Monday, August 12, 2013

Changing My Tune

For those who don't know me personally, I'm a Type-A to my core. I'm so Type-A, you maybe just gathered that through my writing. I like to get things done. I like to get things done quickly. The things I can't currently be doing, I like to make lists about and plan endlessly, so when I can get to them, I can be efficient and productive with my time. I'm a bit neurotic (actually, I think my dad described me as such in the last month). I like things to be perfect and prompt.

For those of you who have toddlers, know someone with toddlers, or have ever seen a toddler on the street, you know they are often the antithesis (at least to an adult's contrived perfect and prompt). Mckenna is no exception. She is ALWAYS busy, but rarely fast when it comes to completing a task. She is distracted 1,457 times between starting a task or activity and finishing it. She moves slowly because she knows less and is less coordinated than an adult (uhh, duh mom!) She moves slowly because she noticed things in her surroundings that I take for granted (oh, a beautiful butterfly? That wasn't on my schedule, honey). She isn't perfect. None of us are, but as a toddler she simply lacks many skill sets to make her anywhere near perfect. She fills a dog bowl with food, and more food makes it onto the floor than the bowl. Her arms are "weak" so she drops the bowl of food, even if she's being careful.

A toddler and a Type-A don't mesh well, on the surface. I find myself getting impatient at times. "I should have just done it myself," I think, "but if you teach a man to fish..." the angel on my shoulder reminds me. It's a constant inner battle. A struggle between productivity and efficiently, and teaching and cherishing. It's a tough balance to strike.

This article really spoke to me. This mom sounds a lot like me, but she's farther down the road. Reading her article spoke a lot of truth into my life that I'm glad I read now.

How beautiful that I can learn from Mckenna. That I can learn to notice that butterfly that wasn't on my agenda. Or that I can be taught patience as I pick up the random pieces of dog food from the floor for the 1,768th time this week. I do believe it's crucial to teach your kids to start, carry out, and complete a task. I do think it's key to teach your kids how to manage time and create schedules. I do want Mckenna to be efficient and productive. But does that need to be at the cost of hurrying her along each day? Do I need to teach her to tune out life's random blessings in order to do that? Probably not. So I'm working on finding a balance.

Let me know what you think of the article. And for any Type-A moms out there of toddlers, hook me up with some tips!