5.25.2011

B+






I've read a couple of things recently that resonated with me in a huge way...The first was a passage from an interview with the genius Anna Quindlen on Momfilter:


"I think having bright lines and boundaries really worked for us, that it made our kids strong and secure because they were clear on expectations and responsibilities. But I wish I had been better able to combine that with letting things go a little bit. Nobody really needs a bath every night. Nobody really needs a balanced meal for every meal. I should have let the freak flag fly a bit more. It’s hard to be a Type A mom. I wish I could have been a bit more B plus, for my sake and their own."


image via moomah journal

Then there was this quote on the (really fantastic) Moomah journal, by founder, Tracey Stewart:

"Parenting is an incredibly stressful job fraught with anxiety... Too often parenting sites propose an unreal picture of perfection that is impossible to attain...The more we find relaxation, inspiration and laughter the more we can delight in the absolute fulfillment of being a parent."


I think a lot about this idea of "mellow parenting"... I believe with ever fiber of my being that creativity flourishes and the magic happens when you let kids be bored, explore, make messes and just sort of ramble about a bit, and yet, at my core, I am a type A mom. Big time. Art projects inevitably begin with a mental assessment of how hard they'll be to clean up, I still tend to overschedule (despite my continued attempts at laziness) and, more often than not, I'm far more uptight than I'd like to be.

So Stewart and Quindlen's wise words were a good reminder, a re-set if you will. Alongside the swimming and ping pong and outdoor dinners I have lined up for the summer, I'm also going shoot for embracing "type B plus". I'm going to raise the freak flag a bit. Who's with me?

23 comments:

skirtastop said...

I really like this idea...I'm also a Type A parent that tries not to be, because I like the idea of a more freeflowing childhood and think it's good for kids. I think the more kids you have, the easier it is to become "B+" just out of necessity, but it takes more effort to let go if you only have one or two kids. The Idle Parent was a great book to remind me of this and hammer it home - I'd recommend it if you haven't read it...

Kim in the Cove said...

Skirtastop is right. My friends with larger families are much more laid back than I am - by necessity. You can't helicopter over 5 kids.

I am perpetually striving to take it all down a notch, and it's funny because, as a parent, you get so much validation for amping it up, for preparing all those well rounded meals and provided structured and orderly educational and entertainment opportunities, not allowing for any so-called misbehavior... Ugh. I really need it to be OK for my kids to have dirty feet every once in a while!

So, yes, please count me in.

nicole said...

great great quotes...ms. quindlen's really resonates with me...that's it i am going to let my freak flag fly.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for this post. I so needed to read this today!

whoorl said...

Oh, how I want to raise my freak flag with you! It's just that...I truly don't know if I can do it. I am so anal about time and messes and well, lots of things.

You know, I'm really going to try to relax this summer. I owe it to my kids!

Post Box Press said...

Thank you, Joslyn. I really, really, really needed this today :)

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

my freak flag is flying so high that i'm hoping for a B- ... it's the only way my strive to perfection existence can be overthrown.

Michelle said...

awww, I love this post! How sweet, I find it so wonderful that you are a person to worry about that for your own children, that right there shows what a thoughtful parent you are, and that is the very best lesson to teach your kids. So sweet.

Mary said...

I'm in! We all have our strengths and areas for improvement. I'm actually pretty good with allowing space for boredom (magic) and making lots of messes. I'm less good with being patient, letting them work through their own issues, and exuding positivity. That's what I'll continue to focus on.

Jessica said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I'm almost two years into mothering and have so much to learn, and it's so easy to get caught up in the perfection trap (especially if you are type A+ like me!). My husband is a B+ parent and has so much more fun than I do!

Kelly and Kelly said...

always striving towards this. very true that it has helped to have more kids. we can't overparent three kids as easily as two. ;) I'm with you. bring on the summer.

mb said...

As a seasoned mom, I say hang the freak flag, swim a bunch, make smores, and embrace life.
Have fun.

mb from Dallas

amy said...

I will be letting my freak flag fly all summer... thanks for the great post!

jora said...

I'm totally in. I want to be B+ all the way.

The Wizzle said...

This rings very true for me too. B+. I am taking that one to the bank!

Nomadic D. said...

I'm not a parent (yet!) but this sounds wonderful to me. I love the idea of shooting for B+, and I think even those of us without babes in arms should be embracing that philosophy, and yes, raising the freak flag a little bit!

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

Kristina Guilbeau said...

The main dilemma for me is that I aim to be an A+ parent but in all honesty I think I probably average out at a solid C and it breaks my heart almost every day. I don't know if my kids will ever eat broccoli or go to bed on time (in their own rooms! I know, I know...) but if getting to a B+ sounds as great as this post makes it seem, I'm in!

Thanks for closing the gap :)

saltandpine said...

I'm so in! Anna Quindlen has always been such a rock star to me...
Katie

la la Lovely said...

This is beyond pretty great. I'm printing this one out. I'm already a little crazy in the brain thinking about summer and the chaos that might ensue. But at the same time I long for that easy, relaxed, make up games kind of summer, where you don't do much of anything but you remember everything. I just have to learn to let go and I'm pretty sure that is what I'll be working on for the next 3 months. I'm ready to fly the freak flag too!
Thanks for such thought provoking and challenging posts!!!!!
xoxo Trina

Jennifer said...

I'm another mom who really needed to hear this today, so thank you thank you thank you for sharing!

About Last Weekend said...

Thank you for this post. I am definitely a C trying to make it to Bminus and this was wonderful. Inspired me to write a blog post of my own on the subject, linking you.

Camille said...

Eesh, now I feel a bit guilty for freaking after finding that my twins had painted themselves with yogurt. Next time something like this happens (which we all know it will) I'll try to remember to 'raise my freak flag.'

Dawn said...

I'm in....I need this more than you can possibly imagine.