To Do Or To Delegate?


“You don’t need to do everything yourself” may sound liberating and puzzling all at once. You might be asking yourself, “If I don’t do it, who will?” Admittedly, delegating is a challenge, but it’s also a very learnable skill with a sweet payoff.


Does My Baby Really Care Who Buys His Diapers?

How can you determine if you’re not trying to do everything yourself when you shouldn’t be? Sarah’s ah-ha moment came the day she brought her first child, William, home from hospital on a warm Sunday morning in the summer of 2006. She and her husband Gardiner had done what they thought was a thorough job of setting up the nursery. They had a crib, changing table, diapers, clothes, soaps, lotions, a thermometer, toys, blankets – the works. But they were in for a rude awakening.


Because their son Will was on the small side, they found that the diapers they purchased came up to his chin. Then they realized they had no diaper ointment. Then they realized they had no diaper pail, no soft little cotton pads to wipe his little bottom, and no plastic bowl to put warm water in for wetting the soft little cotton pads that they didn’t have. Then they realized that not only didn’t they have enough bottles, but the ones they did have didn’t have the right nipples. Will got too much milk too fast. Then they realized they didn’t have a pacifier. The list of forgotten or never considered items went on and on! Sarah felt like a complete failure (already!) as a mom, for missing such obvious things. Sarah also realized that she and Gar were failing as a team, because they weren’t getting the important things done.


Sarah felt she had to compensate for her perceived failure by going out and getting all the supplies herself. She refused to let her husband go to the store with a list to get what they needed for a properly-stocked nursery. She piled everyone into the car and sped to the nearest CVS and then on to the grocery store. Sarah felt resentment towards Gar because she was doing more, even though she insisted on going to the store herself. After two hours of shopping, Sarah was exhausted, the baby was crying for his next feeding and her usually gentle husband Gar was growling at her because she was acting like such a neurotic control freak. It wasn’t until they were waiting for the light to change at a stoplight that she took a moment to breathe and realized that she was acting like a crazy woman.


Post Partum brain, guilt, control freak – no matter what was driving Sarah to over-correct her mistake and take charge, we’ve probably all been there. We’ve all felt that if we do it ourselves it will get done better or faster or more perfectly. Letting go of the “if you want it done right do it yourself” dictum can not only open you up, you can get more done.