I need to learn how to relax at any time, not just when Plans A-E fail.
Sometimes I feel like I thrive off chaos. I love change. I love adapting. I love coming up with solutions to problems. I love putting out fires. I always want to do something bigger and better. I am extremely ambitious and determined. And I can multitask the heck out of life.
Yes, I’m a Type-A mom.
I have a plan for everything. (I actually have a Plan A, B, C, D and E for everything.) If all those plans fail, sometimes, just sometimes, I allow myself to go to Plan F, also known as Plan Forget It. That is when I give into the fact that some things might not happen how I want them to, turn on the TV, hit the couch and drink a glass a wine.
But I need to learn how to relax at any time, not just when Plans A-E fail. So I decided to do a little experiment.
I found four things that are supposed to help a Type-A parent chill out. I tried all of them to see if I could find that moment of true clarity I read about in my self-help books.
The other night I put the kids to bed, kissed my husband goodnight and went upstairs to the bedroom. I followed all the rules. Turned out the lights, sat on the floor, lit a candle, and relaxed my breathing.
...And then all I could think about was that my newborn had a doctor’s appointment first thing in the morning and I needed to text the sitter to remind her I would be bringing him late. That led to me texting my boss to tell him I would be at the office late. Then I realized I should probably change the sheets on the bed and find that blanket we put on when it starts getting chilly out. #MeditationFail.
2. Working out
I wake up every morning and work out in the basement before the kids get up, so this should be easy. I tried to use those opportunities to find clarity—my workout Zen. I tried to focus on my workout and my breathing. Focus on me. But I kept getting distracted.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how my 3-year-old had a cough before bed the night before. It sounded a little throaty. Should I call the doctor? Surely he wasn’t getting RSV again. I heard croup had been making the rounds at a local daycare. I seriously thought about all of this while lunging and squatting. Working out obviously brought zero chill to my life. But it did give me energy! #MomWin
Easy! I love to laugh. My toddler makes me laugh daily. The kid is so funny. We settled down in his playroom after we got home one day and I just knew he would have me laughing in no time.
He was in a mood. Everything was “NO!” with crossed arms. I suggested we play outside and he laid on the floor and went full-out tantrum on me. So yeah, laughing wasn’t in the cards that night. I just tried to keep from losing my mind while he kicked his arms and legs in a sea of Mickey Mouse coloring books and Legos. I turned to Plan F and drank my glass of wine.
Journaling is supposed to help you chill out. And you know what? It did help me find a little clarity.
I have come to the conclusion that I don’t need to change my Type-A life. I have small kids, a job, a lot on my plate. It’s probably normal that I can’t clear my head. And when I do need to clear it, I turn to Plan F and drink my wine on the couch.
So today I am encouraging each and every Type-A mama out there to find her own Plan F. Because when all else fails, you have to give into life and let go.