Not Everything Needs To Be Perfect

Let me say (write…) that again:

Not Everything Needs To Be Perfect.

Ideally, everything in your home will have a home of its own (“a place for everything, and everything in its place yadda yadda yadda”), but the goal of this whole thing is not to have your home look like OCD City.  Really.  The cans in your pantry do not all need to be facing the same direction (although it’s lovely when they are, it’s also kind of scary), and the towels don’t all need to line up on the towel bar.  You don’t live at Pottery Barn.  Your home is not a movie set.  You are not Gary and Elaine.

Your home should be your soft spot to land.  It should be your sanctuary from the rest of this prickly world.  You should be able to pull your car into the garage, walk into your kitchen (mudroom, whatever), put down your bag, sort your mail on an empty flat surface, feed whoever in your home is hungry, and then chill out for a little while before bed.

Think about it.  What would that be like?  Because it’s possible.  That could be what many (not all, because I’m not a freaking magician) of your evenings are like.  Not perfect.  Just… easy.  Well, easiER, at least.

This is about being able to sit in any chair in your house.  It’s about eating at a table, or at least being able to choose to eat standing up in the kitchen instead of it being the only reasonable place it can happen.  It’s about having a clean towel next to your shower, and clean sheets on everybody’s bed.  It’s about having people over to watch the Oscars or the Super Bowl or just dinner (or the Tonys, which are next week!!!) and not spending two solid days clearing a trail from the couch to the TV to the bathroom.  It’s about having a general idea of where just about anything in your house is.

It’s not an impossible dream (♪♫to dreeeeeeeeeeeeam the impossible dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeam♪♫).  It’s a reasonable expectation.  Really.  It is.  It’s doable.  I promise (or as Boo says, “Pinky swear!”).  It may take some time to get there, though.  You may not know where or how to start.  You’re not alone.  A lot of people don’t know where to start.  Hell, when I was first keeping my own house, it was a disaster.  I alphabetized my movies (it’s always been lurking just below the surface…) but there was not a clean plate to be found.

The idea of hiring a Professional Organizer seems quite lofty, yes?  It does.  Hoi, polloi, aren’t we fancy and helpless, not being able to clean our house?  Don’t think about it like that.  One of my clients said it so perfectly:  “It’s like you’re a personal trainer for my house”.  You know how you go to a gym (or, like me, you may have friends who go to a gym) and there’s a person standing next to you, cheering or coaching or somehow encouraging you to continue?  She (or Hot Muscle-y He?) guides you through new routines, correcting your form, making sure you don’t take on too much, pushing you to keep going?

That’s me.  That’s what I am able to do.  And to be crass and talk (if only briefly) about money, I’m likely within your budget.

So there it is.  When someone asks for an explanation of what I do (and they have a few minutes…) that’s what I tell them.  I’m not going to swoop in and make your life perfect.  But I can help you Get A Grip (get it? makes sense now, doesn’t it?) on it.

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On Being A Ninja Mom

ninja (忍者) or shinobi (忍び) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan who specialized in unorthodox warfare. The functions of the ninja included espionage,sabotageinfiltration, and assassination, and open combat in certain situations. 

I don’t know about you, but not a day goes by when I don’t do most of those (assassination is rare, but I’ve been known to dispose of dead fish without a second glance).  There are mornings where simply getting Boo into her clothes counts is similar to open combat (and calf roping, but that’s off topic).

About a month ago, I posted about the wonderful friends I have.  They’re my Posse of Ninja Moms.

I realized these ladies were actually Ninjas when I was pregnant with Boo.  There was NOTHING I couldn’t ask them.  They made me realize that no matter how invincible and independent and capable we are, we are never above asking for and receiving help and knowledge.

So what makes someone a Ninja Mom?

Ninja Moms rally around you when scary pregnancy things happen. They laugh when funny pregnancy things happen, and they share their own experiences and they make a point to help you feel like you’ll be OK as a mom.  The first week you’re home with a new baby, they bring meals and they stick around for a couple of hours so you can take a shower and a nap.  They pass along clothes and all sorts of good stuff that their own kids have outgrown.  They make HUGE fusses over the successes and gave realistic suggestions for the struggles.  They help so much in ways you never could have anticipated.

As your children get older, the Ninja Moms are the ones who tell you which emergency rooms have the best pediatric protocols because such information is valuable and luck favors the prepared.  They tell you which soccer league is a good one and which one to avoid.  They give you strategies for navigating theme parks.

Ninja Moms do not judge other moms on their parenting style or decision (as long as lives are not threatened).  They may not necessarily agree with this or that, but the core belief of the Ninja Mom is that we pick our battles, we ask for help when we need to, and we do not force our battle strategies onto other Ninja.

This lady?  Totally a Ninja Mom.  She gets it. I’m definitely going to buy her book.

While the original meaning of “Posse” refers to a group of citizens assembled by the authorities to deal with   an emergency (such as suppressing a riot or pursuing felons), the term posse is also used for any force or band … often also figuratively or humorously.  

When Ninja Moms gather, it’s a Posse, because chances are there’s an emergency going on (am I right or am I right?).  That emergency may involve a ladies spa weekend two states away, but that counts (IT DOES.).

These could totally be moms. Just go with it.

The moment when you look around at your life, and you think “Yeah, I got this.” you are a Ninja (whether you’re a mom or not).