A field guide to living an intentional, creative and fun life — with children.

Tag Archives: Type A parenting

Photo Credit: Hillary Stein on Flickr

Let’s just assume you are a tad controlling.

You’re not but let’s pretend you are, for this story’s sake.

Now what?

Do we sit around twiddling our thumbs, wondering what ‘s next?

Because that’s what it kind of feels like, right? Like if we don’t fill the void with stuff, there will be nothing left to do, nothing left to hang on to.

Loosen your grip.

Photo Credit: Gabork on Flickr

Despite the fact that being a Type A personality is perhaps my worst and, possibly best, trait, I do believe that it’s best to power down the control button at various points each day.

Baby steps, people. We spend every waking minute making sure the kids are OK, that the house is OK, that the job is OK that we live on autopilot with our feet pressed to the pedals.

Photo Credit: cvogle on Flickr

Here’s some baby steps to letting go:

LET THEM DO IT:  The milk WILL spill. The toothpaste lid will get lost. The bed will still be messy after it’s made. The outfits will NOT be perfect. The cheese will miss the pizza dough. The mail may fly down the street and you have to chase after it. But let them do it anyway. Again and again. Release your control on how things get done and just honor the fact that they WANT to help and do their part.

LOWER EXPECTATIONS: Sure you will get it right the first time. Your way is the best way. You like things the way you like them. But others can do it, too. And they should. They’ll never do it like you but as long as you relish that someone else is taking care of it and being responsible, you can sit back and relax. Eventually, you may even delegate it the first time.

BITE YOUR TONGUE: I have a way with letting people know if they mess up. I never mean things as harshly as they come out of my mouth. I’ve learned, though, that if you are willing to let someone else make breakfast, dinner or drive the car then you MUST be willing to let them do it their way. And their way will be OK.

OPT OUT: There will be things you will not get to do. Places you will not go. People you will not see. Projects that will not get done {not right now anyway}. All because you decided to let go, to opt out, to let your spouse handle it. There will be more adventures to do some day. There will be other fundraisers and school events. There will be other big causes to get behind. If you need to stay home and lay in bed all day and watch movies or read magazines, that’s what you need to do. If you must, recreate the missed experience another day.

BANISH GUILT: Seriously, release those obligations and demands that you place so heavily on your own shoulders. No one has put them there but you. And, if someone has put them there, take charge of your life and assess the things that matter most today. Send this post to them. What’s more important? Time with the kids or time spent folding piles and piles of perfectly folded laundry? Extra time at the office or getting home to see the kiddo play soccer?

ACCEPT FAILURES: If you let go and things fall out of place, it’s OK. If you let go and things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to, it’s OK. If you let go and life twists and turns in other directions, it’s OK. Be at peace with whatever comes because whatever it is is your life, it’s your story and it will be beautiful no matter what happens.

Photo Credit: D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr

What would happen if just today you let go of the tight grip you keep on your life?

Would the world fall apart?

Would YOUR world fall apart?

What if you didn’t care about what your children ate, the activities they did, if your husband packed his lunch or even if he was going to be home late, again?

Will the sun still come up tomorrow? Will your family still be OK?

What if just for today you didn’t care what other people thought and you just did your own thing without worry or societal pressures?

Would all that authenticity make you shine brighter?

What if all those balls you’re juggling in the air just fell one-by-one onto the ground and shattered on the floor?

Would you be upset or would you be relieved?

How would it feel to just be without trying to get to the next best thing that you simply must achieve? That next blog post? That next level of management? That next big screen TV? The bigger car?

Would everything you have right now, this very second, be enough?

What if you just stopped caring so damn much about life’s minutiae and started paying attention to all the beauty that surrounds you instead? Who cares if you really say no to volunteering, just this once? Who cares if you really say yes to skipping the latest social function, just this once?

Especially if it means more time to yourself. Or more time with your family?

The image of losing my tight grip on all the many things I try to control all day is a beautiful, profound thought to me. Breathing helps. Doing less helps. Saying yes to more fun things helps.

The idea of not needing to be responsible for every. little. stinking. thing is WONDERful.

But the idea of losing that tight grip that I have on my children’s day is even more appealing. Are they old enough to start learning valuable mistakes? Are they old enough to pull away from me just a bit? Are they old enough to start doing more things on their own?

How about you? What could you care less about today? Beds not getting made? An unkept house? Piles of laundry? Children’s squabbling in the other room? If they ate iced pop tarts over the new box of organic shredded wheat? If their clothes match? Finding the perfect photo to share on your blog or on Facebook or to send across the miles?

That everything is perfectly perfect?

Original Photo Credit: D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr

WRITING PROMPT ONE: Write a list of all the things you have to do today. I mean truly have to do today. Now, circle only the ones that are life or death — meaning they have to be done today or someone gets hurt. What’s left?

WRITING PROMPT TWO: Is there anything in your life that you’d like to let go of …  maybe a long-held belief, an insecurity, a personality trait? Perhaps it’s a constant worry. Or a fear that just won’t let you relax. What have you done to let go of it? What could you do to try harder to let go of it?

Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments or on your own blog, linking back to this post. I’ll always share your links on my Facebook and Pinterest pages.

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