It’s the evening before my monthly Duluth Moms Blog article is due. It’s later in the evening, about 9 pm. Ask me if I’ve started my post? Seriously, just ask. Welp, the answer is a big fat negative-NO. Nope. Nada. This is it… my first paragraph.
Of course, I could easily
explain make excuses as to why I’ve been procrastinating on finishing this task: I’m preparing for a big event later in the week; I bear the lion’s share of responsibility when it comes to our children’s education, I cook healthy meals, clean the house, do the laundry (like every other mom–or dad—out there!), I workout for 40-60 minutes nearly everyday, I work a side hustle.
It’d be convenient to explain–to myself and others– about why I can’t submit the post by the deadline but in truth, it would be full of excuses, and relatively poor ones at that. The reality, however, is that I make excuses for myself far too often: why I’m late; why I put off difficult, emotional tasks, why I can’t seem to keep it all “together.”
I consider myself a Type A “ish” person, with a healthy dose of Type B in the mix. For example, I graduated from college in three years with zero student debt. This meant taking 17+ credits almost every semester plus two summer courses and working my tail off during the school year and summer to pay for my education with scholarships and my work earnings. Clearly, I can get things done!
I’m also a perfectionist–be it a furniture piece I’ve restored, a birth story I’ve documented and the subsequent gallery I’ve delivered to a client, how clean the bathroom is but…
Motherhood changes everything.
As moms, we rearrange our lives, our sex lives, our schedules, our menus–everything--to raise healthy, beautiful, kind, and empathetic children. But now, as my children enter middle childhood, everything is rearranged again. No longer is my life dictated by nap time or snack time or the need to burn off extra energy–right now!–at a local park.
These days, it’s re-learning how to have high expectations for myself. To set a high, but attainable goal and to hold myself to it. To not make excuses for myself. Clearly, there are valid reasons for missing deadlines; as a former writing instructor at a local public university, I heard many excuses and reasons, some valid and some questionable (and funny!), at best.
A single friend, joining us for dinner commented as he surveyed the sautéed vegetables and brown rice, that he “wished that he could eat healthy.” The reality is that he can eat healthy, but he believes that it remains out of reach for him. I’ve made the same kind of wistful excuses in the past:
I can’t exercise because… my children don’t nap.
I can’t submit this on time because… I have a ton of images to edit.
I can’t accomplish a task because… an outside force is preventing me from getting to it.
I’d hazard a guess that we all have our pet excuses and reasons that we cite for why we can’t do something, why we choose not to do something. But as my children need me in different ways, I’m able to recognize–more readily–excuses for what they are: excuses. At their best, excuses are valid; at their worst, excuses prevent me from a doing the things that I can do, if past history is any indication. All I need is a shift in my mindset.
This DMB post? Submitted at 10:57 PM. No excuses for why I didn’t finish it is necessary.