I'll be the first to admit, I have somewhat of a Type-A personality. OK, to be completely honest, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder a few years back so those tendencies spill into my parenting. I feel guilty about a lot of it, mostly because I struggle to control the way I deal with typical mom stuff. However, I've recently learned that there are some things Type-A parents don't have to apologize for (or feel guilty about).
If you aren't aware, OCD is described by the Mayo Clinic as, "a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress." Couple that behavior with needing things to be done in a certain order or timeframe, and it's somewhat impossible to know just how Type-A I'm going to be on any given day. With my children (whom I love dearly), I often set a schedule and expect things like chores and homework to be done in a reasonable amount of time. This sometimes confuses others into thinking I'm nothing more than a "drill sergeant," running a stringent household that everyone hates. In really, I have a vision and want it executed properly (which is only kinda like a drill sergeant, right?).
In learning how to manage my anxiety and OCD, I've also had to face the way my diagnoses interferes with my parenting style. I'll look at my super laid-back, Type-B partner and ask myself, "How is he so calm about everything all the time? Seriously?" Then again, that's probably why my partner and I make a pretty great parenting team. We balance one another out. Which is why, in the end, there are things I don't really need to feel sorry about when it comes to being a Type-A mom, up to and including the following:
Create A Rigid Schedule
The schedule is there for a reason. It's not to make everyone groan or roll their eyes when I state what happens when. I'm actually not here to make everyone's life awful — I'm here to make it more fluid. My schedule not only helps me see all the things everyone else needs to do for a productive day,; it helps me.
In my world, nothing survives chaos so I won't apologize for adding a little bit of structure and order to our daily lives. If anything, it helps combat a lot of issues non Type-A parents might face such as scheduling conflicts, missed naps (not on my watch), and homework snafus.
Also, we're rarely late to anything. You're welcome.
Making Bedtime A Priority
I get a lot — a lot — of flack about my obsession with sleep. However, and thanks to my battle with insomnia, I'm always running in a state of fatigue so sleep is pretty damn important. Since the birth of our firstborn, nap times and bedtimes have been set. We've found what works for us so nothing and no one can break me of these times (believe me, people have tried). Whether we're on vacation, it's the dreaded Daylight Savings Time, or a long winter break, my children stick to the same sleep schedule.
Haters can keep their sighs to themselves because in being vigilant about everyone getting enough sleep, my kids are less likely to throw all the tantrums and I'm less likely not to bite anyone's head off.
Basically, you do you and I'll do me. End of story.
Planning Weeks In Advance
I'm known for my Post-Its plastered all over the counters, directly next to my multiple calendars and planners. I want to make sure I have everything written down that's going to happen so I can be as prepared as possible. Some may say you can't plan everything in life (and I understand that), or that my way is a waste of energy. I think it saves sanity and confusion down the road. If something is written everywhere, the whole family knows about it and is on the same page.
Can I get a Hallelujah from the Type-A's that get me?
Having Meals Prepped And Ready To Go
Meal prep saves the day more often than not. Sure, I grumble at "wasting" an entire Sunday prepping and cooking enough freezer meals for the winter but when that Monday comes (or that epic blizzard) and I'm swamped with work or too tired to cook, I've already saved myself. I'd say meticulously plotting meals and getting my Crockpot psyched to serve us have been a huge life hack.
If I weren't Type-A, no one in my family would've planned ahead and we'd be stuck with fast food or whatever doesn't require much effort, like crackers. You're welcome.
Having High Expectations In Regard To School
I'll be honest — I hated school with a burning, fiery passion. I spent a lot of my time writing song lyrics or daydreaming until the school day was over. I never had help with homework or projects and came to resent it all. Now that I'm older, I wish I could go back and do it over. With my own children, I make homework and school a priority. Grades matter, and their attitude about school matters. I can't apologize for staying on top of all things school-related.
After all, I want my kids to grow up to do better than me. It's my job to teach them.
Assuming Everyone Is On Your Level
As a Type-A, it's easy to forget a lot of people aren't as on top of things as I am. This isn't me bragging, to be sure. It's just, you know, a fact. While some may perform stronger in social settings or being the coolest karaoke singer at the bar, I perform best at knowing the ins and outs of our days. I live it, I breathe it, I become it, and I won't be apologizing for it.
Wanting Everything To Have A Place
I'm of the belief that everything has a place and that's where everything should be. My mind works better without all the unnecessary chaos — life is chaotic enough, am I right?! My biggest organizational hazard is the swarm of hair products that line a shelf in our bathroom. There's well over 20 of them, though I only use maybe two or three. If they're out of line, the rest of my day feels off until fixed. Part of this is the OCD, the other part is needing to know I've done all I could to straighten them out. I can't be sorry for tidiness or wanting order in an unpredictable life. If you feel like I do, you shouldn't either!
Being a Type-A doesn't make you a jerk or difficult to be around (I hope). It just means you need to retain a little control in your life because the big picture things (life, death, unexpected events) are beyond your grasp. Don't apologize for any of it. In fact, I can guarantee you that your family is pretty grateful they have a Type-A for a mom.