For all the Type A wives who are yet to be moms, and the Type A moms who only have one or two children ;).
So… well… it’s no surprise that I am Type A. I’m less Type A than I used to be (more on that later), but that is most definitely my tendency. I’m not sure that these Type A and Type B are actually official, but in a nutshell Type A women are more organized, go get ’em, and on top of things. Type B are more go with the flow, no worries, and easy does it.
Type A Behavior Characteristics
Strengths (mostly): highly independent, take charge, decisive, direct, business-like, ambitious, efficient, motivated, persistent, focused, risk taking, practical solution oriented, dislike routine, high achieving, no-nonsense, multitasking, deadline driven and change oriented.
Weaknesses: aggressive, controlling, too competitive, impatient, status conscious, high strung, workaholic, often interrupt, insensitive, walk or talk at a rapid pace, easily upset over small things, blunt, rushed and time starved. (source)
Why being Type A is a two-edged sword
Of course it’s a great thing to be dependable, organized, efficient, and full of leadership potential. I mean just look at the resume for a stay at home mom, for example. However, that comes with the feeling that we are in control. Because we’re able to run a tight ship and make things happen we erroneously think the world is on our shoulders. We think if want it done right we must do it ourselves.
We don’t want to wait for others to “get around” to doing what should be done now. We are hesitant to delegate because we think we can do it better. We are quick to think others are lazy. I’ll be honest, lots of people are lazy, but our trouble is we over function and blame it on others.
So… after having a slew of kids in a short period of time I’ve made some serious strides in getting rid of the weaknesses of a Type A woman while still maintaining many of the strengths. And I attribute it mostly to having 4 kids. Here’s why Type A women should have lots of kids.
1. You’re confronted with reality.
Type A women can have a skewed version of reality because we tend to think we’re in control. Oh sure we’re in control of some things in our life (and should be), but we are not in ultimate control. And in fact, feeling as though we’re in control puts such a heavy burden on our shoulders that we are near to crumbling too often.
God is ultimately in control and I’m able to make wise decisions and then life happens as it does. The best laid plans fail. The unplanned project succeeds. We do our best, but we simply can’t control it all. And having all these kids is the quickest way to realize that. Colds, sicknesses, behavior, their choices… we do our best but we aren’t puppet masters.
2. You must ask for help.
We Type A women tend to think that we can do it all and don’t need help. Don’t need to delegate, don’t need to wait for others to do it badly because then we’ll have to do it again anyway so may as well just get on with it. However, the more kids you have the more you have to get rid of your pride and humble yourself to ask for help. This will often help when you’re in the middle of surviving the newborn phase.
Before with one or two kids you’re like, “Oh, I got this.” Keep the kids coming and you soon realize you’re outnumbered and pretty soon you feel no shame to ask for help. That feeling of being able to do it all and have it all and make it all happen is laughable now. Pa ha ha ha ha. No, no, it can’t all get done. Or it can, but only with help. Or hiring help. Either way, you lose that proud place in your heart that says you are in it alone.
3. You don’t have the time to sweat the small stuff.
The things that Type A women worry about would boggle the mind of our dear Type B sisters. We worry about towels all folded perfectly and things being color coded and drawers being lined and edges of sidewalks being in order and all the toys lined up and no toothpaste on the counter and all these things. And I’m here to tell you these small worries add up. Before kids the Type A woman takes the time to do all these little things and feels a cocky pride that her environment is so orderly and just so.
Then you have a slew of kids and toothpaste is everywhere and wet underwear from your “potty trained” toddler are lost though you can smell them, and ugly plastic toys fill the backyard and you don’t care. You don’t care because you do what you can, organize what you can, put in order what you can and you flipping stop sweating the small stuff. Or rather, your meter for what is small and what isn’t gets put right.
4. You learn to delegate.
Before if I wanted things in the house to get done I used to make sure I did every little thing and then checked it. I’m so over that I could laugh the house down. Now, if something gets done then it’s done and that’s that. These kids gotta buck up and help because there’s simply too much to do for one woman to do it. Before, I would have felt it a matter of pride to have it all under control.
Now, the weight of this burden is lifted as I realize that teaching children how to help is a gift to them. And it’s a gift to me. And it is helping my tendencies to let others do things without trying to control everything. Sure things aren’t done the way they would be if I could do them myself, but that doesn’t even bother me anymore. I’m just happy that I don’t actually have to do it all. In fact, I never did.
5. You’ll raise go getters and the world needs that.
I’m not saying Type A moms have the monopoly on raising leaders, but I think we’re set up for success. I stay at home and watch the kids and work from home and have plans and projects and my eye on the future. These are good things, and it can’t help but rub off on the kids.
Last month there was a 5k and I signed us all up. My mom pushed my 18 month old, I pushed the newborn and my 3 and 2 year old walked. The whole 5k. Well, minus a few bouts of carrying. Before going it never even occurred to me that it’d be difficult for them or they wouldn’t want to do it. In fact, they didn’t even complain. We were dead last and the others who ran said we deserved a medal, but in my mind it was just fun.
The kids did not have one meltdown nor did anyone cry. They would run and sprint then walk and look at pine cones and drink water and stop. And we’d go. And they were dismantling the tent when we passed the finish line, but we did it. Type A moms aim high and expect others to do so as well. Of course this isn’t good if we’re asking for unrealistic things from our kids, but when we’re encouraging them to try hard and persevere, it’s a great great thing.
So, Type A lady, if you are feeling burdened by your Type A-ness… well I’m here to tell you that having more kids has helped soften some of my rough edges. It’s helped me stop thinking I was in control when really God is in control. It’s helped me try my best, but let it go when I mess up. It’s helped me realize that my rewards in heaven aren’t based on how clean the house is or how straight the closets are.
And because of that I’m released to enjoy the small things instead of fret over them. I’m released to be me instead of trying to be perfect.
I think this entirely new and mostly pleasant phenomenon is what is often referred to as balance…. and I think I like it.
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