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Fear of Planning: Why Is Scheduling So Hard as a Parent?

Posted by Melissa A

I am very proud of myself today — I just made an appointment for my older son, E, to have his vision checked. It took a second reminder from his school for me to make this appointment.

I have recently developed a fear of making appointments and planning things. I need a major nudge to do it! I tried making dentist appointments and then found out our dentist doesn’t take our insurance.  It’s been several weeks and I have yet to call a new dentist to make appointments for myself and my kids. I also need to make checkup appointments with the pediatrician for my kids with upcoming birthdays. And not only that, I need to plan their birthday party. (I’ve been putting that one off because I feel like I still have more time.)

For some reason, I’ve just been terrible about getting on the ball. I don’t know why or how this fear of planning came about, but it somehow did. Maybe I’m afraid of getting new information that I don’t want to deal with. (For example, being told by the dentist that one of my kids or I have a cavity.) Maybe it’s about the inconvenience of scheduling an appointment, but then having to wait well past the appointment time to see the doctor. Maybe it just involves having to make a decision or a time commitment. Plus, it’s hard to just take chunks of time out of my day as a working mom and usually appointments are only available when it would be completely pointless to even go into work. There’s also the fear of causing pain to my children. I feel so bad when they get shots and start crying hysterically. I had to take E to an allergist once and that was just pure torture. He was only three years old at the time. I’ve been dragging my heels about having to take both boys to see an allergist ever since then.

As far as the birthday party planning issue, it’s just a matter of time and money. I know when I want to have the party, but always feel like it’s not going to fit into other peoples’ schedules and then we won’t have a nice turnout. I also have to coordinate the other things, such as activities, snacks and goody bags. Plus, I know my kids will want gifts even though they have so much “stuff.” I don’t want to deny them a chance to open presents though. I did something charitable one year when M turned 2, but then I felt so bad for him when he had barely anything to open and call his own. With combining parties for M and the baby this year, I don’t want to put people in the position of getting gifts for two kids, but I also want to do a combined party. I also don’t like making goody bags, and need to find a way to do it. (At E’s last birthday party, I got so annoyed by kids being choosy over their goody bags.) You can imagine my dread over a bunch of four-year-olds complaining over what I give them!

So you can see why I get into a scheduling and planning slump. I’d love to hear some motivational ideas for getting out of this slump, as well as how to handle some birthday party etiquette issues that I’m facing.


About Melissa A

Melissa A. and her husband have 2 young sons, E and M, and a new baby daughter. Melissa's son E has hearing loss and wears a cochlear implant. Melissa works as an administrative assistant for a non-profit and also runs a bullying prevention group and a book-related fan group, in addition to blogging for Empowering Parents. You can check out Melissa’s personal blog here.

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