# clean with me # enemies to homemakers

The Second Biggest Enemy to Homemakers

Many of you recently saw my video, The Number One Enemy to Homemakers. If you haven't watched that video, I highly recommend you do. Today, I’m going to share what I believe is the number two— the second enemy— to homemakers.

I’ve been thinking a lot about homemaking lately. Why, with so much technology and so many conveniences, some of us (myself included) still struggle with our homemaking. My revelation in the first video shared what I believe to be the number one enemy to homemakers, but that’s not where it ends.

This issue is quite complex, and there are many more enemies. It’s important for us to call them out and be aware of them in order to conquer these beasts— these road blocks that prevent us from living a beautiful life at home.

As I have pondered this topic, I truly believe that the number two enemy to homemaking is: PERFECTIONISM.

PERFECTIONISM Think about it. I’d like to think that I am not a perfectionist. That’s something other people struggle with. But I believe that most of us struggle with it, in some form, whether we acknowledge this or not.

PERFECTIONISM As women, we tend to seek perfection and beauty. Whether that is in our décor, or in our homemaking. Sometimes we feel if we can’t do a project fully and completely, executed perfectly, that we shouldn’t even bother. We get defeated before we begin. If we can’t do it perfectly, we don’t want to do it at all.

PERFECTIONISM this also goes for our décor. We all have a home— a dwelling place we call our own, but for many people— that home isn’t exactly how they would like it to be. It might be the décor that is unsatisfactory. Maybe you dislike your furniture. Or maybe you really don’t like your bathrooms or kitchen. Perhaps your sofas are a bit run down like mine are.

Subconsciously we do not take care of our homes as well as we should because our homes are not as we would like them to be.

How I like to combat my perfectionist tendencies is to just focus on the exact task I’m doing and not get ahead of myself. I do that task to the best of my ability, keeping in mind the other tasks I have to do. I try to enjoy the process.

PERFECTIONISM Because we see perfect homes and décor and cleaning routines on social media and suddenly feel bad about what we have.

I’ll give you an example of perfectionism in my own life. I have this YouTube channel, and I have a few followers on Instagram and I’m a published author. Technically some might call me an “influencer”. So a perfectionist thought might be: someone with my line of work should have nicer furniture and décor. Well, I’m going to show you a few very real things in today's video.

Fighting past my perfectionist tendencies, rather than going into debt to show off a lifestyle that isn’t in my budget right now, I am going to live with what I have. Because yes, even published authors and YouTubers have furniture with rips in it.

I think about Madame Chic a lot when this subject comes to mind. As I mention in my books, her kitchen and bathroom were very outdated. So outdated that by American standards we would instantly be itching to re-do them. But she lived with her outdated kitchen and bathroom and thrived with them. She created some of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had in that outdated kitchen.

Her furniture was antique and sometimes it was a bit shabby. But she kept her home beautifully. She didn’t suffer from comparison and perfectionism, she embraced what she had.

Let us not let our perfectionism get in the way of showing our homes the love that they deserve. Rather than comparing our homes to others, we should embrace what we have and love and appreciate it. Yes, upgrade when it’s in the budget, but if it’s not, love that shabby sofa, that outdated bathroom, Love and scrub and take care of your things because perfection is a state of mind.

Note: in today's video I'm wearing a lace tee (linking similar), my Mott & Bow jeans Use code JLS10 for %10 off (Until July 31, 2019), and a Cath Kidston apron (a gift from my mother-in-law).

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Thank you for joining me today. I would love to know... do you struggle with perfectionism in your daily life? How does it help you? How does it hinder you? Let us know and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on The Daily Connoisseur.

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clburbach said...

Good morning Jennifer,
What a wonderful and much needed reminder to wake up to this morning. As a fellow stay-at-home/homeschooling mom, I wholeheartedly agree with you and definitely struggle with my own perfectionism. Thank you for sharing your real home and life with us!
Best from Texas,

Sharon said...


What a lovely, candid reminder to seek beauty in what we already have! At times I long for a larger, well-designed kitchen with a pantry. Thus, my pantry is in the basement of our house. About 2 years ago (yes, I am a long time listener and reader), due to your influence and gentle reminders, it occurred to me that having to make numerous trips was a fabulous built-into-everyday-life exercise opportunity! (I'm a little slow and a naturally reluctant exercise-er.) Thank you! A smaller kitchen and a smaller backside is not such a bad trade-off. There is a silver lining to every cloud.

Anonymous said...


What a beautiful video! You continue to be such a blessing and I do so appreciate you. :-)
My mom often talks about a great-aunt who lived in a farmhouse in the country. She describes the swept floors, clean kitchen, nicely made quilted beds, sheer curtains on the windows, and neat walk-in closets upstairs. Although my mom was very little at the time, five or six years old, she often says that her house was one of the nicest she had ever been in. Clean, comfortable (obviously not trendy or ornate) but so welcoming. Even though I never met Aunt Louise, I can see her and her home in my imagination and she is always an inspiration to me.

Woman of the House said...

Excellent topic and excellent video! Edith Schaeffer, author and wife of Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer, said that if we demand perfection or nothing, we'll get nothing. Those are words to live by and I remind myself of them several times a week. If you are not familiar with her books, I suggest you start with The Hidden Art of Homemaking and follow it with What Is a Family?. I think you will really appreciate her message of the importance of homemaking and the creativity inherent therein. I also remember reading long ago of Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette,visiting a home that was modest, well-worn, even outdated, but clean and neat and pleasant. There were black-eyed Susans in a jug on top of the refrigerator instead of the common array of cereal boxes. It struck her that making an effort to make one's surroundings pleasant and welcoming was much more important than having the latest style or perfect decor. I took her and Edith Schaeffer's messages with me into my own home and have lived under their influence for decades. I can vouch that these attitudes have increased my contentment and my family's happiness. I'm so thankful I learned these lessons early! Thank you for promoting the importance of homemaking without perfection!

Erica said...

This was the encouragement I need right now, as half my living room is a concrete floor. We had a pipe leak and half our floor had to be pulled up. It will likely be many weeks before it's fully repaired. Everytime I walk on the concrete and the baby crawls on it, I cringe. It looks so ugly! But I vacuum it and keep it clean as best as I can. I put down some area rugs too. And I try to be grateful for all we have. Air conditioning and clean running water, for example, are far more than many people have in other parts of the world. Thanks for this reminder!

Lindsey said...

Thank you for this lovely video and message. I teared up at the end. To enjoy and care for our lovely homes, imperfections and all, is a wonderful gift to ourselves and the people around us.

Gibby said...

Thank you so much for your video. This is something that I've personally been struggling with. But after watching your video I realize that it's not the furniture or decor but it's appreciating what you do have and taking care of it. It's also appreciating the people inside your home and providing a clean and healthy environment. Thank you so much!!

Charlene said...

This is such a lovely video and it’s so true. It reminded me of a Bill Murray quote I read recently that said “Social media is training us to compare our lives instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is so depressed.” All those perfect images make us feel somehow deficient. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful and enjoy what we have. I can’t help but think that if my home were perfect, I might find it boring.

Lindsey Back said...

I am sitting exhausted at the end of a day spent cleaning our guest rooms for my son and daughter in law's visit from Panama. While I am so excited to see them after 15 months I am worried I am going to be so tired and spent I won't enjoy the first part of their visit (I'm 66 and have realised that I am in fact slowing down a bit) You are so right! I want it all to be perfect for them, not a spec of dust, walls washed, vacuumed and smelling just perfect too. A friend said the other day .... but they probably won't even notice, they are coming to see you.... which is quite true but all my life I have struggled to have the most perfect and cleanest house and now wonder whether with all my perfection I haven't missed out on something..... but it's so hard isn't it? It's not only in the house though I am learning to play the piano and I want to be..... and I go to a ballet class each week and strive to be just a little more ..... I find I am competing with myself in Pilates just to stretch that little bit better. It's so exhausting and after your video I am thinking seriously about what you say but I wonder can I strive less for perfection and will that striving lead me to another problem....striving for perfection to be less perfect in my daily life! I love your videos and find your advice timely and uplifting. Thank you for making life a little lighter and giving us inspiration to carry on in these dark days.

Kgirl said...

Ah, with just a few little tweaks (the smiling to camera, the photo, etc) this one is much more upbeat and inspiring for me than the first homemaker one. I see that effort, thank you!! :-)
As a perfectionist too, I have a very all-or-nothing approach to housework that I feel is a battle I just can't win because housework is simply never done! I had a breakthrough with my bathroom recently (I REALLY loathe cleaning the bathroom) and decided that instead of putting it off because I couldn't face the thought of cleaning the whole bathroom that I would simply clean one column of tiles in my shower each day while I showered. It has been revolutionary. It doesn't feel like a chore, it feels like I'm achieving something each day and I can see the comparison between the gleaming column of tiles I've just cleaned and the column of tiles that awaits the next day, which is such an incentive. Hope this tip helps someone else who puts off dreaded tasks too: break them down into smaller daily ones.

Jane said...

Jennifer, I am so touched you featured my instagram on your blog. Thank you!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, I am overwhelmed by your amazing and supportive comments. This series is striking a chord with women all over the world and I am so excited that we are getting these dialogues going. Thank you for extending your support by leaving a comment here. I am so appreciative!

With love,

Jennifer xx

Anonymous said...

Your video is soooo much like Nikki's! You're even starting to sound like her!

Jessica W. said...

Thank you for this lovely and very encouraging video! Our family has also used the Picture Study Portfoilos. :)

Edel M said...

Thank you for all your wonderful videos. This article may be of interest to you. https://www-irishtimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.irishtimes.com/opinion/trashy-television-may-cost-us-more-than-just-our-time-1.3969952?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&mode=amp&usqp=mq331AQA#aoh=15643864095712&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.com%2Fopinion%2Ftrashy-television-may-cost-us-more-than-just-our-time-1.3969952

Heidi said...

Love this series! I would love to know the type of cordless vacuum that you are using. Would you buy it again... And do you have an Amazon link��?

Unknown said...

This blog, especially your videos on homemakers biggest enemies, have revolutionized my life. Literally I have found myself a completely different person as I go about my housework each day. I no longer look for “the end result”, but I enjoy the process. I no longer dread the work and this has helped me not to procrastinate. As a result, my house is cleaner, but I am less tired. Seems strange but it’s true. Amazing! I just started reading your book, at home with madame chic. So so great. I am recommending it to everyone I know! A big thanks to you. Please keep the videos coming.