Mom Confession :: I am Terrible at Commitment


Mom Confession :: I am Terrible at Commitment Before I became a parent, I was what one might call a joiner, to borrow a term I first heard on Dirty Dancing.

Commitment came easily to me. I didn’t hesitate to volunteer at church, or to stay late at work, or commit to doing things with friends. After my first child was born, that didn’t change much. I still volunteered as much as I could at church. I committed to doing as much as I could with friends – motherhood reinforced in me the need for community – but my work commitments went by the wayside as my family took priority.

Add in two more pregnancies in almost as many years, and I found, as a mom of three kids ages three and under, suddenly on the other side of the fence. I was now commitment-phobic. Juggling working motherhood with three small kids meant that survival itself was really my priority. I had no idea what I might possibly capable of in the next 24 hours, let alone the next week or month.

My children are a little older now – ages 7, 5, and 4. The oldest is heading in the second grade, my only daughter couldn’t be more thrilled about starting kindergarten in the fall, and my baby boy will be in 4k and daycare. I’m excited about this next stage in our lives, and yet, I’m filled with a gripping anxiety and growing mom-guilt.

While there are plenty of working moms out there, most of my kids’ friends’ moms do not work. They are room moms, soccer moms, organizers of play groups, members and leaders of the PTO. They volunteer at the schools, they chaperone field trips, and they eat lunch at school with their children at least once a week. When not doing all the things with their older kids, they are hosting play dates with the younger ones or schlepping their progeny to this activity or another. And I am not.

I like to think that, for me, it is a genuine lack of time. There are only so many hours in a day, after all, and I struggle to do the bare minimum with my kids. I get them where they need to go. I cook dinner. Before I blink twice, it’s bedtime, and then we get to do it all again the next day.

Those of you that know me, know I do stuff with my kids. We do day trips and fun things. These things are great, but they do not require commitment. As my kids get older and their lives and their friends’ lives get busier, it gets harder and harder to schedule anything with other families.

It gets to the point where I wonder if it’s worth the effort. I cannot possibly have the energy or time to have a million chat windows open trying to figure out when I can do things with which friends. I just can’t. So I don’t commit. Like, ever. Which is bad for my kids and sucks for my own friendships.

My compromise? I shout out when I’m free and where we will be, and if friends join us, great! if not, then that’s okay, too.

Of course, this doesn’t really work with school and extra-curricular activities. My goal is to have each kid in only one activity. That’s still three activities for me to juggle, but I think I can manage that. Granted, the most I’ve managed so far is one activity at a time. When my son was in soccer, the other two were too young for activities. When my daughter did dance, her brothers had no activities on the calendar, and this last year, when the oldest started Cub Scouts, we took a year off dance and the youngest hasn’t done anything yet. This fall, at least two out of three will have things to do, and this commitment-phobic mom is already panicking a little about that much commitment. But I can do it for them.

I think.

If you’ve got any tips or tricks for commitment-phobic moms like me, or just want to commiserate, I’m here to listen! I can use all the help and commiseration I can get.

Leave your tips in the comments!

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Katrina Siron
Katrina is a mom of three great kids and has been married to her first love for nearly 10 years. She’s grateful to have a job that allows her the flexibility to both work from home some days and in the office others. On the surface, Katrina is pretty crunchy – she loves breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, natural birth, and homeschooling — but still loves her stroller, having her kids in their own beds at some point, her epidural was fantastic, and she’ll be sending the kids through public school. Most of all she loves the fact that we have all these choices, which makes life interesting! One of her favorite experiences was moving to Japan in 2002 to live as an adult dependent with their USMC family. It was an amazing experience, and if it weren’t for that, she probably wouldn’t ever have met my husband.


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