I Need to Calm Down

I am a Type-A-ish person and easily irritated. When something isn’t how I want it or think it should be, I can go a wee bit ballistic. There are times this annoying personality trait serves me well. However, for my own peace of mind and for that of my housemates (i.e., my family), I have come to realize I need to calm down about trivial things.

Peace > Perfection

I don’t need to harp on the kids to empty their backpacks the second they get home from school. I don’t want them to remember me as the nag and the drill sergeant who stressed out over every speck of dirt and dust. I don’t want them to develop a complex a la Howard Hughes about germs.

I don’t want my kids to remember me scrubbing countertops and sweeping floors every day; I want them to remember my home-cooked meals. I don’t want them to remember me yelling at them to close doors and take off shoes; I want them to remember me encouraging them to play outside and be self-sufficient.

To set an example, I am relaxing my usually high standards. I am accepting that I need to calm down about:

  • throw pillows found on the floor instead of in their rightful places on the couch.
  • lights being left on in a room no human has occupied for quite some time.
  • garbage left on tables, chairs, floors, basically anywhere but in a garbage can.
  • still-balled-up socks tossed into laundry hampers and going through the wash.
  • gloves and hats on the floor near their dedicated basket instead of in it.

At least right when I see them, I can let these things lie. Things will get done at some point. Our house will not always look pristine, and that is ok. We live here, and it looks like it. It is a roof over our heads and shelter from the elements. It is our safe haven from the world, regardless of how clean or messy it may be.

It will not look like this 24/7/365. Ok, it will never look like this because this isn’t actually our kitchen.

In trying to accept that the state of our life is messier than I might want, I have learned am learning that I can enjoy it without needing it to look perfect. I can adjust the way I think it should be and love the way it is, here and now.

I’ll still clear the clutter before I take a picture for Instagram though. I’m not a monster.

Jenny is a Madison transplant from Winona, MN, with imaginative and talkative twin boys Cameron and Carson, born November 2010, and one very old kitten Arabella, born March 2003, and one very young kitten JoJo, born May 2018. Her husband is a Madison native and suckered her in to staying. She graduated in 2001 from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a bachelor's degree in English Literature, currently working in financial services full-time and writing in her scant spare time when inspiration strikes. She tentatively blogs, with brutal honesty, on whippedcreamandkittens.com and frequently Instagrams. Besides whipped cream and kittens, she loves reading, writing, coffee, wine, cooking, traveling, movies, and spending time with family and close friends. Jenny is thrilled to be on the Madison Moms Blog team and happy to share her wacky and sarcastic tales of Madison momhood.


  1. Tell me , how to calm down about meals and eating them at times when you prepare them and not 2 h later reheating it for one person and husband is not in the mood for it at all ;(…please,help

    • Hi, Iv! Oof, that’s tough. I sympathize! I would try to break it down to basics. Are people being nourished? Are they not going to bed hungry? Then job well done.


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