I had questions like:
- Why is an international move easier for me than sticking to a meal plan?
- How come every time I vacuum, I rearrange the furniture?
- Why do I re-invent my kids’ bedtime schedule so frequently?
- What makes me claustrophobic about tradition?
- Why do I love hosting on-the-spot parties instead of advance planning?
- How is it that when I intend to do the laundry, I end up cleaning the car out?
- Why do I race myself to complete chores?
I wondered if I had ADD, procrastination, or a spirit of rebellion. Maybe I’m just a rubbish housekeeper, forgetful, or lazy–?
I couldn’t figure it out. The fly-by-the seat of your pants Laura got grounded with the birth of baby #4. I love living with lots of moving pieces, but this was hectic.
1.) Boundaries, rules, and consistency help kids feel safe. In child development, we talk about the balance of consistency and novelty. My kids deserve more structure.
2.) I can’t get help with the house or train babysitters effectively because I am always reinventing wheels that aren’t even broken.
3.) James suggested the constant creativity feels disrespectful at times.
After percolating these ideas in my head for about a month while simultaneously developing goals for the New Year, I had an epiphany. I realised that the issues I’m dealing with aren’t signs of illness, slothfulness, or negligence. I’m just right brained.
Cue sigh of relief. I’m not mentally ill, slothful, or negligent.
I’m just right-brained.
I’m right brained– I love the big picture, colouring-outside-the-lines, being holistic, creative thinking, doing things randomly, feeling spontaneous, and seeking adventure. So if something is typically a routine task, like household chores, cooking, laundry, or child rearing, I like to turn it into something I can succeed at by using my strengths and putting a dash of sparkle in it.
My left brained friends are ordered, logical, routine, strategic, planners, cautious and safe. They have schedules for everything and take unstructured activities and make them less flexible by adding rules or scripts in order to gain more control.
Conceptualising moms as primarily left or right brained thinkers has given me an interesting insight into the patterns of parents’ strengths.
I need adventure.
Now that my family is out of major life transitions, I am starting to itch for excitement. The mundane is so underwhelming. I polled moms, “What do you do for adventure?”
One friend said, “I clean out the garage or organise a closet.” Many moms admitted they don’t have adventure– nor do they crave it. I realise that the moms who have days devoted to specific household chores, grocery store lists, buy the same brands, cook the same dinners, and thrive on order are more than likely lefties.
But I shouldn’t make laundry the adventure.
Right brained-ness has served me well, but my little left hemisphere is so atrophied. I feel like I’ve gone back to motherhood preschool to learn basics: routine, tradition, self-discipline, housekeeping and consistency.
So here I am meal planning (just barely), sticking to a bedtime routine for the kids, teaching them consistent chores, making the bed everyday, putting things back in the same place every time. Gradually it’s feeling less like this-
Now I am getting back in touch with my right brain for things that require it- blogging, poetry, photography, and figuring out if there is something else for me in this season. Theoretically if I can automate the household routines and organisation, I can have more time for the things I’m passionate about. Right?