The San Francisco Chronicle has a Baby Blog called The Poop (yeah, I don’t care for the name, but whatever). I just started reading it recently upon a suggestion from my sister-in-law and am really enjoying the content. Yesterday’s post I’m in control…or am I? is one of my favorites so far, as it hit on something I’ve been struggling with for, oh…eight years now.
Control. If you couldn’t guess from my posts about food, I am a bit of a control freak. I like to know how much and of what and when and who was involved, etc. I think often people get the wrong idea about control freaks, thinking we desire to control people, to be top dog or something. That is not the case, at least with me. It’s not about being in charge; it’s about being prepared and feeling that there is something in order when the rest of the world is in chaos. People and life in general are unpredictable but if I could just keep the logistics together, I could stay afloat.
I married someone who is spontaneous and relaxed and almost my complete opposite in every way. He tries his best to keep things in order but it’s not his first priority. Joe thinks, “I need to have fun in my day, and then I can handle the chores,” whereas I find it difficult to have fun if the chores aren’t done. This might not be such a problem except that I refuse to do someone’s housework for them. There is a fierce little feminist in my head that stomps her feet when I have to do a man’s laundry, for instance. I can ignore the feminist’s fury long enough to get dinner on the table most nights, but only if dinner takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
My inner control freak has been worried for the past 8 years (since Joe moved in!), and then we had Jack and she went completely berzerk. I didn’t realize this until I read The Chronicle’s column. I’ve been walking around with this general feeling of unease, staring at the mess in our apartment and wondering what had happened that I let it get this way. And then I read that article and decided to loosen the reigns on the control freak. I’d rather spend time with Jack when I get home, and then spend time with my husband or with myself and my neglected craft projects when Jack goes to bed, than worry about the books strewn about the floor that will just get flung off the shelf again in the morning. Instead of running myself ragged, I’m going to take a page from Joe’s book and be better to myself. Most of all, I’ll try not to worry so much when someone visits my apartment and things aren’t in order. Things haven’t been in order for years and it’s time for my inner control freak to get used to it!