Today Is Going To Be An Imperfect Day
…..Confessions from a Type-A Mom
Yes, that is me…a type-A personality. I have lived my whole life making to-do lists, organizing my home, planning events and vacations, and the like. It’s just who I am. I have spent years trying to relax and let things go but with little success. In my pre-children days, I lived my life by my Franklin planner, which went everywhere with me. In the early mommy days, I had an endless stream of papers everywhere in my home, car, and purse listing reminders such as do the kids’ laundry, clean out the car, and prep veggies. I would spend time consolidating these lists and happily checking things off. Now, just this year, I have “discovered” technology. I live and breathe by my iPhone and iPad. iCloud is my new best friend. I can’t explain the satisfaction of making a quick entry into my calendar of one device and having it automatically sync with the other. Yes, I obsessively plan. I’m a mommy taxi transporting my kids to two different schools each day. All of the activities and events each day are carried out with careful consultation of my calendars. Do I sound nuts? Absolutely.
Believe me – each morning I wake up and before I even get out of bed, I can hear my kids. Sometimes they sound happy and joyful, playing together. Other mornings, I hear the shrill sound of one of them screaming over something minor as one took a toy from the other. You see, my kids are very early risers. Five a.m. is an average wake-up time. Being the planner that I am, I would love to wake up before the kids so that I can start my day in peace. Shower, make a cup of coffee, and get ready for the day…in peace. But, I must say, as organized as I’d like to be, I cannot possibly start the day before five a.m. So each morning, I open my eyes to the sound of my children. I lie in bed thinking and reminding myself, No matter how many things are planned on my calendar today, everything will not get done. I have to mentally prepare myself for this. Because let’s face it, as a mother, things can change in a moment’s time. For instance, I had my whole day planned last Thursday and the day started with my son, all sniffly and coughing, who needed to stay home. As much as I feel the obvious priority to care for my child, I can’t help but feel, in the back of my mind, But I had so much to do today.
So today, six years into motherhood, I am finally starting to get it. Believe me, I am a work in progress. I definitely have days, like last Thursday, that I get stressed when I can’t live my day by my calendar. But there are also progressive days in between where I just go with the flow and let it all happen. I wake up in the morning, as I hear the kids screaming in the other room, and tell myself, It’s going to be an imperfect day. In other words, I know I won’t accomplish all that I want to. But it’s really ok because it will all be there tomorrow, and the next day.
Right now, as I write this, I am sitting in the backyard with my children. They are running all over the place, making all kinds of noise, and asking for snacks approximately every five minutes. A year ago, six months ago even, I would never have sat down to write in this environment. It would have had to have been scheduled on my calendar and I would have needed a quiet environment to write in. Now, I relax and enjoy the ability to just let the day happen. Yes, I still have those “I must consult my list and check things off today” moments, but they are less frequent. For years, I have enjoyed a quote that I have just recently started living by. I will continue to make my lists and consult my calendars, for I am truly type-A. But I am learning to have patience and relax. Each day everything is happening for a reason. The more I live in the moment and step back from the over-scheduling, I can truly see the beauty of this:
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson