When Plan B Takes Over

If you’re a Type A personality like me, you’ve had your life planned out since you were approximately 5 years old.  We Type A’s are described as “individuals who are outgoing, ambitious, rigidly-organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, anxious, proactive, are concerned with time management and are often high-achieving workaholics.”

This can range from daily, monthly, or even lifetime planning. We plan our days from the moment we wake up until the moment we lay down to go to sleep. We’ve had our college classes picked out since middle school and we’ve been eyeing those jobs we want to apply for since we began college. I remember spending hours laying on the living room floor as a child, drawing floor plans of houses, dreaming of the day I would become an architect. And I never lost sight of my goal. I involved myself in every possible college activity that would make me a better career woman and help me develop skills to further me in the corporate world. Typical Type-A me, I had every moment of the day filled, organized to the nth degree, and lived life running from place to place.  I had one goal in life: work my life away and climb that corporate ladder. This was a successful life for me and this was my Plan A.

What’s the problem with this type of lifestyle? Does anyone see it?

Because I sure didn't.

I thought I had a tight grasp and could keep everything in my control. The one factor we have not put into our “Type A Plan for Life” is ...Life itself. Life happens and this may look different for everyone. It happens in many forms: Moving across the country for your spouse’s job, divorce, a death in the family, a personal illness, or something else that was completely unplanned. I met my husband and through his gentle and kind heart, I learned there was much more to life than all of the working and planning. He taught me that success comes in so many forms and isn’t defined as how big your paycheck is or how much is in your 401k. I started to deter from my career goals and realized after years of not wanting children, that I did want to have a family. When we got pregnant, my plan was to take my six-week maternity leave and then go right back to work. Our daughter would be fine at daycare all week and I would be fine at work all week.  

Stick. To. Plan. A.

And this is when life happened for me. I never imagined that this little girl would steal my heart the way that she did. Then the night came before I had to go to work. I remember bawling because I finally felt like I was getting the hang of this mom thing and I had to leave her the next day.

Stick. To. Plan. A.

So I went back to work, being distracted all the time, always wanting to be with my little girl. On top of all of that, around this time was when my mom and I started our business, which I did in all of my spare time. As the business got busier, I swore to myself I would not quit my job.

Stick. To. Plan. A.

I got to the point when it was unbearable to do both. I remember telling my husband that I went to school to be an architect, had all of this student debt, and I couldn’t quit for our business. That wasn’t my Plan A. He looked at me and said “sometimes life just changes. You have to change with it and make a Plan B and that’s okay.”

And then I realized this was a way for me to stay at home with my daughter and still work. It wasn’t my Plan A, but it was still a way for me to contribute and use skills that I had learned in school. I think it took another few months of anxiety and planning for me to finally let go of my Plan A. Life never had “Plan A” in store for me and that was okay. My Plan A and Plan B had their pros and cons and were beautiful in their own way, life just had a different path for me and my family and I’m confident I made the right decision.  

If you wanted to be a career woman and stick to your guns, but maybe you’re unhappy in your job, is it time for a Plan B? If you’re a career woman but your heart is at home with your kiddos, do you need a Plan B to make yourself less torn? If you wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and life took over and the finances just wouldn’t allow it, I hope you can find some lifestyle changes so you can be at home. If you were going in one direction but life happened and you have to re-evaluate, I hope you can find a Plan B. Whichever decision you make, I hope you feel at peace with it and are 100% fulfilled.