“Full disclosure. Every time I look at the Vermont Mom Contributing Writer’s checklist for what we have to do before submitting a post, I get overwhelmed. Simply because it’s new and I don’t want to mess it up. I know it’s okay. I know I can do it. I know I will do it. But there is something about being overwhelmed that makes me become a procrastinating mom, and I need to write a post about this- but I haven’t started yet. Obviously.”
The above quote was a comment I left for our editor because it took me weeks to finalize and turn in my already edited blog posts. We had training, we walked through the process, and I had an amazing checklist to remind me of everything I needed. However, the process was something new and overwhelming, and I feared it.
So, here we are. Have you ever just felt so overwhelmed by something that you put it off with intentions to finish it later? Then ignore it the next day, and the day after that? Maybe even actively forgetting all about it? Or, do you prefer to take on more projects, serving to effectively justify why you don’t have time to complete the original project? Yeah, me neither. Who procrastinates anymore?
Well, that’s me. I do. I’m a procrastinating mom.
This is the part where everyone typically gives me a break and reminds me in a very supportive way of the buffet-style plates I’m currently juggling in my life. Then again, aren’t we all juggling a multitude of things between family, work, “self-care” routines, and whatever else comes our way?
This is when I start down the path of comparing myself to others and how well, or how much better someone else is accomplishing life, compared to me. Finishing programs, certifications, homeschooling children, working full time, making gourmet meals, exercising, sleeping, laughing- where was I? Oh right, the comparison game that is a black hole of destruction. Yes, that might be a little aggressive, but you know what I’m talking about. I think about this and my procrastinating mom brain can’t keep up!
I won’t put the full blame on Social Media because comparing-to-others has been around for-ev-er. Now, I want to clarify I’m not coveting what someone else has. I simply admire the motivation, hard work, and effort that other moms seem to be able to commit to their lives. If someone else can do all of this, I should be able to too. I am constantly reminded that I am lacking and I should be doing better.
So, about that procrastinating mom life. I don’t know about you, but I often get positive feedback from waiting until tomorrow, or the day after that. It seems like I do my best work under pressure. I research, I over-analyze, I question, I plan, I prepare, then I freeze. There is something about those final hours, final minutes, final requests for help from others that gets me to that finish line.
Looking back, I have ALWAYS done this. In my junior year of high school, we were given an assignment in English class to read a book and write a report on something relevant. We had weeks to accomplish this assignment. What did I do? I forgot about it, then overstressed, didn’t sleep, woke up at 4:00 am the day it was due, and wrote a five-page paper. It was the highest grade I received on any assignment that year in that class for me. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, but it worked.
Fast forward to now. I try to pretend like I live for planning, preparing, and organizing, but throw out a job ad that closes in three months, and I’m still the girl on a camping trip with little-to-no-service trying to finalize and email an application package two hours before the deadline.
You may be expecting me to blame others for my seemingly flawed behavior. Oh no, this is all me, and the best part? I know I procrastinate. I’m an excuse maker. I am phenomenal with inventing excuses and articulating why something isn’t done, or won’t be done on time. We all have weaknesses right? If procrastination is my weakness, making excuses might be one of my strengths.
Do your weaknesses cause stress? The unnecessary stress my procrastination causes needs to go, if you ask me.
Ultimately, I think my issue lies with my fear of failure. Or, perhaps my fear of judgment that I’m not successful on the first try. Or, my fear of creating more work for someone else. You might think those fears would motivate me to complete a task sooner rather than later, but the fears are difficult to face, let alone work through.
Logically and rationally, I know I am fully capable of learning something new. I can face my procrastinating mom life.
Want to know my new secret for combating that procrastinating mom sinkhole?
- I give myself a deadline that is half the time before the task needs completing.
- Then, I tell EVERYONE I know about my deadline. This way, I open myself to peer pressure long before my project is due.
I find peer pressure, and subtle reminders from friends and family are a lot easier to handle than that last-minute stress storm before something is due. Almost like that stress is spread out over months, instead of days.
Why am I telling you this? Well, if you’re like me- you’re not alone. If you’re not like me, it’s a rare glimpse inside your friend, neighbor, or co-worker’s mind who might be like me. Procrastinating moms are real and we all work best in different ways.