When you hear the word “Mom”, you probably start to picture a Type A woman. She’s got her daily planner filled up, and to-do lists color-coded. I’ve always wished I were the type of person that made lists. My list would start with: 1. Remember to start list.
I’ve always been a Type B, whenever-I-get-around-to-it type of person. I can’t do anything I consider a chore without external motivation. Basically, if I’m worried that my messy ways will bother someone else, then I’ll address it. The classic example is scrambling to clean when someone is coming over to visit. But also, I am very neat and organized in workplaces. The problem was always when I got home and kicked off my shoes.
I struggled for months with the transition to Stay At Home Mom. It’s hard to compare the sorts of things one does as a homemaker to quantifiable work done in an office. That “why did I bother going to college?” feeling is hard to shake when you’re wiping a little butt or reading Say Moo? for the tenth time in a day. Baby’s inevitable crying spells are probably the hardest part. They make you feel like, “wow, this is my job now, and I can’t even get that right!”.
But, like with most jobs, you eventually find your groove. Recently, while packing up more of my daughter’s clothes – sorted by Girl or neutral – I had a breakthrough. “I don’t think I’ve ever sorted, put away, and labeled anything [at home] in my life!” I thought to myself. “Maybe I am decent at Mom-stuff!”
Then I thought about it: I really do get so much more done, in a more systematic way, than I ever have before. It happened out of necessity. Maybe my vocation and personal life being so intertwined is benefitting me. I’ve lost so much time trying to find things amongst my own chaos. I’m finally a person with specific bags that have specific compartments for specific, useful items:
- Pumping tote bag
- Insulated baby bottles & food bag
- Diaper bag (filled with baby’s favorite toys and teethers for when we’re at restaurants)
- Baby clothes bag (for trips away from home, with lots of spare changes)
- My weekender bag (filled with nursing swag)
Another cool thing? I was getting stressed out a lot about not having time to clean/organize, because I was so busy entertaining an infant. Then I realized that she thinks going to new rooms is a fun game. It doesn’t keep her interest for long periods of time (nothing does); but having 10 minutes to put away clothes in one room, then the next, is ridiculously exciting (#momlife). Hopefully my kid(s) will continue to enjoy the “game” of cleaning. I want it to come naturally to them later in life.
I’ll never totally look like a Type A Mom, but I’m okay with that. I know that toys strewn about the house means that my child is having fun. Piles of laundry not put away? Hey, at least it got to the wash! Forgot to run the dishwasher: maybe we should order take-out tonight?
Now that I’m taking tips from more organized Moms, hopefully I’ll be able to return the favor via reassuring you that you don’t have to be perfect, all of the time!
What type of Mom are YOU?