Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hurry Up and Slow Down

I'm a type A personality.  As described a type A is ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.  

I've known I was a type A for a long time and to be honest, I've taken a lot of pride in being very organized, proactive, etc. They're good qualities to have especially in your school life and career.  Now that I'm a mom though, I'm noticing that my type A personality isn't allowing me to enjoy the moments I should be enjoying with Addie.  I've been thinking about it more often as the days pass before the little guy arrives and it's weighing more on me.  Part of becoming aware of my faults is taking notice and making a change. 

I ran across an article today on Huffington Post that described me and my parenting style/relationship with Addie and it was really eye opening.  It's called the, "The Day I Stopped Saying 'Hurry Up'".  Here's an excerpt that spoke really clearly to me and caused me to stop and think about our relationship.

And although the words "hurry up" did little if nothing to increase my child's speed, I said them anyway. Maybe even more than the words, "I love you."
The truth hurts, but the truth heals... and brings me closer to the parent I want to be.
Then one fateful day, things changed. We'd just picked my older daughter up from kindergarten and were getting out of the car. Not going fast enough for her liking, my older daughter said to her little sister, "You are so slow." And when she crossed her arms and let out an exasperated sigh, I saw myself -- and it was a gut-wrenching sight.
I was a bully who pushed and pressured and hurried a small child who simply wanted to enjoy life.
My eyes were opened; I saw with clarity the damage my hurried existence was doing to both of my children.
Although my voice trembled, I looked into my small child's eyes and said, "I am so sorry I have been making you hurry. I love that you take your time, and I want to be more like you."

I couldn't believe it.  This woman is me 3 years from now.  I feel this age is a hard age.  They're always testing us to see how we'll cave but they're also in a really unique place because they're learning who they are.  It's really critical to let them explore at this age but also set the boundaries they need.

I highly suggest reading this article.  It's allowed me to notice my mistakes in parenting and allowed me to course correct back so Addie is free to express herself.  She is my free spirit after all.

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