Thursday, March 24, 2011

Type A to Type "Eh?"

Back when I was working, I never missed a deadline. I worked thoughtfully, efficiently and proudly. A week filled with presentations, proposal deadlines, media pitch calls, brainstorming sessions, media analysis reports, and follow-up calls inking themselves black across my desktop calendar energized me. The more I had to do, the more efficient I was. Not meeting, but exceeding expectations was a constant goal. I'd like to think I was good at it.

So, why, lately, have I been so woefully behind the proverbial eight ball? I waited too long to order the favors I wanted for my sister's baby shower and now they are back ordered. I blanked on registering Pumpkin for the spring session of The Music Class and now we're activity-less on Tuesday mornings. I must appear completely scatter-brained to the co-host of my sister's shower who emails me the kind of type-A list I used to rattle off in my sleep. This space has been neglected for no really good reason I can conjure. I constantly feel like I'm playing catch-up.

Do my responsibilities not seem as important? Cleaning the bathroom certainly isn't as time sensitive as rush-producing a news story on a new FDA approval. Or do I not feel as important? A difficult question for sure. The Mom-me most definitely feels important. I'm the one who kisses the owies better, who knows to sing Twinkle, Twinkle before nap time, who can change a 4 year old's attitude with a well placed tickle.

But perhaps it is the household trappings of the stay-at-home-mom life where I don't always feel important. If the bathrooms don't get cleaned, I'm the only one who cares. If the dishes don't get done before dinner prep starts, I'm the only one annoyed. If the laundry piles up, it's only my problem to figure out what every one's going to wear. If I don't make time for my own writing or personal interests, I'm the only one affected. There are no demanding clients. There are no yearly reviews. There are no column inches in a national paper to track a success.

The stay-at-home life is often a hurry-up-and-wait kind of life. Quick, get a few chores done while the kids are distracted, check email during snack time, make a phone call during nap time. The rest of the day is following and marrying the whims of two different attitudes, desires and capabilities, which results in a lot of waiting through car playing, waiting for a particular someone to find his shoes so we can FINALLY go outside, waiting for someone to finish eating. And part of me is thrilled that I have managed to amend my Type A self into a more go with the flow mom self that allows my kids to be kids. The other part of me is screaming inside to stop getting distracted by every book in your room and find your shoe already so we can leave!

Could it be, though, that the relaxed, attention-challenged attitude of my children has finally rubbed off on me to the point where I'm failing to finish projects and easily distracted to the point of forgetting items on my to-do list?

There has to be a way to marry the deadline-centric work life I once knew with the more relaxed day-to-day operations of life at home.

Is there an app for that? I'd try to make one, but I'd surely forget to finish it.

5 comments:

Loredana said...

Don't you think it's just that your priorities changed and so therefore the once 'get it done and get it done efficiently' woman you once were is thinking more about other things like the dishes in the sink or why he can't find that shoe. I think our minds go through this scramble when we have children and suddenly all the things we once used to think about falls to the waist side. Not tat your sisters shower isn't important but it wasn't the first thing on your mind to get those favors you know?

I know this is my issue and it's bothered me (sometimes my husband) for a long time until I had to let it rest and realize I have a new little person taking up my time. However I did realize I had to find a balance, a 'me' space where I did remember things or get things done and NOT worry about the dishes being done before meal prep time (when you wrote that I thought, "oh good I'm not the only one" lol)....so I invested in a notepad with a few subjects in them and each subject is dedicated to a part of my daily life
1. General home lists/bills
2. MariaStella (baby to do things)
3. Workout/food (yea cause this gets filled up quickly-rolling my eyes!)
4. Writings and short stories
5. Projects

Hope this helped or at least made you smile a bit :-)

mj said...

About nine months ago, I went from more that full time manager of 50 type to SAHMama of two type, and the exact same thing has happened to me. Some days I think my brain has turned to mush. I agree that there must be something in happy medium category. When you figure it out, could you send me a memo?

High Heeled Mama said...

Thanks, ladies! Glad to know I'm not the only one.

And mj, if I figure it out, I'll be sure to send out a memo. Provided I don't misplace that particular to-do list and end up sitting in front of my computer wondering what I was supposed to be doing there and instead shopping on etsy.

Michele said...

I would never admit this to my husband but after 6 plus years at home, I believe I was much more efficient with my time for the 3 short months I was a working momma. I get easily distracted now and no matter how much I clean my house it can be an absolute disaster after just one meal. It makes the desire to clean it, well . . . less desirable. LOVE YOUR BLOG. I can always relate.

mktuttle said...

You know, I think some of this comes from just not working, not necessarily the addition of children. After getting laid off, I admit, I poured my Type A into home projects - cleaning out every room, closet, etc. But, after awhile, I hated to admit it - I kind of liked just being home. When I do contract work or go to conferences, I see my old self re-emerging, but I've been surprisingly content to be "house manager" instead of the work type of manager. Now that I'm expecting our first child, I'm actually really glad I'm already home. It's where I want to be with the baby, and I won't have to make any hard decisions about stepping away from a full-time job. And I'm sure I'll go even further toward "Eh" once baby gets here. After all, if my full type A stayed in effect, I'd drive myself crazy looking at the dishes in the sink or dust on the table. Because I hear I won't have time to deal with those things very much once the little guy is here. :)