“I’ll Do it Myself”


"I'll Do it Myself" “I’ll do it myself” is a phrase I whisper to myself countless times a day. I don’t consider myself a type A personality by any means. I just feel things get done quicker and smoother when I do them myself. We seem to focus so much attention on those types who procrastinate around everything. As I have gotten older, I have noticed that procrastination is no longer the issue it was when I was younger. Staying up all night studying for a test that I knew about for weeks was typical for how I functioned; living life on the edge of “being on time.”

Now, I get anxious thinking about doing anything late or spontaneously. I like to know in advance about plans. I like to have time to prepare for any mishaps that may arise. I make sure clothes and supplies are always set out the night before. And when plans or changes happen at the last minute, I am most always headed into a panic. 

The act of delegation can be hard for some adults because it involves giving full trust for someone to complete a task. Some of the best leaders I’ve worked with have an uncanny ability to trust their employees and not micromanage the workplace. Most employees will agree it’s so much easier to work for leaders who trust them to do their jobs.

So why is it so hard for moms to use this same logic?

For me, it’s more about time management. I want my kids to have things done in the evening so that it makes things seamless in the mornings when things become hectic. However, my children definitely do things at their own pace and many times, I find myself doing simple things for them to keep up with our routine. 

But what happens when I don’t “do it myself”? Will things get done? Will the clothes begin to pile up with no point of return? We all have typical jobs in our house. Trash, laundry, kitchen clean up, etc. And while my kids take care of their responsibilities, they don’t do them when I want them to do them.

So I wonder if this is more about meeting deadlines or the responsibility itself? I’m realizing it’s mostly a combination of both. Delegation can be helpful and creates responsibility and relieves unnecessary burdens on me. 

For my toddler, giving him a job around the house helps to boost confidence in his own abilities. The job itself is important to his growth. He has to understand that we need a clean space to grow and thrive, so putting away his toys is a way he helps our house stay tidy. For my 13-year-old, it’s all about the deadlines. Giving her the time and trust to get things done without me reminding her is key. I have suggested that she make alarms on her phone to get things done. I don’t focus so much now on when I want it done, but what makes sense for all of us. She knows now that her room should be tidy before she leaves the house. When she actually does it is up to her. And I just try not to look in her room every five minutes. She knows the expectation and the deadline, but I give her grace to make the decision on when she does it. This has helped because it puts her in control of her own time. She has had tons of mishaps while trying to meet deadlines, but this has created an intrinsic motivation to keep up with her time management so that she doesn’t lose privileges.

I’m learning to let go and delegate responsibility, although my instincts tell me otherwise. It’s definitely a learning experience for us all. As I let go of some control, my kids are learning independence. And though sometimes it becomes a balancing act of time management and personal responsibility, these lessons are having a valuable effect on my kids and most of all on me.