In case it's not abundantly clear on this here blog, I am fully a Type A personality: intense, driven, focused. My goal for the next 35 years of my life is to become Type B (or at least A-); to be more like those calm, easy-going, free-spirited types.
Believe it or not, I think motherhood will get me there. It already has to some extent. With three little ones running around, I almost have to become a bit more zen about things. But I am also trying to take deliberate steps (yes I know, sounds very Type A-ish) to chill-out more, to care less about household messes, to buy tortillas instead of always making them, to allow the laundry pile to mount without stressing about it, to let my three-year-old have his peanut butter sandwich rather than worrying about him not eating his kale, to allow screen time when I feel my inner temperature gauge rising, to relax, slow down, chill.
I think it's important, every now and again, to take stock of the stresses and rewards in our lives, to acknowledge the things that bring us joy and those that cause us angst, to recognize the actions we are doing out of love and those we are doing out of ego. And I think it's especially important for mothers to do this, to make certain that we are really enjoying this precious and temporary time with our children, gaining great pleasure from being with them rather than worrying about that boiling pot or that unswept floor.
It's very easy to get burned out at this job. There are endless to-dos, continuous demands, sudden surprises. There are conflicts to resolve, interests to manage, feelings to acknowledge. There are no holidays, no sick days, no overtime credits. There's no quitting and no boss to blame. It can get overwhelming. And for us Type A-ers, those of us who strive to do everything fully and to perfection, it can sometimes get suffocating.
This is a long and wonderful journey and I don't want to get burnt-out. So I've been listing my priorities (yes, more Type A-ness) and I realize that the things that are most important to me (homeschooling, spending lots of time learning alongside my children, centering our time around our treasured triad of family, community and the natural world) need to be the primary focus of my days, not, for example, finding a hundred ways to cook and eat squash in my full-blown attempt to eat a completely seasonal diet.
I'm chilling out. Or at least trying to.
What about you?