I’m a planner.
I like having a plan and sticking to it. Winging anything terrifies me unless we planned to wing it; even then, I’d prefer to plan it out. If we are going into the city for a day, I like to have parking prearranged, know exactly what museums we are visiting, and what we are doing for each meal. If we hang out with friends, I like to know if we are playing games or watching a movie ahead of time. If I have a day at home, I like having a to do list and working through it. I am a planner through and through.
I plan so that I feel I have some semblance of control over my life. If I can plan, then I get to make the decisions. I can have control. Fortunately, God doesn’t let us have control all of the time, and I am way better off because of that.
Motherhood in my early twenties was not my plan.
I had very little warning – one fall day almost two years ago, I was out of breath on a run, and I was just generally feeling “off”. The thought “I might be pregnant,” crossed my mind, and I was off to the nearest Walgreens. I took one pregnancy test, which was positive. I had no idea how accurate they tend to be. Before saying anything to Chris, I went straight back to Walgreens and bought a different brand of pregnancy test. There was just no way.
After peeing on that second stick, and seeing two more pink lines, I went into our bedroom. I sat on the bed and tried to hold back the tears. I don’t remember what else I said to him, but I do remember saying, “This is not what I planned. Not at all.”
I had planned for one pink line – not two.
I wanted some time with just Chris, and I desperately wanted to get my degree before becoming a mother. But we were blessed with our little man one year and five days after our wedding. And almost every day since has not gone according to my plan.
Planning the way I used to plan just doesn’t work with a little guy. We need to head out the door, and he has a massive diaper blowout. I schedule a time to take pictures, and he decides to be the biggest grump-ball there is. I plan on getting some work done during naptime, and he decides that naptime is overrated that day. We are regularly late for things and I feel like I get nothing done.
But, I am slowly learning that this is ok.
Life doesn’t need to be so planned out. We put so much pressure on ourselves as moms to get everything done all the time and to “have our lives together”. Yes, laundry needs to get done at some point and the groceries still have to be bought, but I’m learning to be okay with changes to my plan. I’m learning I don’t have to have everything in order. It surprises me how many people don’t care if my house isn’t perfectly clean or if I am exactly five minutes early to every event I attend. Most people don’t even notice if Will ends up staying in his pjs all day long (and then that night and the next day too…).
Some organization is a great thing. I will continue planning a little bit so that I can still get some things done. However, I will stop trying to plan to control. I will stop planning so that I can seem to have my life together.
Other moms need to see my life as it is, not as I pretend it is.