Planning is a mother's worst enemy

Having been a lifetime serial planner and obsessive organizer, motherhood has taught me this: that planning is a mother's worst enemy. If you make plans and you have children, the plans will, inevitably, fail. And when those plans fail, you will feel miserable, horrible for not being able to juggle the demands of motherhood and work and friends and life. Then you will try to reschedule those plans, only making matters worse because I bet that those plans will, too, fail.

I have learned through this past year that it is far, far better to leave plans open and to go with the flow. This type of thinking used to frustrate me to no end pre-baby. At work, one of my biggest pet peeves was that it always seemed like nobody ever planned anything with enough advance notice to actually get things done, and to get them done right. My new post-baby go-with-it strategy has worked wonders for me in having to deal with the inevitable all-last-minute projects and events at work. And, I believe, it has helped me enjoy life outside of work much more.

Sure, we still plan some things in advance. A family reunion in the fall. Attending friends weddings. Baby and bridal showers. The big things are still definitely must-plans. But dinner on Friday night? Let's see how we feel around 4:30pm that day before we decide. A trip to the beach next weekend? Let's see how we are feeling that morning. We just call the shots as we get to them.

I have learned, thankfully, that if we have this attitude rather than adhering to some schedule, we are much more successful at making things work, and thus, much happier. Who knows when Boo will nap. Who knows if we will be so damn damn tired that night and maybe we won't want to go out after all. Who knows if it will be 7 at night and suddenly we'll want to hit the town for some good cocktails. We can't plan those things anymore - we just have to do them. If others can join our plans at the spur of the moment, then great; if not, we'll catch them next time.

Coming from a serial planner/obsessive organizer/schedule overachiever, I'd say this is what therapists would call progress. I'll call it blog-ress for now :)


betty said...

Being as flexible as possible definitely reduces the stress and pressure of parenthood. It's a lesson that took us a long time to learn with our 1st child. I remember us taking a vacation to Texas to visit my sister when my DD was about 1 year old. We planned out a pretty full agenda, and were shocked and amazed (and somewhat disappointed) that we only saw about -10% of what we had originally planned to see. Now, whenever we go anywhere with the 2 kids, we say whatever happens happens and leave it at that. That way we don't suffer as much disappointment in the process.

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