and then you got pregnant! Nothing tests your character, your beliefs and everything you thought you knew and valued like having kids. For most, the transition starts out a bit unnerving and then smooths its way out. You realize and accept that even the simplest things in life are now beyond your control. The old rules and rhythm you established cease to exist. But for my Type A mom-friends, the bumps may seem a little bigger and acceptance of not being in control takes…forever it seems. We kick and scream the entire way as we relinquish power to a little person that hasn’t even mastered the English language.
What’s that you say?
You don’t know if you’re Type A?
Okay let me pause for a second and address this. You are likely Type A if any of the following apply to you:
- You’re a PLANNER
- You have a to-do list. Maybe more than one.
- You like to be able to “DO SOMETHING”
- You are extra competitive.
- You might be a little bit of a perfectionist
- Being efficient is a must. Inefficiency boils your blood.
- You’ve been called a worry-wart.
These are of course my laymen examples. For a more official description you can consult Dr. Google.
Anywho back to my story. For those of us (yes, I am admitting) that are Type A, it starts off with the little things. Pregnancy symptoms start to surface and you feel your body is just doing what it wants. Betraying you at ever foul smell as each step gives way to sciatica. You may even get the signal to SIT THE EFF DOWN but not YOU, YOU’RE going to be different. You can STILL do it all. Maybe you even promised yourself to NOT gain the 30lbs that everyone else did because you know YOU have self-control. You will eat clean and exercise. RIGHT! Problems is, no one had your fetus sign that agreement! And then it’s those tests they give you during pregnancy, that you somehow think you can ace. I recall my first glucose test. The 1hr test results indicated I was out of normal range by 2pts which mean I would need to retest with the 3hr test. What did I hear instead? YOU FAILED THE GLUCOSE TEST! As if it were a test I could have studied for in advance. Ohh and shall we get into how detailed the Type A mom’s birth plan can be! Let me tell you, your ob/gyn is LAUGHING right now. They know that while that piece of paper typed up in 12pt Font Times New Roman, signed and laminated is YOUR plan, but actual birth will NOT be controlled by you! And even when your actual delivery doesn’t go per the plan you are not deterred! You’re determined on the way home from that hospital, with your little bundle of joy in your arms, THAT YOU WILL MASTER THIS MOM THING!!!
AHAHAHAHHAHAA!!! Yep, I’m laughing. It’s all laughable now. Now that I’m two kids in and currently knee deep in 2nd round of toddler antics. I’m here to tell you, YOU ARE NOT THE MASTER! You will not be in control. In fact, I believe God sent these tiny cute cuddly little terrors to show us in high definition clarity that WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL.
- STTN (sleeping-through-the-night). You will read books with magic potions on ways to get there. It’s all Harry Potter hogwash. You can’t MAKE this happen. It happens when it happens. As soon as you accept your position on #teamnosleep and stop fighting it the better it gets. That’s right! You have to wave the white flag! GASP!
- Baby Illnesses. You bought a year’s worth of sanitizer. You kept him/her from sick people and the mall. You kept a cap on his head at night like grandma said and dagnammit the cold comes any way. What’s worse than that, is the realization that you can’t actually DO anything for them! No medicines approved. Whaaa?!? I can’t do anything but watch my child suffer!?!? How is this real life! How will we survive this? I am a problem solver! I DO things. And it will take a whole other post to discuss the inexplicable rashes they get that will frustrate you to no end.
- EVERY.SINGLE.MEAL. When your child is legit eating table food you will be ecstatic! Then all of a sudden it will transition into the most nonsensical thing you’ve ever encountered. Perhaps you promised the universe that you would cook a home cooked meal for your child every day complete with organic gmo-free foods. And then it happens…she loved your bland broccoli on Wed. but on Thurs. she spit the very same broccoli out as if it were laced with anthrax. For weeks at a time, she will ONLY like chicken nuggets from Wendys. Do NOT disrespect the palate with a substitution from ChickfilA. And she will actually prefer a tv dinner over your gourmet meal that took hours. It will hurt you to your core and you will be ever perplexed.
- Potty Training. Pigs will surely fly before you have any control over this process! And every child comes in to their own on their own timing. You will hear people say their child was potty trained at a mere 11mos and be VERY jealous. What they really mean is I WAS TRAINED to take my child to the potty every 30min at which time he uses the bathroom. As he gets closer to two and the poop gets larger you will really want to speed the process. You will read books and talk to friends to properly research and make a plan (those skills are 2nd nature) but in the end it comes to down to when your child will be physically and developmentally ready! And guess what?!? No one can tell you when that is. You have to just go with the flow (pun intended) and never have 4 words been more despised when it comes to Type A moms.
- MILESTONES. Oh boy! Milestones are like salt in an open wound for the Type A parent. There are what seems like a bazillion of them. “They” have the nerve to create these charts as easy to read guides but for the type A mom this chart will be like a report card. You personally feel responsible if your child doesn’t “make the mark”. You will fight daily to not compare your 7mos old to your best friends 7mos. You’ll obsess over percentiles for weight and height, no matter whether they are over or under. As a newborn, you might even track ounces consumed and weight gain in a spreadsheet and do a few trendlines. Oh just me? Oh okay. Whatever. Ultimately, it all happens exactly when it should and very few of our children ever really fall in the “delayed” category. What you don’t realize at the time is that these things are so inconsequential at the age of 5. The child that walked at 9mos is no different than the child that walked at 13mos.
Believe me when I say these are just SOME of the things that will throw you off your Type A game! You will never be as efficient or on time as your pre-child self. You will never fully understand your child’s many meltdowns. I could go on and on. Initially, it will work you over in the most uncomfortable way. I believe it is those very moments of discomfort that you begin to grow. I found that things were much less stressful for me when my perspective shifted and I am accepted I do not (and should not) control every single thing. That is not how this parent thing goes. I now understand that being a mom is accepting the unknown as well as the imperfect outcomes.