I have always been an over achiever: straight A's in school, top scores on standardized tests, a driven, Type-A perfectionist. During my first year of college, my roommate called me a "wacko-spaz-joiner", referring to my habit of taking on too many projects, clubs, and classes. (She didn't mean it as a compliment, but now it's a running joke between us.) She was right, and I was sleep-deprived and over-extended, but that didn't stop me. Why not give your all in everything you do? I had no concept of "good enough".
Fast forward ten years, and I'm teaching gifted children in San Diego while working on my Masters in Education. I sit on 6 committees, volunteer for 3 different organizations, have a full social calendar, freelance for a major publishing house, hit the gym at 8 PM every night, and throw regular gourmet dinner parties (with the same roommate, by the way). Still sleep-deprived and over-extended and perfectionistic, but busy and active and involved and happy. I think.
Now, 23 years after the original "wacko-spaz-joiner" comment was made, I realize that I am STILL that girl: the one on all the school committees, volunteering for every job, driving two kids to 4 different activities (EACH) every week, designing costumes for the ballet company and cooking the second grade Thanksgiving feast while recovering from major surgery, making all the cookies for the preschool graduation from scratch, wanting to have it all, wanting to do it all, wanting to do it all perfectly.
And my little girls have a tired, stressed out, sleep-deprived, over-extended, perfectionistic mom. Who falls asleep reading Goodnight Moon at 7 PM.
And my husband may have a home-cooked meal every night, but when he goes to bed, I'm working on the school emergency phone tree directory or the Christmas newsletter or the family vacation scrapbook.
And, worst of all, I've started seeing perfectionistic tendencies in my seven-year-old.
So this summer, I introduced my kids to "Slacker Mom". She visits a few times a week. She serves oatmeal or popcorn for dinner and leaves the beds unmade to take them swimming. Sometimes she even plops them in front of the TV with pizza! On the couch! My kids ADORE Slacker Mom. They ask for her regularly.
Welcome to Slacker Mom. She'll let you off the hook.