An Open Letter to the Flaky Mom

I’m opening up a can of worms. I’ve tried to keep it shut, but I can’t.

I’m a mom and I’m a busy one. I’m pulled in a million directions every single day, just like the rest of you. Sometimes at the end of the day, I crash into bed wishing for a million hours of sleep. Sometimes I lie awake reading articles that will hopefully help me become a better parent with the sunrise. And sometimes I yearn for a night out to dance, drink wine, and throw back to the childless days of my younger years. But through all of that, I’m happy to be a mom in the middle of the craziest time of my life.

I know you are, too. I know you’re busy and have too many balls in the air every single day. I know life is hard and that babies don’t stop with the demands. Some of you have help, and some of you don’t. We all work hard, and we all have varying degrees of multi-tasking abilities. But I have decided there is nothing my generation of moms is worse at than committing. Yep, I said it. We’re a generation of flaky moms.

I’m not quite sure why this is the case, other than we have a ton of options and technology to hide behind. And please hear me say this right now: I’m not talking about a legitimate excuse, issue, emergency, and/or the ever-popular random sick kid. We ALL have that experience, and it’s never fun. I’m talking about the flake. The “I don’t want to RSVP for that until I know who’s going/what my other options are/what mood I’m going to be in that day” mom. I’m talking about the “I’ll say yes but have zero intentions of actually going” mom. I’m also talking about the “I have no intention of going but will complain if I’m not included” mom. And lastly, and my least favorite, the “I’m going to cancel at the last minute just because my commitment to you and your function doesn’t mean that much” mom.

What’s the dang deal, ladies?

At this life stage where our time is of the essence, it seems like it’s more important than ever to wisely choose how we schedule our days and nights. But yet we want to feel included and involved. I’m assuming you’re seeing the issue now. We want to prioritize our lives, but we also have a major case of FOMO. What this often leads to is a ton of non-committal yeses to things we aren’t sure we really want to do. The problem here is that someone else is affected by our inability to commit. Someone else is planning on us being there or is waiting to plan until they know whether we will show.

Have I flaked before? Yep. Do I hate it when I do? Yep. It’s a gross feeling of knowing what I’m doing when I do it and also knowing the other person knows what I did. Ladies, we all know. We all know you’re flaking. Just be honest. Why is it wrong for us to say, “You know, I’m overbooked and can’t possibly fit one more event in this week”? Or, “My kids don’t do well with late afternoon birthday parties—we always end with a meltdown, but we wish little Timmy a very happy birthday!”? Or—wait for it—”Thanks for including us, but we won’t be able to attend”? The. End. Just the truth with a dash of politeness. Want to be respected by your peers? Be honest with them.

If you’re bad at multi-tasking, just say it. If you realized you really don’t like having every day of the week filled up, allot one day of the weekend for having plans. The other days are off limits, period. If you don’t want to go to that girls’ night out, just say you’re sitting this one out. If you’re like me, you might worry that if you say no you won’t be included next time. But the truth is, you will. Everyone needs an opportunity to say no. Everyone has things they honestly just don’t want to do. But, if you say yes, and you can, do it. Follow through. Period. Have your word mean something, especially to another busy mom. 

You want people to like you? Be honest. You want them to include you? Don’t flake. Because the truth is, we all know the flaky mom, and eventually, she doesn’t get included. It’s just too exhausting to guess whether she’s going to come. And, I hate to lay on the mom guilt, but your kids are paying attention to this. Show them what commitment looks like and teach them your word means something. You’ll have better, more authentic relationships as a result. Plus, we won’t call you the flake anymore behind your back.

Erin is a born and raised San Antonio native. She is a proud graduate of Southwestern University, St.Mary's University and Texas Tech University. After graduate school, she married the love of her life and moved back to to town to be near both sides of their families. Together, they are attempting to raise three crazy humans: Chloe- 2011, Connor- 2014, and Charlie 2017 who make life fun, happy and hard. Erin is a marriage and family therapist and a contributor and sales coordinator for ACM. She is a lover of all things involving food, music, sarcasm and wine. And love. There must be lots of love. You can find her on Instagram at Instagram Favorite Restaurant: Nonna Osteria Favorite Landmark: Majestic Theatre Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Fiesta Arts Fair