I adore Joslyn’s blog. Whether I’m searching for inspiration or adding a few things to my must-have list, I can always count on her impeccable eye and stellar taste. And if THAT wasn’t enough, many of her posts focusing on parenting make me want to yell “ME TOOOOOOO” at the top of my lungs because it seems Joslyn and I are very similar in one regard. We are Type A Mothers.
As Joslyn stated in a recent blog post,
I think a lot about this idea of “mellow parenting“… I believe with ever fiber of my being that creativity flourishes and the magic happens when you let kids be bored, explore, make messes and just sort of ramble about a bit, and yet, at my core, I am a type A mom. Big time. Art projects inevitably begin with a mental assessment of how hard they’ll be to clean up, I still tend to overschedule (despite my continued attempts at laziness) and, more often than not, I’m far more uptight than I’d like to be.
You are preaching to the choir, Joslyn. I’m a tad bit Type A myself (hahaatadbithahaaa), with one of my major triggers being kitchen messes. Let me take you all on a little journey into my mind.
Friday evening, dinner table.
Sarah: Wito, how was preschool today?
Wito: It was fun! We played with dinosaurs and…(Sarah’s brain: OMG OMG IS THAT PASTA SAUCE ALL OVER HIS FINGERTIPS? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET THAT MUCH PASTA SAUCE ON THE HANDS WHEN USING AN EATING UTENSIL? HE IS GOING TO WIPE HIS HANDS ALL OVER THE NEW DINING CHAIRS, ISN’T HE? OH, THERE WENT ANOTHER NOODLE ON THE FLOOR. HOW MANY NOODLES ARE DOWN THERE? WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RATIO OF FOOD-IN-MOUTH TO FOOD-ON-FLOOR IS? 1 IN 5? 1 IN 15? WHERE’S HIS NAPKIN? WHY DOESN’T HE USE HIS NAPKIN? USE YOUR GOD DAMN NAPKIN, KID! YOU ARE ALMOST FIVE YEARS OLD!)…and then we read a funny story and then you picked me up!
Sarah: That sounds like fun! Wito, honey, be sure and wipe your hands on your napkin, okay? Also, sit up straight with your knees under the table. That way, you won’t be spilling so much food on the floor. Okay?
Wito: Okay, mommy.
Wita: Ahahaaaaa baaaaaabaaaaaa maaaamaaaa *fistfuls of bite-sized turkey and cheese flying through the air while the rest of her dinner is smashed into her hair*
Sarah’s brain: MELTDOWN CAN’T COMPUTE ;FGBNWRIO;GRW;IOGHWR
You guys, why am I so neurotic about this? I mean, REALLY, it’s just food on the floor. They are LITTLE CHILDREN. I know I’m going to sweep the floor regardless if there are 2 Cheerios on it or 49, so what’s the big deal? I just wish I could tone it down a bit, but MAH BRAAAIIIIN.
And then I start to wonder…is Wito not the slightest bit interested in creating art (painting, drawing, etc) because I shrink-wrapped him in trashbags whenever he got within 2 feet of a paintbrush for the first 4 years of his life for fear of the mess he might create?
Hmmm, food for thought.
Joslyn included this passage from an interview with Anna Quindlen on Momfilter:
“I think having bright lines and boundaries really worked for us, that it made our kids strong and secure because they were clear on expectations and responsibilities. But I wish I had been better able to combine that with letting things go a little bit. Nobody really needs a bath every night. Nobody really needs a balanced meal for every meal. I should have let the freak flag fly a bit more. It’s hard to be a Type A mom. I wish I could have been a bit more B plus, for my sake and their own.”
B plus. I think I’m in love with that idea. Most certainly, the LAST thing I want is for my Type A behavior to stifle my children in any way.
So, this is a call to all of my fellow Type A mothers. Join Joslyn and I in aiming to be Type B+ mothers this summer. Are you in?
Look, I’ve already started.
Those Cheerios have been on the floor for 5+ hours. Baby steps.
Feels quite liberating…
(Nope, just feels messy.)