Friday, August 27, 2010

Desire to Control

I realized something about myself tonight. Something that has changed since I had Addison. Well, actually so many things have changed it would take a much longer post than this to list everything. One big change just occurred to me tonight, and I wonder if this is normal. I appeal to you, my blogging friends for your opinion and help.

Before Addison, I was very much a "wing-it" person. Small details might fall by the wayside, but I didn't care. I would throw aside lesson plans at times and just go into class with a few general concepts I wanted to get across. (can't believe I just confessed that) I would throw parties that were perhaps disorganized in the lack of detail planning on my part. Areas of my house would go always unclean because I just didn't care (not visible areas).

Recently, I have been focusing much more on the tiny details, desperately searching for things that I can control. So many things have been out of my control completely the last year of my life that I search for any tiny thing that I can grab and hold onto and I feel as though I have the power to change the situation and LOVE IT.

Exhibit A: tomorrow we are hosting an informal kickball/cookout for some friends out on our lawn. Earlier this week, I found myself making table diagrams explicitly planning where each dish that other people were bringing would be placed exactly on the table and how the tables would spatially relate to each other and where the tables would be placed in relation to the kickball bases. (I didn't think it was weird until Aaron laughed at me) I freaked a co-worker out a couple of days ago as we were discussing a class that we are team teaching and I was desperately trying to over plan everything so not one class period would fall out of my control. I spent almost an hour today cleaning out my refrigerator (what???) It is cleaner than perhaps any fridge that I have ever been responsible for.

I am responsible totally for the dessert tomorrow. Aaron pointed out tonight that I have the dessert that I planned and made- a backup to that- a backup to the backup- and a backup to the backup of the backup (?) Also, the original dessert is a cake that I used paper cut outs to practice the design over and over again. Seriously? It sounds weirder in type than it did in my head.

I could go on, but these are the details freshest in my mind. Is this normal? I feel like it might not be a good thing, but also great for becoming a more organized person (note, I'm not saying that I am now super organized. I am just saying that there are random things that I seem to grab hold of and not let go). I feel as though I should relax and try not to keep my life tightly clenched in my fist, but it is hard because so much of my life has already changed when I didn't ask or want it to. Don't get me wrong, I love being Addison's mom, but honestly, at times it is still so hard. Just because you accept something doesn't meant that the pain goes away.

I really enjoy caring more about these details, but I feel as though it might my already "uptight" personality spiral dangerously toward psychotic.

Thoughts? Anyone else face this problem after having a child with special needs and how did you deal with the desire to control before it took over your life completely?


  1. Of course Ella would like Addison's picture...they have that special bond :) Just email to me at I have a few I am sending to Target to get printed so it will be easy to add hers. Thanks and I am enjoying your blog, even if I don't always comment.

  2. I understand what you're saying. I'm trying to think if I do that. I think there are some things I am like that with, but for the most part, I have relaxed a lot more since having a baby. I realized that there was so much that wouldn't be perfect and it would only make me crazy trying to do it all perfectly. It has been freeing, but then again, maybe I should try a little harder. :)

  3. I'm not going to be much help, because I've always had a little OCD and I'm Type A all the way! I don't even try to hide it any more....I like control, order and plans. I over plan, over clean (well as much as you can with two little ones), over organize and get a little anxious if it doesn't all go how I had it in my head! I've actually tried to let go of that a little over the last couple of years because I've learned it doesn't always work with kids. I'll never be a "go with the flow", but I don't panic if my house isn't perfect and someone stops by. Before having kids you could have stopped by unannounced any day or time and it would have looked like the cleaning lady just left and no one had been home....not so much any more! LOL

    It sounds like you need to find a balance between where you were and where you are now. My guess is you are trying to over control certain things now because they "are" controlable, where-as Addison's diagnosis and medical issues are totally out of your control. The control of those things is not only giving you a sense of control, but it is maybe also giving you something to focus on other than Down syndrome and all that goes with it???

    I'm sure you'll find that balance, we're still new to all of this!

  4. oh you are so totally normal...and if i wasn't already a control freak before i had camden i would have totally had the same experience i am sure....but for me...because i was such a control freak before...i had kind of the opposite reaction i i feel more comfortable with winging things...i guess because i did everything i could before camden to control everything...including my pregnancy...i took prenatals for six months before trying to get pregnant...i watched what i ate...we planned our pregnancy....we planned everything...i got pregnant younger so i wouldn't have to worry about genetic abnormalities...the one thing we didn't plan for and couldn't control was i guess that is why my reaction was the opposite...don't get me wrong, i am still very much a control freak...ask my husband...but i have learned to let things go...and i guess these kiddos are partly here to mold us into the people we were meant to be...

    so anyway my point is that your reaction, based on my experience, is totally normal. You feel like you can't control life's circumstances, including what is going to happen with you plan. :) it is a good thing...use it to your advantage...and i highly doubt you will get "uptight" lol...embrace the new you! :) addison is part of it!

  5. I probably wont be of much help either as I feel I have become just the opposite of what you are describing! Before Russell I was a control freak, very organized, NOT a "go with the flow" type person, AT ALL! I needed to see clearly the path before me and where things were going to end up...Then Russell came and all that changed. I realized that I cant control everything and I wont always be able to see what lies ahead in life. It has been very, very, hard for me to change that about loosen up a bit.
    So even though I feel the opposite of what you are going through, I totaly understand how you feel. When you said accepting the Down syndrome doesnt mean it takes the pain away...I couldnt agree more!! I accept Russell has Ds...but it still hurts my heart.
    All our lives have changed in some way or another since having our babies...In the end all this change will be for the best, we just need to allow ourselves time to adjust to it all. One day at a time...


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