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.

20 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! It can be so difficult not to get caught up in our own ‘plans’. I think a lot of moms can identify with this.

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  2. I am very much an “I want to be in control of my plans all the time” person, too, and really struggle with the concept of letting go!

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  3. Gah, there’s nothing like having a baby to change all of your plans. However, sometimes the plans we least expect turn out to be the best ones.

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  4. Planning to be flexible is a must as a parent!

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  5. I’m a planner too and have a hard time letting go of it. Thanks for this!

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  6. I’m like that too, wanting to achieve everything and not paying enough attention to down time. I made it a rule that I wasn’t allowed to feel guilty if I didn’t achieve everything on my to do list and I aim for 3 each day. Because that’s realistic.

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  7. Thank God for his plans and purposes for our lives! It’s so much better that we’re not in control.

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  8. Oh, I so hear you. I think back and laugh at all my plans. I never would have dreamed up a plan to be where I am today but I am so thankful for God’s perfect plan!

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  9. I love this. I am a planner and organizer and so need to keep reminding myself to let go and let God. Thanks for the gentle reminder!

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  10. I love this! I’m also a huge planner, and they generally go by the wayside with small kiddos! It’s good to be reminded that we don’t have to have a plan for everything and that’s ok! Thanks so much for sharing! ?

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  11. Sometimes unplanned is the greatest blessing! God just knew you needed that little man, even if you didn’t think it was time!

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  12. I constantly struggle with my plans. I’m the type that wants to know what the next 5 years will look like so I can make my plans align. I don’t like surprises ha. But then I’m hit with a surprise and love it. So trying to pray myself through the constant need of knowing.

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  13. I know exactly what you mean! Life definitely doesn’t look like the way I had planned it, but it’s actually MUCH BETTER than what I originally planned 🙂

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  14. I like to be in control of my plans too but I learned that things happen that throw a spanner in the works. Learning to adapt is definitely key 🙂

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  15. I can relate so much. I am naturally a controlling personality and love to make lists and plan each day out and while marriage sort of put a dent in that a little, becoming a mother completely forces me to let things go and be more flexible. I still hate it but I’m learning!

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  16. Love this girly. I’m not a Mama yet, but I totally feel ya on how things don’t always go to plan. I am so thankful that life has a way of working itself out and ends up better than planned.

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  17. Truer words have never been spoken. I’m a planner too and I have a hard time when things don’t go according to my plan but sometimes I have to step back, take a breath, re-evaluate and start over fresh. It’s okay if the laundry isn’t done or the floors aren’t clean. I’m really trying to practice living in the moment more and being present over perfect.

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  18. I actually planned to get pregnant. Thank was the last decision I had any control over…LOL.

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  19. God’s timing is always perfect! It makes life so much more simpler when I trust God.

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  20. I loved this post and thank you so much for sharing such personal stuff. I am so thankful that God has THE best plan ever, and as much as I like to be in control, I am thankful for so many out-of-my-control situations which led to, one after another, to the life I am blessed with now <3 He makes no mistakes 🙂
    And having everything under control. I don't think ANYONE has got that figured out. We can put out the best versions of ourselves out there but struggle behind the scenes, and it's OK. Sharing those problems are OK too as long as that's what helping us and making us feel better. But the best thing is to rely on Him 🙂
    xox Nadia

    Reply

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Hey there! My name is Rachel and I’m a 23 year old wife and mother. I’m decidedly in favor of DIY projects and decidedly against mom-shaming. This blog is my place to take a stand against superiority and to share ways to thrive in motherhood. My hope is that you leave this site feeling validated and encouraged in your mom-bilities.

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