Micromanaging Mommy


A mom holding a toddler why the dad reads a book.As a mom, especially one who stayed home from work all day with her baby for the first half-year of his life, I think I am inclined to be controlling. Actually, that’s a lie. As a control freak, I am inclined to be controlling and micromanaging

Even before my son was born, I would call myself regimented. I like lists and schedules, rules, and absolutes. In many ways, the early days of having a baby spoke to these skills – feed every three hours on the dot (I would time this to the minute), make sure he’s wearing one more layer than you (I’d dutifully count as I dressed myself and him), track wet diapers and weight gain and exact vaccine schedules. 

In other ways, of course, the variability and unpredictability associated with infants can be a struggle for someone micromanaging like me, who likes plans and certainty and isn’t great at going with the flow. This becomes even more complicated when another variable is introduced – namely, other people taking care of the baby.   

Early on, I realized I might have a problem when my husband dressed the baby to bring him over to his mom’s house for a visit. I was in the shower when they got ready and left, and I was unprepared for what I saw when he returned. My son was wearing a pale blue onesie with puppies (dotted with dried drool since he’d also slept in it), brown pants, yellow socks with ducks on them, and a striped zippered sweatshirt with a red train on it. It was, in short, a hot mess. 

I was mortified that he’d gone out like that. It took a moment to check myself, realize that he was safe, warm, and happy. I couldn’t control how my husband dressed him, and that was OK.

This chant – he is safe, he is warm, he is happy, and he doesn’t care – has been put to good use over the last few months. 

When his grandparents take care of my son and snap his pajamas crooked or buckle his high chair straps in a different order than I do, I remind myself that he is safe, warm, happy, and doesn’t care. When one of my girlfriends offers to change him and puts the diaper on a little loose, I remember that he is safe, warm, happy, and doesn’t care. I am working on not “supervising” others when they care for him and realizing that my way isn’t the only way. Even though I still secretly think it’s the best way.

This struggle not to micromanage takes on a whole new dimension now that I’ve put him in daycare

They’re wonderful about respecting our schedule and providing a routine. But, as we know, babies are unpredictable. A room full of babies is epically so. Sometimes my son gets his bottles closer together than I’d like. Sometimes I wonder if his diaper is changed as often as at home. Sometimes, I worry that he’ll eat less pea puree if I’m not there to cheer every time he takes a bite. And sometimes, I stress over knowing that when he cries, he likes me to sing “Baby Beluga,” and what if the teachers don’t know the words.

Say it with me now: He is safe, warm, happy, and doesn’t care.

Who else out there is a micromanaging mama? How do you release control and let others do things their way?


  1. I can totally relate to this. It took me two years before I let my husband take over drop off to daycare. Letting go of the control definitely gets easier with number 2!

  2. I am a micromanager. Not gonna lie. As my kid has gotten older though, I’ve finally let some stuff go. There are days though when I catch myself and want to scream, “Relax, woman!” Heh heh.


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