Before having children I was efficient, punctual and tidy. Known as “controlling” by those closest to me -- a textbook Type A.
Evolution has since exerted its influence and old standards have been re-evaluated. With the entrance of each newborn child into the family commune, a little piece of my old self has been discarded. Thrust into this structure-less Type B system while maintaining composure is my perpetual quest — for if I don’t adapt, I will perish.
Five tips on how to surrender —
1. Type A loss of “voice” — On some days, I don’t finish the morning housework until 5pm. My hectic schedule may not allow me to get to it all until then. So, why bother making a child’s bed four hours before bedtime? Type A will make a statement de facto despite Type B’s daily domination. In other words, “go with the flow,” but squeeze it in if you can to pacify your need for order.
2. Career waitress/server — I am resigned to my full-time position as a waitress-server and my inability to achieve synchronized hunger and tastebuds between all my children on any given occasion. Having become a one-woman Morrison’s Cafeteria, I have about 5 pre-cooked no-brainer meals on hand and ready to heat up on demand.
3. Loss of order and tidiness — My drawers were once the envy of the The Gap, but now I’m content just to have same the genre garments together- whether rolled into a ball or folded neatly in a drawer. This would have been totally UNACCEPTABLE the first 30 years of my life. Now it’s the hallmark of success in this department.
4. Loss of ability to own and care for quality stuff- We had collected very unique ornaments on our marital journeys across different lands. This sentimental memorabilia has ultimately lost the battle against my young army’s destructive limbs. Memories have ceased to have physical manifestation in this world- thereby, becoming mere symbols within our collective marital imagination. Our relationship with the material world is so precarious- we’ve learned to love and let go of our cherished, hard-earned material accumulations abruptly. Although it still hurts and pisses me off each time it happens.
5. Abandoned Evening Rituals — Long ago, television existed and books were part of my wind-down routine. I also used to pamper myself more with scented lotions and foot rubs. All PC activities (Pre-Child) have since been replaced with creative writing followed by collapsing face down onto the bed- if not right onto the keyboard first.
As a classic Type A in remission, I’ve had to surrender by accepting the complete abnegation and resulting nullification of PC Self, Pre-Child Self. This is my reality until the wee hours of the night when my free spirit returns and I transform into a Soldier numb to the chronic exhaustion.
At this time, I escape into my rich inner world. Ironically, I now think that I don’t need to control so much of my outside world anymore. And I like that by force of nature, I’ve been re-invented and am learning to thrive under these foreign conditions.
Have you noticed such an evolution in yourself? If so, does this mean that we’ve “arrived” and have now morphed into one of them (the Type Bs)? If yes, than perhaps we are no longer “in remission” but in “transformation.”
Written by Darah Zeledon. Mother of five, freelance writer, small business owner, and fitness freak, Darah has just returned to the US after living 9 years with her large brood in South America. Through an angle of humor, Darah´s uniquely optimistic perspective of raising children in today’s unstable world has been strongly influenced by her experiences running a household and various businesses in several foreign lands. You can read more of her here and here.