If you’re a Type A personality (like me) parenting can sometimes be very difficult for you. Between the messes, the chaos, and never being on time (like, never), parenting can be somewhat stressful and most definitely gets your blood boiling. In an effort to ease the difficulties I’ve faced in parenting, I’ve figured out a few things that made life a lot easier.
Lessons Learned: being a Parent with a Type A personality
- Messes are ok – they’re a form of self expression. This seems like a simple point, but it really took me a long time to process this. I wore myself out constantly cleaning up after my daughter. My husband would fuss that I was keeping her from being a child, and was trying too hard to keep my house looking perfect. And I was – I was always trying too hard. Come to terms with the fact that little ones learn a lot through making messes. By slinging blocks around, they’re getting a feel for their hands and what they are capable of. By flinging paint on the table they are learning to grip a paintbrush, which paves the way for holding a pencil. If anything, we understand the need to succeed. Let your children succeed, and make a mess or two!
- You are not in control. I have heard this my whole life, but am still learning this second point. In most cases, I am in control. I control what my children eat, what they play with, and try my best to ensure that they are safe. But what I can’t control are their tantrums, when they are going to get sick, when they need to poop, and when they are going to have an accident. Before kids, I was always punctual. Arriving ten minutes early was my signature. Now? I try my best.
- Plan ahead. This closely follows point number two because SO much can happen that is out of your control as a parent. And as a type A parent, that will drive you crazy. So be prepared! Make sure diaper bags are stocked every evening so that you have one less thing to do in the morning. This opens up some extra time that will come in handy if someone has an unexpected explosive diaper. Keep a small emergency kit in your diaper bag, along with a few snacks, a change of clothes for baby, and a couple of their favorite small trinkets. This may seem like a lot to handle (on top of already being a parent) but once it becomes part of the routine, it makes life a little bit simpler.
- Keep a running list of activities to do and foods to eat. This sounds silly, but this has made my life a lot easier – and less stressful. I keep a running list on my phone of lunches I can make for my daughter to ensure she gets variety. I hate standing around wasting time while I try to brainstorm an exciting meal for her. With this list, I just choose one of the lunches I made up when I was feeling inspired.
The same goes for activities to do during the day. When my daughter gets wound up because she has been playing with the same toys for an hour, I open my list and pick something to do with her. It makes me feel like I’m wasting less time, and being a more exciting playmate for her!
A large part of me wants to always be organized. I do well in organized situations. I consider it one of my fortes. If you feel like the same way, why not apply that to your parenting too? (as much as you can, anyway.)
Share your ideas! How do you make parenting easier for you?