Are you comparing your home or office to those you see in magazines or catalogs? Thanks to Cool Mom Picks, I just read the following wise words about "org porn" on Buttoned Up. The people quoted, Alicia and Sarah, are the site's founders, who are also the authors of Everything (Almost) in Its Place.
“Org porn is that glossy, airbrushed fantasy world where everything is pristine, serene and perfectly in order, sort of Playboy, but with chore charts and name-plated cubbyholes,” said Sarah Welch. “It’s everywhere you look these days: in magazines, coffee table books, advertisements, and TV shows. ...And there's the same kind of issue in the time management realm, as Abagael MacAskill writes. She's a homeschooling mom, but similar unrealistic expectations plague many parents - and non-parents, too.
“Don’t get us wrong, gazing at beautiful images of meticulously organized rooms, perfectly displayed collections, color-coordinated closets, flawless family schedules, pristine kitchens, tidy mud rooms, and picture-perfect work spaces can be titillating – even meditative. There’s a reason we call it ‘org porn,’” said Alicia Rockmore. “But when they become the primary yardstick by which you measure your own general state of organization is when it becomes unhealthy. An airbrushed land of perfect organization cannot be sustained in this messy, unpredictable world called real life.”
I head off to the first of a day full of seminars directed at every conceivable aspect of homeschooling. At the first seminar a woman who is the mother of seven, speaks on organizing your house and your day, while simultaneously educating your children. As I walk away at the end I marvel at how she makes her own bread, volunteers at three or four charities weekly, crosses the country 6 months out of the year giving lectures on this topic, AND still manages to educate her seven children to genius status. I have two children at home and sometimes none of us make it out of our PJs by three in the afternoon and my sink is always full of dishes. ...So many of us see examples of people who seem to cope perfectly - they have time for everything, their homes are perfectly organized all the time. I don't know anyone like that in real life.
Homeschoolers are under scrutiny by everybody - the media, the government, the school district, extended family and even sometimes the neighbors. Because of this constant judging I think as homeschoolers we tend to overcompensate and present an unreasonable picture of perfection to the world of what homeschooling is like. Then we begin to believe it ourselves. Since it is not really perfection and never will be on this side of heaven we have set ourselves up for disappointment, failure and burnout.
Organizing on TV: Illusion vs. Reality
[Picture from The Container Store]