Learning to live my chaotic life
I hate chaos. Disorganization, mess and confusion have always completely irritated me.
Even as a child, I was that kid whose room was actually really tidy, and everything had its place. Being late made me anxious and it still does (I am that person who leaves an hour early to get to a meeting that is only 15 to 20 minutes away just because you never know what could happen and, you know, I don't want to be late).
Fast forward to 2019, one husband and two children in and I am a completely different person.
I wouldn't say that this change came willingly though. It was definitely a change by force and it all happened gradually.
It all started when I moved in with my husband. Nothing panic inducing, just little things like he would leave a couple dishes in the sink, or his socks on the floor. For me these were big deals, for him, not so much. But these changes were manageable. The house was still pretty organized, we got to places on time, life was good.
Then I had my first son. This is where things started to get dicey.
The first thing to go - punctuality.
It is pretty much impossible to get to anywhere on time when you have a child. From the bag packing, the double and triple checking that you have everything that you think the baby will need, and, let's not forget those unexpected, last minute poops that always seem to come just as you are about to walk out that door.
We were late for everything, and panic started to creep in. This new normal wasn't working for me so I developed some strategies to quickly get us back to the old normal. I started packing the baby bag from the night before and got up earlier to get everyone ready so that there would be some wiggle room for poops. The strategies were working and things were good again.
Then I had son number two.
At this point, everything went out the window.
Everything is everywhere all the time. Clothes, toys, dishes, some other things that I have no idea what they are.
Initially, my dislike of chaos forced me to run around like a headless chicken, cleaning and tidying up, over and over and over again. I was the literal embodiment of the definition of insanity. I repeatedly cleaned and packed away with the expectation that everything would stay clean and packed away. Spoiler alert - it doesn't.
It made no sense. Especially now with a seven year old and a three year old who own every toy that has ever been created and have a love of Legos. Oh how I hate Legos.
I slowly started to give in. Some nights, I left the dishes unwashed, not necessarily because I stopped caring, but because I was just too tired to bother. Right now I am sitting in the living room with an assortment of stuffed toys and Legos scattered on the floor. Did I mention that I hate Legos?
But guess what, no one died and the world didn't end. And, more importantly, I am not stressing out in the middle of the night trying to get the house to look HGTV perfect. Instead, I am relaxing with my husband in our house that looks, as my father always loved to say, "lived in".
Slowly, I started to learn that it is impossible to fight the inevitable. As much as I hate chaos and disorganization, it is a part of life with kids. I do make them pack away their toys so that they learn some responsibility and do not grow up to be complete slobs, but they are still kids.
The mess will still happen. The last minute poops still happen every now and then. So instead of fighting the chaos, I let it be and sometimes, I even join in. Just tonight all four of us were running around, shooting Nerf darts at one another. Having fun, laughing, making a mess and memories.
Doing the things that matter.
So for all of you other Type A moms out there, as hard as it may be, learn to live your chaotic life. You will be better for it.