I’m a Type A Woman. In case you’re unaware, it basically means I’m insane. 😉 Kind of kidding!! Type A people are generally ambitious, focused, organized, and NEED everything to be perfect.
But you know what I’m not? A Type A Mother. That’s right–my whole inner being screams Type A, but when it comes to motherhood, I’ve adapted a Type B personality.
It wasn’t always this way. When I had Harlyn 5+ years ago, I was as neurotic as the next Type A. She was a puker–she spit up like, a zillion times a day for WELL over a year. She ruined so many outfits, her clothes were always wet…and it drove me crazy. But I also knew I couldn’t change her outfit every 30 minutes. She wore a lot of bibs.
As we started accumulating toys around here, my Type A really showed up. Each night I would sit after Harlyn went to bed and put every single toy back together, ensuring I had every single piece. It was exhausting. And here’s a fun fact: the only toy piece I ever lost of hers during that period was the “jelly” out of her play lunch box. It still haunts me to this day. WHERE did it go? Did one of the dogs eat it?? But I digress.
But the toys kept accumulating, real food entered the picture, and finally, Maverick arrived on the scene. And being a Type A Mom was just a little too much.
I had to do like Elsa and Anna and Let It Go. Slowly, I adjusted my standards. Eventually, I lowered them enough to consider myself an “average” mom (and I even wrote a blog post about it HERE).
What does being a Type B MOM mean to me? Glad you asked. Here’s a few things:
- It means I’ve given up tracking toys (for the most part).
- It means both my kids had pacifiers for too long.
- It means my kids eat like, 5 things, and I’ve accepted it.
- It means our house is never spotless.
- It means my kids’ outfits never coordinate.
- It means I skip bath time sometimes and don’t stress about it.
- It means Harlyn’s room is a Barbie-infested nightmare, and I just keep her door closed.
I adjusted to a Type B Mom slowly over time by:
1.Realizing the effect being a perfectionist will have on my kids.
I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking it’s not okay to have relaxing days, to make mistakes, and to get messy. My kids are KIDS–they need to enjoy life! If I am running around behind them picking up each mess or helping them with each task so they won’t fail…well, I’m showing them that learning, growing, and being a kid is unacceptable. Ick.
2. Choosing to leave the mess.
Do you know how tempted I am to come home from work and start on housework? But at least some of the time, I choose to leave the mess. I go for a run, I play for a few minutes with the kids, or I just scroll IG. Some days, the house just has to wait. Over time, it gets a little easier to ignore the clutter and focus on quality time with my family or with myself.
3. Getting over what other people think.
This one is so hard, but so necessary. Harlyn potty trained at almost 3, had a pacifier til 3, and neither of my kids will eat a balanced meal to save their lives. I don’t coordinate their outfits. If you truly want to become a more relaxed mom, you have to decide that YOU know the best way to parent YOUR kids. Be confident that your choices are okay–even if it seems like every other mom on this planet is doing the exact opposite of you.
4. Learning from someone else.
One of THE main reasons I have become a more chill mom than I ever believed possible is that my husband is laid back. I don’t mean that in a bad way–he’s driven, focused, dedicated, and raises these kids like it’s his JOB. You know, because it is. 😉
But he is still a relaxed guy. He lets stuff roll off his back, and after 16 years together, I’ve learned a thing or two from him.
Of course, I am still a work in progress. I will always wonder where the pretend jelly ended up. I still get anxious when every surface of our home is covered in toys or whatever food the kids have recently been eating. I still want to find a way to get all the chores done AND be present. But I’m so much better than I used to be. And my husband will back me up on that all day long!
If you struggle with perfectionism and have a Type A personality, please know that you don’t have to be a perfect mom. You don’t. Actually, I’m betting your kids will learn more from you if you show them your flaws, how you deal with them, and model what to do when things don’t go right.
You don’t have to do it all, mama. Just do the best you can, just like me.