But what's behind the appearance can be very helpful to know.
For instance, many "perfect" people cultivate handy secrets & clever shortcuts to fulfill their needs.
For example, years ago, a "perfect" friend of mine confided one of her shortcuts: She put the children to bed dressed for the next day.
Then she insisted I never tell anyone I heard it from her because she never wants anyone to know.
It never occurred to me to do such a thing, but once I heard it, I was hooked.
I'd get my kids showered and then put them in clean clothes. Sure, I made adjustments. For example, you needn't make your boys sleep in tzitzit and your girls sleep in tights.
And on hot nights, they could sleep without their shirt because it wouldn't take much time to put on their shirt the next morning.
This tip saved me so much stress on school mornings. I did it for years.
Having said that, most people don't like this suggestion.
It sounds weird. They tell me they could never do such a thing.
And I guess that's why my "perfect" friend insisted I never reveal my source.
Sure, it's not for everyone. Pajama pants are much more comfortable than regular pants, for example. So it depends on your child.
But many people simply don't like the idea.
Maybe it depends how many young children you need to get dressed in the morning in a short amount of time, with the pressure of the school transportation coming by a certain time.
Whatever you think of the idea (please remember, everything — the kids, the clothes, etc. — were CLEAN), it was my morning lifesaver during that phase.
Another time, I spent Shabbat in the American home of a family with 7 kids under the age of 10.
And it was perfectly spotless at all times.
I wondered how the young mother did it.
So I asked her.
And she said that part of it is that she puts away any mess immediately. Then she told me something surprising: If she doesn't have a place for something or if she doesn't have the time or energy to put it in the right place, she just tosses it in a closet or anywhere out of sight.
"Really?" I said. It sounded like those people who shove everything under the couch or throw it in laundry baskets when they hear guests are coming. That didn't seem like her at all.
"Yes," she explained nicely. "After all, it's not going to stay there forever, right? At some point, you go and find a place for it. Like, you see it in the closet or drawer and it bothers you, so eventually find a place for it."
Huh. That was a very interesting insight (which I'm not sure applies to everyone, but it was still a handy idea).
She also admitted that her children prefer to play on the main floor of the home, where their mommy is. Even though their basement was set up as a playroom with very appealing toys, the children (like most children) prefer playing where their mommy is. They might play in the basement playroom for 20 minutes, but she could never get them to make that their main play area.
So those are two examples of how "perfect" people don't do everything by the book.
Over the years, I've learned to ask people about their method when I see them excel in an area.
For example, I noticed that in one family, the siblings got along really well. It didn't matter boys or girls or what kind of personality or ages. Everyone was great friends with each other.
And the mother wasn't amazing in other areas, but in the area of sibling relationships, I figured she must be doing something right. So I asked her and she told me, and I did it too and it worked!...and for the life of me, I can't remember what it was.
(That is so weird & frustrating. But I did it for years.)
So whether a person seems overall "perfect" or whether the person simply excels in a particular area, they usually have some kind of secret or method that works for them and that you can benefit from too.
And they're usually happy to tell you. (It can even be a big compliment for them that you think so highly of whatever it is that they're doing.)
Because they know that without the secret of their success, they would suffer consequences they prefer to avoid.
And they don't want you suffering either.