I kind of laugh on the inside when I read about how other women just can’t seem to put down the to-do list and enjoy the moment. Not me. I have no problem dropping that to-do list like a bad habit… if I’ve made a to-do list at all.

I am not task oriented. I am not driven and focused. I am not organized.

I am, however, highly interested in relationships and "the journey". And I haven’t quite figured out how this personality type aids my position as homemaker, homeschooling mama, and head of the kitchen.

My inability to stay focused on the tasks at hand leads to the inevitable…

  • Piles of laundry in every form: dirty, clean and unfolded, and clean and folded. At least there’s variety, right?
  • Projects that never quite get finished. Like that picture I’ve been "working on hanging up" for several months or the preschool curriculum I am putting off until the last minute.
  • Complete lack of a coherent schedule. We mostly float from one chore or project to the next during the day, depending on how things are going. I call it an "organic scheduling", but really it is unorganized chaos.
  • Multitasking of the worst kind. You know, the kind that means only one of the things I am doing will be done right or get done at all.

What makes my flexible, hippy ways even more disastrous is the fact that my husband is highly task-oriented. He is really good at honing in on what needs to be done and has tunnel vision until that task is done just right.

Watching him must be like when native people see outsiders for the first time: a completely foreign way of doing things that is nothing less than PBS-documentary fascinating.

And while I know I will never be a task-oriented person, I do need to try to find balance. There has to be a balance between accepting your God-given personality and having the discipline to not indulge it at every turn, right?

Otherwise my family may never find clean underwear again.

{photo credit}

 

36 Responses to Confessions of a Type B Mama

  1. Carla says:

    You just described me! This is so refreshing to see as most bloggers write about the perfect organized uber beings that they are. I am definitely a Type B mom and I am not ashamed of it!

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    Shannon Reply:

    Carla – It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Although my point was that I need to make some changes and be disciplined in not indulging my every whim. Like I said I have to balance my natural proclivities with the fact that I need to be more disciplined.

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  2. FatherOf3 says:

    Nice post…described my wife and I perfectly. Glad to hear we’re not alone and not entirely crazy to live this way.

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  3. Jen says:

    LOL! Love this post! Your husband sounds like mine : ).
    I love this line, “Watching him must be like when native people see outsiders for the first time: a completely foreign way of doing things that is nothing less than PBS-documentary fascinating.”
    I must remember that one!
    Thanks!

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  4. Rachel says:

    oh my goodness, i’ve found a kindred spirit! this describes me to a T. and like Carla said, i am not ashamed of being a type B mama! my husband is not a type A personality at all, but he is definitely more motivated than me. usually he is pretty flexible (and gracious!) with my “lack of focus”…and i have learned which things are important to him (ya know, like having clean underwear), and try extra hard to get those things done :)

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    Shannon Reply:

    Rachel – It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Although my point was that I need to make some changes and be disciplined in not indulging my every whim. Like I said I have to balance my natural proclivities with the fact that I need to be more disciplined.

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  5. Janice says:

    I love it! It’s wonderful to know I am not the only one who can’t seem to finish projects and who always seems to have laundry issues! No one around here seems to understand my struggles!

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  6. Teresa says:

    I don’t even know what to say. But I am grinning like a possum from ear to ear. This is ME and it sure does do my heart good to read that someone else has the nerve to step up and say “this is how I am”. And you know what? It’s ok…people like us are actually a breath of fresh air in the life of a highly focused, task driven, super organized person. Whether they admit it or not ~ Just by being who we are, we balance things out. Cool, huh?

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    Shannon Reply:

    Teresa – It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Although my point was that I need to make some changes and be disciplined in not indulging my every whim. Like I said I have to balance my natural proclivities with the fact that I need to be more disciplined.

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  7. Refreshing post, Shannon! You made me laugh; I am more Type B than I care to admit. :)

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  8. Becky says:

    :) You just made my day. That is me to a T and my husband to a T, LOL. I was just looking around at my multi laundry piles and long list of things to get done that I can’t seem to become organized enough to accomplish and I’m wondering how I’m going to add homechooling on top of all of my disorganization.
    Thank you!

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  9. aurelia says:

    Also not organized by nature. What has helped me the most is this little notebook trick I found at I’m an Organizing Junkie. Just one list in one notebook. Highlight tasks when they are finished. Like a gold star!

    http://orgjunkie.com/2010/06/making-lists-and-batching-tasks.html

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  10. Brandis says:

    That is SO funny… Just before I read the title to your post, I was congratulating myself for NOT stressing about the pile of laundry-to-be-folded that is only growing larger in my living room, the puzzles strewn about the floor, and the pile of kids clothes waiting to be tagged for consignment in the OTHER corner of the living room. I tend to beat myself up until EVERYTHING is done… and we all know that everything is NEVER done:) So I’m kind of forcing myself to let things go for a little while while I do some “me” things, like blog or work on a sewing project. I think that there are advantages and disadvantages to both personalities. Like you’re probably a far more relaxed person, whereas I’m pretty uptight. You’re probably more spontaneous, while I have every moment of my week planned out. I’m probably a lot more stressed. And I really think that type B’s are better at making friends and maintaining the relationships. But I do think that both type A and type B personalities can do well to strive for balance between the two types, like me learning to let go of tasks for a little while, or you (or any type B) attempting to stick to a schedule. Because the “ideal”is probably a balance of the two. Someone who gets things done and can focus, but who doesn’t stress when life intervenes and things don’t get done. Someone who knows when to let the laundry pile up for a little while because she needs a break. Someone who schedules and plans their meals and shopping but allows for flexibility and spontaneity.

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  11. denise says:

    and, I continue to learn from you.

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  12. Emma says:

    I love this post! But now you’ve got me thinking that I have no idea what personality type I am. I think I must be type AB, if there is such a thing.

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  13. Courtney says:

    oh my goodness that must really be me. I thought I was a to-do list person but here is the thing…i make them and never finish them. I have loads of laundry piled up. the house is sometimes really clean!

    that is just me!

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  14. Whoa. I think this is me. What I have found to be my saving grace is a “to-do” list. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get done. Period. And, sometimes I don’t get to do the whole list. That’s OK. It just goes on the next day’s “to do” list. Or…just gets wiped off completely! I find I get great satisfaction in crossing things off my list. Even simple things like… take meat from freezer. Or….feed pets. Or…call library. Yup. It’s what I use to git ‘er done!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Cindy – Great points. I need to be sure to do that every day.

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  15. Sarah says:

    Love it! Sounds like me… except I have bursts of organization. I tell my husband that I spent my whole life trying to find that balance, and I feel like I’ve got it down most days. But, part of that means I don’t worry about what I can’t get to. :)

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    Shannon Reply:

    Sarah – Ya know I do too. In fact I go on binges every now and then of purging and organizing. Maybe I’m like an organizer savant.

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    Janelle Reply:

    @Shannon,

    Oh my gosh I am such the same way! I’ll go maybe a week of doing things here an there, and then for a whole day I’m like a mad women and try to get everything done in one day! Haha I think its just procrastination more than anything, but I’m definitely not the organized person I’d like to be since when there’s a pile of dishes or messy rooms I’m all stressed until it gets picked up, but I never feel like doing it!

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  16. Nicola says:

    This article was encouraging to a type b like myself that I can someday do all that you do. I have accepted being a type b personality. To be honest, type a people stress me out.

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  17. If that’s the biggest problem you have in life, I’d say you’re in great shape.

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  18. Ashley says:

    Well, I’m the Type A mom, and have been working with all my might at becoming more like you :) I agree, there must be a balance in the middle somewhere.

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    Shannon Reply:

    Ashley – Exactly my point. Balance is a matter of disciplining one’s self to not over indulge your natural proclivities.

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  19. kathi says:

    Shan – you come by that naturally – the type B thing. I call my piles of “to do” things my chaotic organization. I usually can find things in it.

    As you children were growing up, it was ALWAYS more important to spend time with you all, doing things, enjoying life, and growing up with you :) -

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    Shannon Reply:

    Thanks, Mom!

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  20. Anjanette says:

    Oy, my husband and I just had a conversation about this! We are the same as you and yours. I’m so very thankful that he is organized and focused – he keeps me aware of our priorities and helps me plan when I’m struggling. I have been encouraged by looking back and seeing how much more likely I am to follow through with a project nowdays compared to when we were just married. Still, I have a long way to go too!

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  21. Lauri says:

    I’m a natural type B, and then I try to show the world that I am type A. It is a conflicted lifestyle. I don’t even see the mess until I hear that someone is on their way over. Ugh! I drop everything for the next fun project. When will I grow up???

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  22. I love, love, loved reading this post.

    I’ve just written a post on my blog on mother styles – P vs J and you’re a P – I love reading about opposite people to me – it gives me such insight and makes me dream a little about being more unstructured :)

    http://www.the123blog.com/2010/09/motherstyles-are-you-p-or-j.html

    [Reply]

  23. [...] with all of my type B tendencies, though, cooking makes sense to me. When given a few ingredients from our garden or farmer’s [...]

  24. Lillian says:

    Linked over from your Lentil Soup guest post(can’t wait to make it!) and just had to say how much this post made me SMILE! It always feels good when you see/hear/read about others who “get” you and feel the same way – especially in parenting and housework;) Looking forward to following your blog now!

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  25. julie may says:

    I can so relate to your dilemma. I don’t have any kids yet but my husband and I are both VERY type B and our house always looks like a group of hoarding sqatters have been staying there! Unless my chaos threshold is met and I go into super clean up mode (read: pile straightening and long overdue chores) it’s truly a disaster area. The fact that both of us are wired this way is a double edged sword because although one of us is not constantly frustrated at the other, we don’t have any “motivational nagging” going on either. I am always looking for tips and tricks to improve because I do not want my children to have the same struggle as I do. I was raised by a wonderful Mom with a similar penchant for avoiding houskeeping and was not taught when or how to clean house. I feel like although I’ve learned to cut myself some slack, I’m constantly disappointed with myself in the home-making department because of my disorganization and lack of motivation (except for cooking which is my favorite past time.) Has anyone found some simple things that have clicked with them to improve their flow and organization?

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  26. Sunny Penner Cox says:

    Wonderful! I have always described myself as being “like a bee,” when it came to getting anything done, but I never stopped to consider that there might be a “type bee.” ;) My husband will enjoy the knowledge that there is a quiet army of us holding the world in balance!

    [Reply]

  27. Emily Buller says:

    This is me exactly (and my husband is the task man!). I am so glad to hear someone admit to this. I keep trying to improve… Thanks for keeping it real.

    [Reply]

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