Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Type A Mama Seeks A Life Less Hurried
I recently read this article and it hit home. It was as if the writer was speaking straight to my heart.
After all, I am the quintessential Type A personality. But my kids (especially my daughter) have the stop-and-smell-the-roses type of personality. I was so convicted after reading this article that I vowed to stop saying, "Hurry up."
Well, that lasted all of eight hours.
The next morning, I found myself once again faced with the task of getting the kids dressed, fed, and ready to go in the morning. And no matter how hard I tried to embrace my daughter's easy going nature and tendency to get distracted, the fact remained that we still had to get out of the house by 7:55 to get to school on time.
This really conflicted me. How do I actually go about living a life less hurried? I may have good intentions and want to embrace my child's relaxed approach to life. But like it or not, stuff needs to get done. I hate to think that all of us Type A mamas are just destined live hectic lives, spreading stress and nervous energy onto our family members. Is there hope for us?
After some consideration, here are some of my conclusions.
1) My children are unique and are allowed to have personalities different from my own. So my daughter's tendency to be relaxed and easygoing is not a character flaw. I should instead appreciate her personality and recognize that her traits are what make her unique. Likewise, my own Type A personality is not a character flaw. It is my strength and helped me to accomplish many of my life goals.
(BTW, nothing irks me more than when my husband or any other Type B person tells me to "relax." I AM relaxed, dammit!!!)
2) If I want to create a safe and loving environment for my kids, I can start by prioritizing what is most important and letting go of the small stuff that aren't as important. I think this is important for my own sanity.
For example, I can nudge and encourage my daughter to get dressed and eat in a timely manner in the mornings because we must get to school on time. But not worry about picking up the toys or washing the dirty dishes in the sink. I can contain some of the morning chaos by only tending to what is most pressing when time is limited.
Many times, I feel like it is my duty to multi-task and get EVERYTHING done ASAP. I feel like I am rushing through life. But instead of getting props for all my hard work, the kids and the Hubs end up viewing me as a cranky, nagging figure in their life. I am killing myself to get things done and no one even appreciates it.
What I am beginning to realize that my kids don't care about the crumbs on the floor or whether their socks are bleached (although it obviously has to be done at some point). They just want me to play with them.
So in the end of the day, my epiphany is that I may not be able to change my personality or who I am. But I certainly have control over how I interact with my kids and the tone I set each day. I hope that my new awareness will help me be more sensitive to how my mood affects my children. Perhaps even find a neutral meeting point between being overly relaxed and overly stressed. My goal is to get stuff done but not sacrifice my kid's (or my own) happiness in the process.