To Be Better About Accepting the Imperfect

Every year, our family makes New Year's resolutions. It's neat to hear the goals my kids have and it's fun to see how successful they are in keeping them. This year we were away for New Year's Eve, so we did our resolutions around this restaurant table.

It's not easy to take a family selfie in a mirror!


Unfortunately, my mind was completely blank. I couldn't set one. I don't have any vices I'm willing to give up, and everything else I considered seemed too small and inconsequential. 

Then last night, I returned absolutely exhausted by vacation. Worn out emotionally from the pulls of the season and with a raging headache. Family vacation...not known for its restful effect on parents anyway, really wiped me out after all the hoopla of the holidays.

Oh, I'm glad we went. I'm glad we made memories and laughed and had fun together. I truly am! I'm also glad to be home again. And that's exactly the way family vacation goes. One minute it's great and the next minute it mocks you.

One day your husband is smiling and saying...

Let's get away for New Year's Eve this year. Let's go to New York City!

And the next he's proclaiming...

If I ever say let's do New York City the week of New Year's Eve, shoot me. Because I've clearly lost my mind and I'm crazy. 

In family vacation fantasies, everyone is smiling and family togetherness could not be any sweeter. In family vacation reality, at least one person is sulking at all times and you hear things like...

Stop touching me. Don't lean on me. Don't walk in front of me. Why is this taking so long?!? Eeewww, you're gross! 

And can I be really honest? Family vacation can have you feeling like the best mom one minute and the worst the next. It can make you feel like an awesome family one hour and a complete mess the next. 

Which leads me to my New Year's resolution to be better about accepting the imperfect. Perfect is not going to happen. It's an illusion. For every enjoyable moment, there will be frustrating moments you wish would go away. There will be laughter and tears, close talks and fervent arguments, smiles and glares. 

Our family vacations are never going to look like a Disney commercial no matter how many Instagram filters we slap on them. And I bet yours won't either. And that's okay. Because imperfect is not a fail. It's just real life lived out with real people that make it all really worth it!

What's your New Year's resolution this year?







32 comments:

  1. How incredible to be on vacation during New Year!!! I wish I could be better at accepting imperfections here too. For the record my 20-year old twins were arguing at 2:30 am on New Year's Day after we arrived home from a party - let's just say I wasn't happy. Life's far from perfect in the real world especially when you're a mum! Happy New Year Marie x

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    1. Happy New Year to you, Izzie! It oddly comforts me to know I'm not alone in the sibling bickering! :)

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  2. Good for you. It is always great to set goals and make resolutions. It means we strive to be better.

    The memories . . . I find the older I get, the more I forget about the fighting, imperfections and general yucky things and the more the memories get sweeter. I have 5 children too, but 2 are now married and out of the house. I miss traveling with all of them and I appreciate even the fighting and bickering. I know someday it will be just me and papa.

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    1. You're so right, the imperfections do fade. That's why we're willing to do it all again! :)

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  3. I loved this! My husband and I went to WA state before we had our boy and it was wonderful! And then all of a sudden it wasn't. I wanted to go home, I hated it there, I cried, I wanted to fly out the very next morning no matter how expensive the plane ticket. haha! I don't know what it is about vacation that does that to us? We may sound like horrible parents for this, but we really have no desire to take a family vacation for at least ten years. My brother and his wife are taking their girls to Disney World in February and asked us to come along...NOPE! Not interested. :) I guess we're just home bodies.

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    1. How funny! Vacations can certainly make us emotional. Disney is really fun, but it's intense, so I think you're wise to wait a little while! :)

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  4. Oh gosh, this is so true. On our last family vacation, when the girls started spatting I started griping, "Wow, we could've stayed at home and had this exact same reaction!" but then I realized that we wouldn't have had the memories of the good times that we did share, so I, myself, accepted that the vacation wasn't exactly perfect.

    Great post, thanks for linking up again!!

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    1. Very true! The great memories are worth it, even if it feels a little crazy at the time!

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  5. Love the realness of this. It is so important to remember that imperfect is still beautiful. Thank you for the reminder!

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  6. Marie you are such a fabulously gifted writer! I don't think any family vacations looks like a Disney commercial. The ones where no one is around you and everyone in it is smiling and Cinderella walks up and interacts with only your child. Yeah right :)

    Happy New Year to you and your family my friend!

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    1. Thank you and happy New Year to you, Jennifer!

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  7. Wow, i have never gone from one cold city to another cold city for a vacation. We do pop up North for a weekend of skiing/snowboarding but not a vacation. When we have gone away for the holidays, we go SOUTH and warm. That way they (kids) are outside and not inclined to bother each other. Also one year my husband heard me refer to the vacation for me as a relocation not a vacation. He asked why and I told him we stay in Resort condo's and I end up cooking and it doesn't feel like a vacation. Guess what, last vacation I ever cooked!!! We have older kids too, so it has become so much easier... They travel great... Wait and it will get easier... We did a monster 7,500 mile road trip this summer 3 and a half weeks.... That was insane but oh so much FUN!!! Welcome Home and Happy New Year!!!!!!

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  8. What a great goal for the year! I usually start feeling like a failure when things don't go perfectly, or everyone isn't happy. Acceptance is a much healthier approach. Good luck, and thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Marie, I love this post. Just yesterday we had a family day. As I prayed with each child the night before, I prayed that we would all have a pleasant time with no arguing and that everyone would have fun. One child even got upset that I said that they argue all the time. Oh my, the drama. I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised the next day at what a great day we had. God is good. I know each child knew what I expected of them and I had a better attitude than usual, but ultimately God performed a miracle. ;-) Was it perfect with no arguing and everyone happy the whole time? No, but it was so much fun and I think all of us had a great time. I pray we can have more times like that and that I can accept imperfection from others and myself. Thank you for the encouragement.

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    1. I'm glad your day went so well, Pat! I'm sure that will be a special for all of you!

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  10. That is such a great resolution! You're right that perfection is impossible, and the sooner we can give up control over perfectionism, the happier we will be :)

    Julie @ Velvet-rose.net

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  11. I laughed at this, because my husband said the exact same thing about Disney World this year. Back in April it seemed like a great idea, but on the way home he told me "never again at Christmas time". Great resolution, and we would all do well to follow it!

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  12. I love your resolution of accepting the imperfect. That's fabulous!

    So often we have an image that's unreal and by focusing on that image we ebb into discontentment. Accepting the imperfect sounds just about perfect to me.

    Happy New Year!
    xoxo

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  13. No resolutions for me, but I need to be better about accepting the imperfect too. I totally agree with you about vacations. I've found, however, that when I reminisce about them I focus on the positive parts. I rarely remember the times when my kids were grumpy or nasty or wet blankets. I suppose my memory is kind to me that way.

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  14. I loved this post. I looked at the photo of your content and smiling family on vacation - and wondering how you keep everyone happy all the time. Then, I read your words, and you became even more of a supermom in my eyes. It is a good reminder that we all have our ups and downs - the key is to have more ups than downs! Great mirror family selfie, by the way!

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  15. What a beautiful post! That last paragraph is so true. It's a great resolution! Mine for this year is to do less (tv/internet/spending money/etc) and be more present with my family.
    Thanks for linking up with us today!
    Katie @ Sweet Little Ones

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  16. I needed this today, thank you. I've been feeling discouraged lately (lately as in last night especially) that I don't feel like I'm doing a good job anymore. It's been a season of change and I'm trying my hardest just to keep my head above water in all the roles I play. For this perfectionist, that has been not so easy so reading this was incredibly timely and something I really needed to hear so thank you! :)

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  17. Happy New Year! My resolution is to have a healthier attitude - to exercise, food, spending...the list goes on. I think it's important to realise that you can't be perfect all the time, but being better most of the time is good enough!

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  18. This is all so very true! I actually wrote a post this week on motherhood and the myth of perfection - great minds think alike. Hopefully we can all give ourselves a break this year!
    Xx

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  19. Happy New Year!!! hahaha I love your family selfie in the mirror. I think family getaways can be a myth of perfection. It's never perfect and sometimes we think couldnt' we have had all this at home for a less cost. Hoping everyone's new year's resolutions come true for you all. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

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  20. Some of the top questions I get helping others plan Disney vacations, is how to make it an incredible experience for everyone and how to get through the meltdowns and not so great moments. Accepting the imperfect is a perfect response. Love it. No matter how much planning I can do, there will always be some kind of problem and we have all learned to just roll with it.

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  21. That's a great resolution. I think accepting imperfections does make us more patient and relaxed parents, as there is no perfect, and family holidays are never relaxing! #ShineBlogHop

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  22. My resolution is just not to put my son in the middle of my clash with my husband. #sharewithme

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  23. Oh this is SO my family! I love your honesty and your vulnerability in exposing those not so perfect moments. All too often we wear masks to pretend that everything is A-ok when it's just not. This gem is being featured at the Sat. Soiree & Social Media Share this week!

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  24. That is a very smart resolution!
    I don't make any because I'm bad at keeping my commitments. That's code for I have too many vices, haha.
    You know what I think? One day you'll look back and think "what a wonderful time we had the year we went to NYC for New Year's" cause you will have forgotten about the whining, the exhaustion and the mess.
    Love the mirror family selfie :-)

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    1. I know you're right, Tamara! The sibling rivalry has already started to fade from my mind! :)

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  25. So glad to hear I'm not the only one who views vacation like that. What's worse, is that we cannot afford vacations on our own, so if we go we go with grandparents and inlaws and that just seems to make the pressure to be perfect worse. I can't enjoy myself because I can't relax. I'd almost rather just stay home, but that's not an option.

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