Control or the lack thereof

by pixie on September 24, 2008

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I’ve always liked to feel in control of my life. In my pre-baby days (back in the mists of time) I used to work full time in various office environments. My desk was always tidy, my in-tray cleared by every evening, my out-tray filed away neatly. Any outstanding work issues were jotted down in my diary at 16:45 so that my head was clear of work details and when I walked out that door every evening I left work behind me!

And then I became a stay-at-home mammy and this job is 24/7. My desk is a mess (and covered in unmatched baby socks, don’t ask!) , there’s no in-tray (I suppose that’s a good thing, as it would be overflowing!), also no out-tray (although also no need for one as no task ever gets completed) and I have no diary (actually I now own a meal planner and a wall calendar so I’m getting there!).

My new boss is, how can I put this, quite changeable in her outlook on life. I never know each morning whether we will be continuing the project we started yesterday (covering the patio in chalk drawings), liaising with other bosses & their employees (toddlers & their mums), lunching in exotic locations (the garden, the porch, the stairs) or indeed whether I will be given the opportunity to sit down for lunch at all. Yes, this new job is much more complex than the previous ones, and it is almost impossible to feel as if I am in control day-to-day, because truth be told, I’m not!

It’s been a huge change for me, and to be honest it’s been a bit hard to get my head around at times. One minute I’m managing projects, organising schedules, socialising with workmates and in control of my life, the next I’m holding this tiny helpless bundle who I love so completely yet have no idea how to communicate with. It’s been a huge learning experience for me and coming up to Littlepixie’s 2nd birthday, I only now feel that I’m starting to catch up with myself.

But I’m learning to accept that I don’t need to be in control of everything, Littlepixie has taught me that. I am slowly learning to stop sweating the small stuff. There are some things I like to keep control of, for example we have a sit-down dinner every evening. And some things I let go of, for example our sit-down dinner involves sitting on the floor at Littlepixie’s kitchen table. Yes, I know that would horrify many people but it works for us, and it makes dinner fun for everyone.

I know many of our friends and family think our parenting style is too intensive, that long-term breastfeeding is too much work, that cosleeping robs myself & Mr. HPP of our marital bed, that carrying Littlepixie will make her clingy and break my back, that having our dinner at a child’s table is pandering to her needs and spoiling her, and so on. But you know I think the fact that all of this feels so right to us has made my new job easier. We haven’t had to fight against our instincts, we could let them lead the way.

So I suppose while my head is only just now starting to catch up, my heart has been in control the whole time!

- Half Pint Pixie

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pixie (12 Posts)


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Isil September 25, 2008 at 9:09 am

How lovely! I think that because our hearts have been in control, we won’t have many things to regret about our parenting styles.

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Inanna September 25, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Too intensive…as I spend time at dear mainstream parenting family & friends’ (would that be DMSPFF in internet speak? ;-) homes, and share the struggles we’ve been thru with our high-needs babe since birth. I sense that perhaps, it is me and not DS with the problem.

DMSPSFF wait somewhat impatiently as I work with DS to get us out the door rather than just picking him up, kicking and screaming, and stuffing him into his car seat. They watch with annoyance as I talk to him about not licking the tops of salt shakers in restaurants before gently removing it from his grasp, rather than ripping it out of his hands. Negotiating shopping cart seating (the last straw for one friend w/out kids who said “that’s it…there’s no way I could handle having kids”, dressing (bemused exclamations of “we have a streaker in the house”), etc.

Yes, it’s intensive. But, what a peaceful trip we’ve had so far!

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east end jenn September 26, 2008 at 11:34 am

I could relate to so much of this post! I really struggled with the loss of “control” when my daughter was born. I, too, am an obsessive planner/organizer. When she was just a few weeks old, I realized I couldn’t be exactly the same person I had been before becoming a mother, and I didn’t want to be. It was a real turning point for me. I have to make a conscious effort every day to let go of a lot of things (and it isn’t always successful). But I feel like I’m a much better – and happier – person for it.

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