A Common Mom Dilemma: Over-committing and Under-delivering

As moms, Calendar Keeper is typically one of those random responsibilities we automatically assume. Sometimes our entries entail the tedious things in life, like chores, overdue errands and honey-do-lists. Hopefully, more often than that, our agendas are full of fun…play dates in the park, brunch with friends, anything that makes us happy. Whichever way the priority pendulum swings for you, it’s inevitable that there will be parts of your week that you wish you could change. Obligations, and sometimes invitations, that you wished you’d respectfully declined.

If you’re anything like me, “no thanks” doesn’t come all that naturally to you. Even though it’s a totally acceptable response, on it’s own, without any further explanation, we still feel bad for saying it…if we even have the courage to say it. While typically we’re committing to things that bring us joy, we might occasionally find ourselves agreeing to things that are a little…less awesome. Things we do out of goodwill, or maybe good karma, instead of our own personal fulfillment in that moment.

That’s all fine and dandy, and actually the main gist of this whole “adulting” thing. Whether it’s helping a friend move or volunteering for the PTA fundraiser, helping out and pulling weight in something that doesn’t directly benefit us is oftentimes the right thing to do, so we do it, no questions asked.

However, we have to keep an eye on these sneaky flames that can catch our candle and start burning us from both ends. It’s typical for a mom to enthusiastically agree to something before fully determining her capacity. It’s in our nature to want to do and be everything to everyone…but we just can’t. The sooner we accept this truth, the better off we’ll be.

What about the things we actually want to do, the plans we initiate? Spending time with family and friends feeds our souls in a way that few other things can in life. Soo, why would we ever want to refuse this amazing gift?????

Because…well- pajamas, that’s why.

Sometimes, pajamas win. Sometimes you just need a quiet day, where the only person you see outside of your family unit- is the pizza delivery guy. It’s OK to work these kinds of days into your weekend. Actually, it’s more than OK; reserving time to regroup and reboot your family should be considered a weekly requirement. For my family, that’s a day spent in pajamas.

Breaking a commitment is never a super feel-good moment, for either party, but sometimes it’s necessary. Life is so crazy busy that we’re often making plans weeks, if not months, in advance, which makes breaking said plans even more of a gut-wrench.

But…we’ve all been there. We’ve all over-committed at some point in momlife. It’s that pit in your stomach the second you wake up, the moment you realize you’re running on the very last, smoky fume. Nothing sounds better than keeping your hair up in a messy bun, and putting your bum on the sofa. This doesn’t make you lazy or a flaky friend- this makes you a mom that recognizes her limits, and is comfortable crying “Uncle”. Which is no easy feat to willingly accept.

Any true member of your tribe will get it, because they’ve been there, too. The majority of mamas will actually be thankful for the time back in their day, and will just want you to hunt down the best version of yourself. They will absolutely look forward to the next time you plan to get together, just as you will. Hopefully, they’ll even take a note and follow your lead, marching their family toward a Snuggletown invasion.

If you’re going to under-deliver on an over-commitment, please, just do the right thing. Be a good friend, do your sister a solid, and cancel before she’s had a chance to shower. At least before the hair is dry or the face is on. If it’s the weekend and you’re unexpectedly relinquished from activity, you’d want to know that primping is now negotiable. (Or in most cases, completely off the table!)

Happy parenting-


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