Over the past two weeks we've had the opportunity to share dinner with others three times. And each time I was preparing a meal for others, I wondered to myself why it seems so different from just cooking for us.

It's not like I cook horrible food: things usually turn out pretty well. There's always just that little fear that things will go completely wrong at the time you most want it to be perfect.

And maybe that little word is my other problem: perfect. I want things to be perfect. But I'm not perfect, and I have two little perfectionism thwarters running around in the house all day.

So I'm trying to hit the balance. I try to keep the menu simple (and stick to something familiar). I try to get the floor swept, and the bathroom wiped down, and most of the toys picked up. But that little nagging inside of me always tells me that I should do more, that whatever I do will never be enough.

Do you get that feeling when you have people over? How do you overcome your perfectionism?


  1. I'm definitely a perfectionist when it comes to cooking for others. I tend to get a little snippy when others are in the kitchen. It was mostly cured last Thanksgiving when *B* dropped my homemade pumpkin pie on the floor just before dinner. After that, I just learned to let go a bit.

  2. I like to have guests over once a week. It can be stressful because I'm not an excellent cook. To ease my stress I never try anything new on a night that I'm having someone over. So... we eat a lot of lasagna or roast. If the family who I invite over offers to bring something, I always say yes! That way I'm not in charge of everything. If I have more than one other family over we always do pot luck and that relieves the most stress of all.

    Also, I do let our guests help with dishes. That helps too.

    People always love coming to my house, not because I'm a great cook but because I create an atmosphere for good feelings. When I'm sitting down with my guests they feel a lot more comfortable than when I play hostess with the most-est.

    Great post, and one I've obviously thought a lot about personally.

  3. Our house is always in disarray on a day to day basis...I have two perfectionism thwarters as well and so when guests are to arrive I am a basket case. I can think of about 50 things I feel like I "should" do and can only get to a hand-full of them. We don't have guests over too frequently...which might be a good thing in my case. I think I might just croak with all of the running around if we did.

    Basically, I could use some help in this area, probably more away from perfectionism to merely trying to keep a house somewhat in order so that when someone rings the doorbell I don't feel panicked at what I see on the living room floor or what is climbing out of the kitchen sink.

    I am ready for more responses to this one. I just realized that I took more of the cleanliness route rather than the quality of the food prepared. I guess you can see what has been on my mind lately. :) I have been trying to figure out some balance and some plan to keep the house a little nicer but boy it sure hasn't been working out too well. But I WILL keep trying. :)

    Thanks for the post.

  4. I feel that way a lot. Partially because I feel guilty that I don't do enough when I don't have guests coming over. If it's good enough for guests, isn't it good enough for my family too?

    That being said, we don't have company over often at all. If we do, they are usually drop-in visitors so I have no warning. I would love to have people over for dinner so that I could cook for them, but I think my fear of the house not being good enough keeps everyone away.

  5. I've just been catching up. Looks like you've been up to your usual awesomeness!!!
    Perfectionism isn't usually a problem for me, but when I am preparing for company I always feel like there's so much more that needs to be done. There's just not enough time in the day!
    Like you, I usually try to at least make sure one bathroom is presentable, and then pray there won't be need for anyone to use the second bathroom!

  6. Hmmm, I just read some of the comments, and I love Janelle's. She's one smart cookie if you ask me!

  7. "I have two little perfectionism thwarters running around in the house all day."

    But what if they ARE your perfection?