have had that problem with food photography before, too! By the time I get a dish made, my kitchen is a disaster! Other food bloggers must do that clean as they go thing. ;)

  3. Kathy @ House of Hills March 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I must say that your picture on Instagram was a conversation starter at a meeting I was in the other day. I have A LOT of team meetings at my house because it’s just easier and more relaxed. They commented that they never see dishes in my sink, and doesn’t it stress me out to have to stay “company ready” so often. I giggled. I don’t consider how my house is right now “company ready.”

    I’ll confess. I don’t leave dishes piled in the sink. I won’t say it NEVER happens, but it’s rare. That’s because we have one big great room with the sink in the island in the middle of it. I would go BONKERS if I had dishes in there when I’m sitting and watching tv. I could see the reflection of them in the screen. So, yes, the great room is pretty picked up most of the time.

    However, when you walk into the hall and look left… oh the piles. I’m a lover of piles. And I like my piles out in the open so I can remember what is where. And you know what, I’m TOTALLY okay with the fact that people see my piles, because they are me. So, take me as I am or don’t take me at all.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Kathy, I love that – your piles are you. It’s beautiful in a messy, real sort of way! I almost always have a pile on either our dining room table or the desk in the dining room. I feel so accomplished and free when I ever get it all put away – but, like you, I have to keep that stuff out because I need to do something with it!

      It’s interesting what “chores” bother different people – both to do them and to leave them undone. Anyway, the only time my house is truly company ready is five minutes before company arrives. :)

  4. Lindsey P March 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I heard this quote the other day that said, “Pinterest makes me realize just how poor, unorganized and lazy I really am”. So true about those super mommy blogs. I totally thought I would be one of those super mommies one day, until finally reality (and Jesus) have knocked some sense into me and made me realize they don’t exist. Yet I still love Pinterest and following those blogs! :)

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      I’ve had that same sense knocked into me. But you can’t keep me off Pinterest, either! :)

  5. Heather Lutterman March 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Oh goodness!! This is a PERFECT (pun intended) post!! No, my life isn’t 100% organized… yes, I’ve probably re-washed clean clothes, just because they weren’t put away and I didn’t remember if I’d worn them… I think the only completely organized thing in my life is my photos on my computer. Ask me where to find that picture from a nephew’s birthday party in July of 2009?? I can probably locate it within a minute. :-) But to look at my room… you’d think a tornado went through there recently. And truth be told… sometimes I can find things easier in the chaos than I can if it were in the correct place. :-)

    I LOVED reading this post!! 100% true for me… and it made me smile!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Hahaha! Mark decided to help out over the weekend and put a load of laundry into the washer – including my CLEAN JEANS (that, FINE, I’d laid on top of the hamper)! :)

  6. Kerri March 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Perfectionist procrastinator learning that good enough IS good enough!!!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Me too, Kerri!

  7. Amber @ Our Crazy Wonderful Life March 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I just recently found your blog, and already, on the first post I’ve read, I’m in love! This is exactly me! It’s a breath of fresh air to find a home maker in the blogosphere that admits to the fact that we are not all Martha Stewart perfect! I don’t have any children, although I do have 3 dogs that basically count as my children (have you ever had to tell a dog to STOP SMACKING LIKE THEIR DAD!? I have!). My bathroom is exactly the same, currently my dishes are piled almost to the ceiling in my tiny kitchen, but the living room has been rearranged, the laundry room looks normal, our bedroom has been vacuumed, and at least for the moment (I cannot guarantee how long it will last) my tiny home office area is visible. My life isn’t perfect, but it is my life, and in my opinion, it’s a wonderful life! So glad I found your blog! You’ve got a new follower for life!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Welcome, Amber!! Glad to have found a fellow imperfectionist! :)

  8. Kimberly Muehling March 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    :D We don’t have closets! Our house is always a disaster! Though I am trying to get organized and live more minimally, there are just ALWAYS piles!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Ohhhh, a lack of storage space makes things SO hard! We don’t have a ton of that, either – such a pain!

  9. Denise March 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Wonderful post. I like it because it’s real. Sometimes you wonder what you are doing wrong because you have dishes in the dishwasher that need putting up, dishes in the sink that need to go in the dishwasher, clothes that need folding, clothes that need washing, floors that need mopping, bathrooms to clean, so many toys on the floor in your kids room you can’t walk in there without breaking your neck and not enough time in the week to make a dent in the list. It’s overwhelming sometimes and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who can’t get it all done.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect March 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      You are most definitely NOT alone, Denise! Just today I told my daughter (who was complaining about going BACK to the grocery store because I forgot something) that maybe next time around she can get a mom who has it all together, because it is not happening in our house. (Of course, I also pointed out that a mom who has everything together might not draw whiskers and a black nose on her face with eyeliner just because she felt like being a cat today. My daughter. My daughter had the whiskers, not me. Anyway, you get my point.) :)

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  11. Jessie March 27, 2013 at 12:08 am

    For most of my adult life I have been very unorganized and lack the motivation to keep my house clean, however, a couple years ago now I stumbled upon and I feel like after quite a while, I have finally grasped the concept of little bits at a time. Your house doesn’t get dirty over night, therefor you shouldn’t force yourself to clean it all in a day. I have started to incorporate routines into my days and clean and declutter here and there and am starting to notice significant changes in my home. I work 40 hours + sometimes a week and have a 9 and 4 year old, so I feel ya for sure. If you haven’t checked out the site, I highly recommend it.

  12. July 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I so agree, Mary. People need to see real. Nobody’s perfect so there’s no need to pretend to be.

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