The Perfect Protest: A Celebration of the Imperfect Home

messy home

Brené Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection, recently blogged:

"Being our best selves is about cultivating the courage to be vulnerable, authentic, and imperfect. Perfectionism, on the other hand, is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It's that simple. Perfection is not about healthy striving or being our best, it's how we protect ourselves."

I wrote before about my struggle with feeling we need a perfect home -- in terms of being clean and beautifully decorated -- in order to entertain. However, when I am here at home with my family amid our pretty little contained messes, I don't have shame. Our house makes me happy. My contentedness is warped by worry over what others think rather than the more important matter of what I think and feel.

Inspired by Brené Brown, this is my Perfect Protest and attempt to push away shame and celebrate the imperfection I adore.


When our home is a little messy, that means we are busy living -- the boys are going to school and sports, I am busy working, taking photos, dreaming, and my husband is working, crafting, and spending too much time tinkering in his garage to notice. These are all very good things for us. Happy things. No shame in not having the time to make a perfect home when life is being lived so well here.

And what happens when it's perfect anyway? You don't move? You just sit?

The state of my house doesn't determine my mood as much as my mood determines the state of my house. You know how the minute you find out someone's coming over, you decide you really hate your house and everything in it is awful. Five minutes earlier you were feeling fine on the couch with a stack of old magazines while your kids were happily trying to find out just how many Legos it would take to get to the moon.

Over on BabyCenter, Betsy Shaw writes in her post "Can a Messy Home Be a Sign of Good Parenting?":

"When I’m in a bad mood, anything that isn’t tied down is crap and clutter, and I want it out of my life.

But when I’m more relaxed and accepting of the natural chaos of the universe with children in it (one long euphemism for being sick of cleaning) our house is like a treasure chest, filled with hard evidence of my childrens’ happy lives."

Oh, this is so true! So here's to the imperfect home -- if that's what makes you happy, if that's what makes you a better parent -- and here's to trying to allow myself love it, openly and freely.

And to celebrate, a few glimpses at some of my favorite perfectly imperfect homes:

rafters kitchen
Via House Beautiful

Photo by Ben Anders via Dwell


Via The Selby

What do you consider perfect when it comes to your home?


Top image via Sheri Reed 

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