I am Type A.
Throughout my life I have always sought to be perfect. I don’t know why I felt the need to, because certainly no one in my family expected me to be, but I just HAD to be. I like things being just so, my closet is color coordinated, and my Google calendar keeps me organized. I have been this way for as long as I can remember and my mom noticed it even when I was a toddler. In our society we revere those that are “type A” … they are multitaskers, leaders, efficient, busy, and organized. They are the CEOs, Super Moms, and doers of the world. However, they are also probably very very tired. I know I am. You see, being Type isn’t really something to brag about or glorify because it comes with it’s own sets of challenges.
There’s nothing to relish about needing things to be organized to offset anxiety or the overwhelming amount of pressure you put on your own shoulders to achieve the impossible. Because life is messy in the best possible way and sometimes the things that deviate from perfectly constructed plans are the best moments of your life. For me that was jumping headfirst into the unknown when Chris and I got married and that was probably the first true step towards my “recovery”. However, in Texas I fell into old habits and took on a lot of responsibilities and kept myself at a go-go-go pace for a long time. When I got pregnant with Emmalyne I started to feel this immense pressure to this mom-thing perfectly also. Now I just laugh that I ever had that notion.
Motherhood is the most important work I will ever do and it’s a role that I take very seriously. During those 9 months of growing a miracle I had a lot of time to think about what kind of mom I wanted to be. Normally when I am facing a new challenge I feel compelled to learn as much about it as possible, but funny how God works through you sometimes. I never felt the urge to read a lot of pregnancy books or books on parenting. I had this sense of peace that what would be would be and Chris and I would figure it out along the way. Another small step in recovery 😉
When Emmie was born I was suddenly super flexible. We didn’t stick to a crazy schedule, I didn’t consult Dr. Google as much as I thought I would, and I never really felt anxious. It was like my perspective changed over night. She and I were navigating this crazy adventure together and just learning things as we went. I have learned a lot about myself over these years and my outlook has changed so much. I no longer feel the need to (always) be perfect and I can’t begin to tell you the weight that takes off my shoulders.
I write this post for a reason. You see, starting PA school started to slip me back into some bad habits. I care very much about my grades and work extremely hard to get them and yesterday I got a grade I wasn’t proud of. If you knew what the grade was you would laugh at me because it’s seriously silly that I am even talking about it. However, I know deep down I could do better and that’s what irritates me to no end. Rather than ruminate on it though I was able to move on because the reason I didn’t feel as comfortable with the material is because I was nursing a sick child throughout the weekend. I was up all night with Bryn because she could only sleep if she was laying on my chest. There is no better reason in the world for not doing as well on a test as being a mom.
My closet is still color coded and I still really love getting new school supplies but my floors are dirty and my house is loud. It is full of love, happiness, and a lot of laughter. I don’t expect my children to be perfect …. just to be perfectly themselves. I am happier now, less stressed, and slightly less crazy. It’s a work in progress but I am happily transitioning towards being more relaxed and definitely the realize that the only thing I can do perfectly is be myself. I certainly still feel the anxiety start to creep in when plans go awry but fortunately I have Chris in my life to remind me to take a deep breath and all will be just fine.
SO if you too are struggling with perfection know that I feel your pain. I have been, and am in, your shoes. But please please please remember that busy isn’t always good and you really need to take moments to relax or life is going to pass you by. Remember that grades don’t really matter (in grad school) because very few employers will ever care about your GPA. Be the best YOU you can be and everything else will fall into place.
Do you struggling with perfectionism?