Lisa Leonard Designs

breathing easier

March 8th | an everyday moment



today i’m gonna let some stuff go

i’m going to give up on trying to have it all together.

i’m going to admit i’m not perfect.

i mean, is it really THAT big of a deal if i

get the kids to school late-don’t return every email today-or-eat too much chocolate?

will the world end if i don’t

bathe the kids-cook dinner-or-have all the laundry folded?

and instead of feeling guilty

i’m going to feel victorious

because letting go of perfection means

i’m spending more time with my kids

keeping my sanity (and not losing my temper)

and finding freedom to breathe easier

* * *

join me?

can you let go of trying to have it all together today?

No Responses

  1. blissmamaof3 says:

    I can try, it sounds wonderful :)

  2. Michelle says:

    thanks for posting this….so easy to make ourselves feel guilty, isn’t it? when really – the most important thing is quality time spent with our families. I’m joining!! :) blessings to you

  3. Southern Gal says:

    Ooh. That’s a hard one for me. But, yes, I can. Thanks for the prompting.

  4. Kristi F says:

    I want to have it all together and be super organized (I used to be), but it seems I never will again. I am very good at letting things be and going off to do something fun with family or friends; in fact I may be too good at that. I always joke that on my headstone it will say, “Her house may not have been spotless, but she had fun.”

  5. megan says:

    yes, yes, yes! i am going to join you. thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I’m in! Everyday, my battle is to do just what you’re sayin’! :) cool, to be by each other’s side on this fight.

  7. Kristin says:

    This sounds lovely! And I don’t think you can EVER eat too much chocolate!

  8. Sandy says:

    I’m there, sister.

  9. Amy says:

    I just had this conversation with a friend yesterday! I’ve had a lifelong struggle with organization (or lack thereof) and I’ve finally decided that I can worry about a clean house when my kids are grown up and on their own. Besides, all of my favorite people have houses that look as lived in as mine does!

  10. denise says:

    i’ve been working on this.

    all together is safe, i don’t need grace there, i’ve succeeded.

    but i NEED to live in grace. my kids need me to live in grace, to extend it to them, to their father.

    i find myself lately saying “give it grace,” the unfolded laundry, dishes, messy rooms, my heart… give it grace (don’t freak out, give it time, space, room…. breath).

    it’s working, bit by bit.

  11. thegypsymama says:

    “instead of feeling guilty
    iโ€™m going to feel victorious”

    Amen to that!


  12. Jodi says:

    Yes, i too have tried to do this… many times i get caught up in the rat race called MOM only to become overwhelmed and exausted by the time my kids need me. Then they don’t get the best of me, just the stressed me. It is nice to me reminided that i am not the only one who sometimes thinks that the “chores” is what makes me… SO isn’t~it is my kids……thanks!

  13. Joanie says:

    Lisa, I have just had a chat about this with my husband! I’m sick and tired of feeling guilty. Good for you! You are wonderful just as you are. Thank you for this encouraging thought!

  14. Manda says:

    A fear of letting go… Yes.
    Fear of what man will think if I don’t live up to the expectations I place on myself.
    God has been disciplining me on this very thing.
    Yes, I’m joining you!!!!

  15. Gussy says:

    Morning darling! I love this post. I recently accepted the same thing — let it go, Gus! It is so freeing. I feel it actually allows me to get more done because I’m not so focused on all the nitty gritty details. Sounds odd, but that’s my experience. You rock!!!

    Happy Monday to you! xo

  16. happy monday to you and yes!! bills, what bills! hah! paperwork can wait, today i will snuggle my hubby and babies, walk to the bakery for a croissant, and breath in the cool clean mountain air…we spend too much time thinking about what needs to be done or what we just did that we forget to focus on NOW.

  17. I, too, was having a hard time with being able to be less than perfect – call it my OCD coming out! I started making a master To Do list for the week and now I just get done those things that I can, leave the others for tomorrow. It helps me focus, too, because I get sidetracked often! Some of the stuff eventually falls off the list – must not have been that important to begin with!

  18. Kelli says:

    I let myself let go of perfection years ago when I was single parent just out of an abusive relationship and trying to hold it all together with my idea of what was a ‘perfect mom’ (in my head, its something like Donna Reed meets Lorelei Gilmore.)

    I realized that it doesn’t matter if my floors were mopped or the garden weeded that day because my son wouldnt remember those things… he would remember the fun we had together playing with cars or seeing a movie or just rolling down a hill at the park and getting dirty.

    My new version of perfection is just spending time with my family, although the Donna / Lorelei me keep popping back in once in a while :)

  19. Brittany says:

    This is never easy for me to do…but just this morning, I was thinking that if dinner is a little late, or if all the clothes are put away…no one will die. I just need to let go of the pressure I put on myself and enjoy the ride!

  20. Becky says:

    This is excactly what God has been trying to teach me…for the thousandth time! I know when my little one is all grown up he won’t remember when mommy’s hair was a mess or the bathroom mirror was spotted and dingy instead of spotless and shiny. He will remember when mommy read him stories and built endless block towers for him to knock down. Perfection doesn’t bring happiness, it just breeds the need to be more perfect. On this journey with you friends!

  21. Beth Allen says:

    I would love to join you on this one. feeling a little frazzled today.

  22. AbbyS says:

    Amen! …to letting it go! I am such a perfectionist and planner and organizer and I’m very rigid about making sure things get done “all before bedtime”. Really not that important. You are absolutely right about being able to spend more time with the kids and as a family. I wanted to share this story with you Lisa. One evening, I was washing the dishes – my 4-yr-old son had maybe 20 more minutes before going down to bed – he came up to me & asked “Mama, can you play with me in the playroom?”…without a thinking about it (so not me) I turned the water off, dried my hands and said “OK….lets go play”. My husband said as I was passing by him “…it’s funny you said you wanted to play…I just spoke to my Mom (my MIL and I have so many things in common) today and she said, ‘I wish I played more you & read to you when you were little…I always felt I had to get things done’…” This story is so simple it instantly changed my outlook on a few things in life! So…Good for you, Lisa!! I love this post!!

  23. mary says:

    what about when one’s significant other doesn’t see it this way?

  24. Tiffany Day says:

    I absolutely 100% join you! Thank you for this GREAT reminder! Just this morning – honestly – i was feeling very overhwhelmed by what I didn’t do this weekend and feeling like a “looser”. Instead I need to look at what I did do! I work a traditional 9-5 job 5 days a week so my weekends are precious and I try and spend as much quality time with my kids and husband and for some reason late Sunday night and Monday mornings I get very keyed up as to what I didn’t accomplish. And I am sure my kids wont remember how clean and tidy the house was or how organized drawers and cabinets were – they will remember the time we spent together and the things did.

    Its all about balance and not sweating the small stuff – I so love the description on your “From Up Here” necklace – that’s what I try and remember and also to “be still” and drink in this time in my life because I wont get a do over! By God’s Grace WE will be victorious!

    Thank you Lisa – enjoy you day and God Bless you!

  25. Isabel says:

    sigh…i’ve been working on this, but WOW. How difficult it is for me to just let things go and and not stress about having EVERYTHING done and EVERYTHING in it’s place. I think that today, i’m going to grab my little daughter and go to the zoo. Without the camera. I just want to enjoy the moment because it seems that although i try to photograph these special moments….i’m not “in” them like i should be. Fantastic post, Lisa….

  26. Corinne says:

    I am ALL for letting a few things go today.
    Thank you :)

  27. peggy says:

    I will join you! Sounds like a great idea!

  28. amy rehnae says:

    yep, had to learn this one the REALLY hard way…letting go of all the little, but urgent nagging to-dos to make room for the big, important moments is always the way to go!

  29. Sharon says:

    Love it! I just bought my kids some watercolor paints and we have spent all day just painting… it’s been nice but I felt a little guilty till I read your post :)

  30. Taylor says:

    i’m all for it! i’ve been feeling guilty about not getting stuff done lately too… this was a great reminder for me today.

  31. Sarah says:

    I’m SO with you!

  32. paige says:

    just the perfect reminder for me today
    it always gets me in a fluster when i feel behind “already” on monday morning….just like i do today

    thank you for that perfect post!

  33. Amy says:

    This post really touches a nerve with me. My biggest sin is trying to control my life. Trying to be my own boss. When I focus on all the things I “should” be doing little things slip by me. I too am stepping back and enjoying things. I am letting the guilt go. It’s okay to snuggle my baby all day on the couch and it’s okay that I have a history degree, political science degree, a teaching license and I choose to stay at home with my child. I am letting the Lord lead my life. I don’t want to run the show anymore. I am letting go <3

  34. Melissa says:

    I sure can try. Mondays are such a stressful day, trying so hard to get your head back in the game anyway. So I’ll try not to try too hard! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. christine says:

    i am on board! i thank you. my kids thank you. let my ‘imperfect freedom’ journey begin now!

  36. Emily Piper says:

    I’ve done this lately too! I actually told my husband that I really need some help around the house, having 2 kids and being pregnant, I just cant keep up like I used to!! And it was SUCH a relief! I just feel like its my responsibility to keep up with the house since he is at work all day. But now I realize thats just unrealistic. Especially with him gone a week out of every month. So I can ASK for help. Or, if the business starts doing a little better, hire some cleaning help once a month :-)

  37. lisa says:

    hey mary, i saw your question above-about what if the other spouse doesn’t see it the same way. my husband would love a perfectly tidy house. he’s a lot neater than i am. but i simply can’t keep it perfect all the time. i try to keep the living room and kitchen tidy. i guess we’ve sort of reached a compromise. and i am trying to give myself a break from the pressure and guilt i put on myself. sending hugs!

  38. Shauna says:

    You have got a BEAUTIFUL family! Im so glad to hear that David is doing great!

  39. Denissa says:

    I LOVE this post…exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Have a great day! :)

  40. Suzanne says:

    Funny, I got in the car this morning and playing on the radio was ‘Let it Be’, I have been singing that to myself all day.

  41. Jenny says:

    You write the words that I have been feeling for the last couple of months. It’s just not worth it to stress out. Our kids are much more important! None of us are perfect in our own eyes, but in theirs we come pretty close. What a humbling thought!

  42. Clare says:

    Im joining!! x x

  43. samantha says:

    I am totally with you on this. I am always setting myself unrealistic targets then berating myself for struggling to reach them. My husband often tells me to stop trying to juggle so many plates. This weekend I did step out of myself and had a crafting weekend – no cleaning, no shopping. Lovely time designing and making stuff but full of guilt by Sunday night! I don’t feel so bad now after reading this post and seeing how many others feel the same way! I may not even get dressed next weekend and totally rebel!!

  44. Silvia says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and I really enjoy it. I love your pictures and thoughts (and of course your jewelry – although I couldn’t decide on one yet :D).

    It’s so true what you say… We’d like to be perfect, but then what? There is no perfect person out there, so why trying to be one? To impress others? I can’t think of any other reason… And I’m sure we all spend too much time thinking and worrying about what other people are thinking, and I think we would be surprised how little they think about us… :)
    So enjoy life, you only got one so make it worth living! :)

  45. kerry says:

    I’ve been pondering guilt lately and how it is eating away at the edges of my happiness like rust. I’m in!

  46. Melissa says:

    This is a hard one. The getting things done and in order are such a part of me. I have seven kids, ages 1 all the way up to 20. That’s a lot of laundry! The more I try to control everything, the more it controls me! But I have finally figured out that my children want me, not a perfect house. Gotta go dance and march and sing with my 1 year old, Mason!

  47. Robin says:

    I’m with you on this one today for sure!! Perfection is only for God anyway…

  48. Philippa says:

    Ermmm I’m way too good at letting go….. that’s why our lovely country house hasn’t been vacuumed by me in around 2.5 weeks!! Yikes did I just admit that??? We don’t have children, but I know I could vacuum far more often… I’m just way too good at letting go! Big smiles!

  49. Lisa says:

    Love it! You say it perfectly :-)

  50. Susan says:

    I’ve always been a frustrated perfectionist. But the older I get the more I realize what really matters…
    It’s a balance…and the important thing is to seek the will of the Lord and to follow Him. Not easy with our human nature always putting in its two cents! Thank you for a thought provoking post.

  51. It took a chronic disease to knock me back and tell me just to let it go. Let it all go. Forget things. Move on. Don’t try to be all things to all people at all times. It’s been a hard lesson. But our bodies and our minds have a way of making us listen eventually…

    When maybe we could have eliminated a whole bunch of bad stuff if we would have just treated ourselves like a best friend all along.

    Good for you.

  52. Lisa says:

    I’m OCD and so I most definitely need to join you in that one!

  53. Lynette says:

    I found your blog a few months ago, and have been inspired by you everyday. You remind us to slow down and drink that extra cup of coffee and to stop and take that picture of that beautiful flower. You are a beautiful person with a wonderful family. Keep inspiring us and teaching us to slow down and enjoy our life. Thank You!!!!!!

  54. teresa says:

    Oh Lisa!
    Do you know HOW MUCH I love this post!!!!
    I ran across this quote the other day and I have it on my bulletin board now:
    Time you enjoy wasting…is never wasted!
    Don’t you LOVE that!!!!!!!

  55. teresa says:

    Oh…and just so you know…I listed your original EMAIL to me…today on Blooming on Bainbridge…as being one of my TOP 12 MONUMENTAL MOMENTS on my blog!!!!
    You will just never know how flattered I was…and am! xxooxx

  56. rebecca says:

    oh i join you! thanks for the true words!

  57. Serah Garrett says:

    THANK YOU!!! Exactly what I needed for today, who exactly am I trying to be perfect for anyway?

  58. Elle Bee says:

    Wow, I really could have written this myself! Well said.

  59. Ashley says:

    I am a CRAZY perfectionist that has been learning the hard way the importance of letting go. Not fun, but it’s a good thing. There is so much freedom in giving up perfection. And so much more happiness too. I’m enjoying my family and just life in general in such a new and better way. Good choice! Keep letting go :)

  60. Kristin says:

    Yes, and amen! Your words are well spoken and something most of us can take to heart, especially moms of little ones…you just can’t be so perfectionistic anymore…it’s not possible so I’m reminding myself to give it up too! Your boys are blessed to have you for a mom…God is so good and knew exactly what He was doing when He gave them to you.

  61. Jessa says:

    My friend just started a blog attempting to reverse the trend of us Moms having to do-be-fix it all, at the expense of ourselves. It’s called the Make Shift Revolution and it is revolutionary for sure.


  62. Jessa says:

    Forgot to say the website:

  63. Destiny D says:

    I’m SO in!

  64. Melissa says:

    Trying to definitely “embrace the moment” these days. As a SAHM it’s so easy to sometimes let life just pass you by since the days are mostly the same (especially during the dreary winter days), but I don’t want to let it just pass me by. I want to enjoy every second with my little ones.

  65. Elicia says:

    I ate a whole sleeve of thin mint girl scout cookies yesterday. It was monday, I was back at work, and I’m telling you, it was the only thing that kept me sane. :) so instead of telling myself no and avoiding all those un-needed calories, I said what the heck, and really enjoyed it!

  66. Sarah Mann says:

    Lisa, I soooo needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing! I struggle with this, and it is my “project” this year…working on letting go of my perfectionist tendencies and focusing on aligning my expectations with reality. I want to be happier, and for me, this is the way to do it. I want to enjoy my life more, relish in the moments I have with my 2 small boys, and be more relaxed. Thank you for your words, they are like inspirational poetry!

  67. Kathy Caplinger says:

    โ€œwhat we believe emanates from who we are.โ€ โ€“ Peter Rollins

    I tweeted about your awesome giveaway!!! thanks! Kathy

  68. Hi Lisa,
    I often blog about this same subject. We, as moms, put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything. We can only do so much, and when we do slow down and focus on one thing, life is so much sweeter.

  69. Heather K. says:

    I’m letting go as we speak!

  70. I think I’ve been letting go of it too much lately. If there is a such thing as letting go of perfect too much.


  71. Jenny says:

    oh lisa, THANK YOU. i am going to hang this on my wall today. THANK YOU.

  72. Liz D says:

    Thanks for this post. I’m rereading this about every day to remind myself that I don’t need to get it all done. I’m just driving myself crazy trying to do it all. I just had a newborn at the beginning of January (and I have an almost-2 year old), and I find myself being so short with them because they are “keeping” me from getting things done. I’m asking God to realign my priorities. Thanks again for being so honest.

  73. Lisa, you’re such a beautiful inspiration.

Leave a Reply