This is after it's been tidied. Scary.

This is after it’s been tidied. Scary.

There are tumbleweeds of dog fur in the corner next to the buffet, the surface of which is covered in papers, pencil boxes and mail, rendering the buffet virtually undetectable.

There is an un-emptied suitcase at the foot of our bed from a trip taken three weeks ago. It’s not that I don’t need the clothes that might be in the suitcase, it’s that I’ve worn the same jeans every day this week, and that makes for a much lighter laundry load.

The children are required to make a path through their rooms from the door to their beds so I don’t trip on stuff, should they need me in the middle of the night. But as for putting away these items, it hasn’t happened lately.

My oldest son was supposed to have a friend over but I forgot to call the parent and solidify details. The gift we bought for our favorite teacher is still sitting on my kitchen counter — school was done last week.

If you wash the rugs in the bathroom, it makes it look like you have probably washed the actual floor.

Why do I get bothered by these and other things I see as indicators of my own shortcomings?

Why do I expect certain things from myself that I wouldn’t expect from any one else?

In reverse, I make excuses for the things I have done. I made scones for a friend’s visit this week. She complimented them and I downplayed it. Even though it has been raining and generally icky outside, I have managed to split hostas, remove grass and replant or pot up at least 20 plants. But it doesn’t seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the other things on my list, so I decide that effort doesn’t count.What if we all, specifically all of us women and/or mothers, decided to cut ourselves some slack? What if we admitted that we don’t have to have it all figured out every moment of every day? What if we stopped expecting perfection from ourselves?

If that happened, I think we would start to realize no one expected it from us, that it was self-imposed.

And besides, no one was buying the image of perfection we thought we projected.

Let’s allow the façade to fall away and reveal the real imperfect us – quirky, overwhelmed, loving, strong, flawed, fully-human us. And we are amazing. We are beautiful.

This post is part of a link up with Lisa-jo Baker and Five Minute Friday. Check out all the details here: It is open to anyone. Come shake yourself out of the shackles of self-critique and write for the sheer pleasure of it. Today’s word prompt was Fall.

Flower alone