I'm a winger not a planner. Once in awhile I wish I had a tad of my husband's OCD tendencies and less of my own "I'll make it work" qualities. I tend to wing it whenever it comes to, well anything, really. As a working mama of two young boys (almost 3 and 7 months) life gets busy. And tough. And some days I want to fly away to the Great Wall of China and sip Chinese tea; alone. But 98.8% of the time, I'm content with the chaos I've created. I blame my semi easy-goingish personality on making me a poor planner. On a rare occasion though, I do try and plan out our weeks. I even went as far as to spend close to $70 on an Erin Condren planner. Now that thing is pretty! Its set up is immaculate and provides a full-proof way of planning. You really can't do it wrong with all of the colorful stickers and vertically organized days. As soon as it came in the mail I decided to devote my evening to creating my new found life planner. I meticulously added every date, appointment, task etc into that fancy thing. I even went as far as to color code our Blue Apron nights with a blue oval sticker on Tue/Wed/Thurs so I couldn't forget which nights our dinner delivery came. Meanwhile, on the other side of the bed, I hear David give off a sarcastic chuckle and a bit of an endearing eye roll.
"What?" I asked coyly, knowing exactly why he was laughing.
"Are you serious? You do this every time. You started a budget tracker 2 months ago. We've never discussed it since. You started meal planning for the family, yet our grocery budget nearly doubled when that started."
"Ya but this is different. I have a new job now so I have to plan every single day. It's too hard with multiple kids and working to not make sure everyone is on the same page." Luckily for me, he plays along with my crazy and doesn't give me a hard time when he knows he's right. And he was right. That pretty planner got stuffed into my itchy bag and I never wrote in it again. It lasted less than a month of planning...Maybe. Actually, 3 weeks...ok ok, only that once! But my heart was truly in it for that night!
But getting back to the real issue, why I make my life more difficult than it needs to be. In fact, I'm starting to think I'm not cut out to be a working mom while also trying to fit in kid's activities. Again, I'm not a planner, I'm a winger. Part of this is what has made me successful in my career. Not the fact that I don't plan; but more in line with my high energy, get-after-it and the try not to sweat the small stuff. I also think that's what makes me a fun mom. On the flip side, it's also what causes unneeded stress in my life. If my car was clean and more organized I wouldn't have wanted to take the bigger car to the pumpkin patch. Instead, I failed to communicate early enough to make sure David put the infant car seat in the Hylander, which left me and the boys stuck with my dirty work car. In my defense, that breezy is tiny! Plus, 2 car seats side by side leave little room for Nordstrom Rack returns, H&M returns, boxes of pharmaceutical brochures, 3 empty water bottles and more. It's impossible to live in your car AND use it for transporting small children. I should call my car Closet Car. Not to be confused with my ever so popular Closet Bed. That thing will go down in history, but that's for another day. So typically I'm not big on an organized play date. I will most likely have people disagree with me and it probably comes down to the fact I've always worked since being a mama. I think the main reason it isn't in my wheelhouse is because my kids are still too young. They really don't have their own friends yet so it usually entails me playing defensive coordinator making sure Maddox doesn't choke anyone out. There was a rough 8 months where I thought I was raising a mini Chuck Manson, but now that he's over the hitting phase, I know that it was exactly that, a phase. A wise friend once told me the only thing that got her son to stop hitting was time, and she we exactly right. He turned the magic age of 2 1/2, plus or minus a month, and it thankfully stopped as quickly as it started. I will say I love an organized activity with the kids. If it involves making something or taking a trip to the zoo, tree farm, whatever, I'm down! When something fun is set up, I want my kids to join in in oder to make a memory. But why has creating forced memories caused me so much distress? Shouldn't it have the opposite effect? No, because it goes back to the original paragraph. I'm a lousy planner! I'm no good at remembering to bring sack lunches if we're going to be gone somewhere longer than an hour or two. I'm horrible at making sure my baby has socks on, and I despise a goldfish cracker snack.
Pumpkin patch day I even tried planning by making sure we were out of the house and on our way well before we needed to be. The problem was, Maddox refused to wear a shirt and kept saying "no punkin patch!"
"But you love the pumpkin patch, I promise! Remember we went last year and you got to go on the hayride and run around? Yay so much fun!!" Why am I trying to convince a 2 year old that he needs to go to the pumpkin patch when clearly, he has no interest. What I really wanted to say to my darling toddler was..."don't you remember? I was pregnant and chased you around hillcrest for 40 minutes sweating like a pig because I was in a sweater and boots because it was October and 85° and I didn't plan ahead of time and look at the weather app.! All so we could force a memory and I could feel like a good mom for doing something nice for my sweet boy on my lunch hour.
"Alright Maddox," as I wrangled a screaming Reece into his car seat, "You win. We're not going."
"Yay" he cheered and clapped from the back seat. Oy Vey!
Luckily, I am thankful for friends that do the planning and the creating for me so once every third time my little sweet peas can enjoy a day of fun with other children...and for that I am grateful. Yet, it still doesn't mean I won't show up in a tank top and flip flops when it's only a high of 50 degrees.