A couple weeks ago I wrote about how Spring usually signals that things are about to get really busy. In our house this week we lived that prediction to the fullest. A track meet, 3 softball games, 3 baseball games and visitors from out of town, it was jam packed and the upcoming week is looking like more of the same. It’s lots of driving, scheduling and days being dictated by my watch and calendar. Not to mention all the other “life” requirements that need to get done regardless, small things like laundry and meals. Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you get to skip feeding the family……I think they would notice. Ironically, this week I also started reading a book called “Do Less: A revolutionary approach to time and energy management for busy moms” by Kate Northrup. Shockingly, I haven’t gotten far in the book, but from what I have read, I can already tell we are kindred spirits.
Early in the book, Kate writes “Mothers are celebrated for multitasking, and that ability is praised in a lot of workplaces too. In environments addicted to the hustle, doing more is worn like a badge of honor.” I recently spoke about this “badge of honor” in my work-life balance presentation and mentioned it in multiple blog posts (it’s like she’s reading my mind). I’m encouraged the message is getting out and others are talking about it so freely to bring it to the attention of moms.
If you’re not quite sure what I mean, let me give you a common scenario. You’re picking up the kids from daycare and you see a mom friend you haven’t seen in a while. You ask, “How have you been?” She replies, “So busy! Things have just been crazy with work and activities, it seems like we are always running from one thing to the next. Never a dull moment!” You may have a couple more seconds to chat, but inevitably one or both of you has somewhere else to be, so you go your separate ways, shouting “Hang in there” as your parting words of encouragement.
In my experience, this is a very common dialogue between mothers and women in general. We know our friends will empathize with us and validate the importance of our busyness. Kate’s quote above says we are “praised” for being busy, as a result we fill our days to the max. Being a “good” mom who does the “right” things can be measured by how many things we accomplish in a day, right?
Society certainly says that thinking is right, but I say it’s wrong and I’m so encouraged to hear others speaking out too. Busyness is not a badge of honor, but an impossible bar we set for ourselves. We need to be realistic. We need to be forgiving. We need to remember we can’t be all things, to all people, at all times.
Some weeks we are going to be busier than others no matter what we do. Roll with the schedule. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t stress about the traffic or the time. Take it moment by moment and enjoy it to the fullest. And find at least a short moment for yourself to unwind and reset.
When you are busy time moves quickly. In the blink of an eye, time has passed, and the moment is over. Did you enjoy it or is it a blur that passed you by?
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Image by Ingo Jakubke from Pixabay
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.