In search of Perfection.

9 Mar 2016

Hey – who died and made me the Agony Aunt Supreme?

Because I'm not qualified; honestly!

It may surprise you to know that I don't actually have the perfect life, so I'm totally not qualified to advise you on yours.

I know, I know – I've shocked you haven't I? Because yes – I had you totally fooled.

We all have this tendency to think that other people have got it all sorted. In fact, we seem to have a vested interest in keeping that fallacy alive.

Unless it's to read about celebrities in the tabloids, we don't want to know that other people have problems. We'd like to think that it's possible for other people to have everything just so – even if we resent them like crazy for living in and with that perfection.

When I read of women who bring up well-adjusted families while writing a series of best-selling novels, I think "How Does She Do it?" and when that same woman blogs honestly that she did it only because she never does any housework and her home resembles a toxic waste site, I feel cheated. She wasn't supposed to be like me, with guinea-pig bedding trailed up the stairs and the bed sheets not changed for a month. She wasn't supposed to have an ironing basket where the lower levels contain the fossilised remains of small velociraptors, and grease on her kitchen surfaces likely create a hazard to wildlife if dumped in the North Sea.

And then there's that well-adjusted family. Because her daughters would never stand at either end of the landing screaming at each other, would they? Her husband doesn't need a garden shed in which to hide away.

I bet she never snaps at her children and yells at them to leave her alone for just five (deleted) minutes!

And – you know what? I bet she does.

I bet she's just like me.

So when a day like yesterday happens and I get three emotional phone calls from friends wanting support and advice, such that I get no writing done and end up snapping at my family and in tears on the phone to my own therapist, I'm going to take comfort in the fact that actually, it's pretty much the same for everyone.

Nobody's perfect and nobody has the perfect life.

And – I owe my husband and children a huge apology for being so grumpy yesterday.

And the day before.

And the day before that...


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