When You Don't Thrive On Being "Busy" + Why It Is Okay

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This topic is something that is on my mind more often than not because it's something I feel like I am forced to think about
nearly every single day in one way or another.
Our days are busy.
The world is busy, busier than  e  v  e  r .
All my friends and family are busy, everyone on social media is so busy, we are so busy that we all talk about it- a lot.
Too much.
I feel like some people wear the whole "OhmyGodwehavebeensooobusy" thing like a badge of honor.
Like that's how it's supposed to be, like it's a good thing.
But it's not and I'm not buying it- or wearing the badge.

I am feeling overcommited and overscheduled and if I am honest I will tell you that I don't like this feeling at all.
Not at all.
I feel rushed and stressed and like I am barely holding it all together some days.

We live in an age of Parenting that tells us more is best.
Your child wants to play baseball?
Sign him up!
He wants to be in band?
And soccer?
And Boy Scouts?
Sign him up!
Oh- your daughter does, too?
Well we don't want her to feel left out, so sign her up, too.
Everyone is doing it and it wouldn't be fair to not let them do an activity that they really want to  do....
And God forbid we tell our kids NO.
Regardless of the cost it is to the whole family.
And by cost I don't even mean financial cost.

On a personal note-

The cost of being so busy and over scheduling my kids to the point that I can't have dinner with friends just one time a month, or see
a movie every other month or be able to return a phone call within the week or answer texts from my best girlfriends, is just not worth it to me.
So not worth it.
Because that is real life to me and that is what is important to me.
That right there is what fills me up, it's what gets me through the days and the weeks and the years.
And everybody knows that if Mama is stressed and worn out and doesn't get to fill up and recharge...
it's not good, not good for the whole family.

The cost of being so busy can easily mean that by bedtime I am too tired/stressed/worn out to
read with my kids, to talk to them about what is going on at school and to look at one of their stories, drawings/Lego creations--
For maybe the 500'th time... But who's counting.
To watch a movie together as a family, or play a game or just lay in bed and talk to them.

The older my kids get, the busier things feel for sure.
I really kind of hate it.
A lot.
There is more homework and now there's orchestra and Student Senate and Brownies and tumbling... the list goes on.
For selfish reasons I don't want to be running my kids back and forth every night of the week to multiple things and getting home only
in time to eat, bathe and go to bed.
I also don't want that because I know it's not the best thing for our whole family.
I want my kids to know that family time is important, friend time is important, getting away is important, doing absoultely nothing
is important-- I also want them to know that doing what everyone else is doing or letting yourself be a slave to "doing it all" is so
not important.

These are the days that my kids still want to be at home doing things with their family.
Wyatt turned ten last week and I have had to face the fact that the teenage years willl be here in
approximately three years... things will be different then.
I want to take full advantage of these days and years and moments.
I know that I do not want to realize a few years from now that I couldn't be a good friend, or a mom
that was just a little less stressed, a wife/sister/daughter/aunt that was rarely "present" because I was just so damn busy.


I could keep going on this topic for days + days, you guys.
I will stop now- but tell me what you think, what you really think...Do you feel this pressure, how do you manage it and deal with, how do
you keep yourself and your family in check?
Or is it something you need to work on?

I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this subject! 


  1. That's how we feel, too. Evenings free to play outside after dinner before baths, weekends that stretch with nothing pulling us besides basic chores and being together. My husband and I both prefer to be home than anywhere else. Toss in some good friends and family to grill for or just sit and chat with while the kids run amok and you have our idea of perfection. Our kids get to be in one activity and it can't be something that meets multiple times a week. One exception is the softball season that lasts two months, practices are twice a week, and games on Saturdays. Our older too loved it so much I was willing to make that sacrifice to my slow life because it was such a short chunk of time in the year. If softball season lasted any longer, I'd have to say no because, like you said, that's not what makes life important. Plus, it's not just that one kid who's affected by all the running around, it's all of us.

  2. This post was so good to read! I agree so much! The last couple of years it has become more true as I feel the most peace at home, in my garden. Just doing nothing, or atleast something just when I want to. I see the problem of busy in my work aswell working as a kindergarden teacher. The parents are on a health high right now in our group, spending a rdiculous amount of time working out, running, cycing. Don´t get me wrong, exercise is good for you I know. But when it gets in the way with spending quality time with your kids I get furious! Especially as these parents post everything on social media and hastag their workouts, meals with #mylifeasamother it is just so wrong! Slap a photo on there of you and your kids after spending 3 hours in the forest with them with that tag and I would respect you in a heartbeat. Oh, I know I am perhaps going of topic, but maybe not.

  3. we too are firm believers in the under scheduling of our kids. learning to say no, so that family time and spending time doing things together or not doing anything together and just hangin out at home are important. Sure, there should be some activities buts its okay to not do anything too!

  4. I totally agree. There is enough structure in their lives already and our week ends are usually pretty full without pre-planning things (homework, birthday parties, etc.). My kids do one extra activity a week (and I really have to force myself to organize it every September because sports are so important and they don't have a lot of phys ed here in school) and I make the effort to organize a playdate every now and then because they ask for them. Otherwise I am usually absolutely content to spend evenings/week ends etc. without all that forced activity. I love organizing on-the-spur things like a day trip out of the city, an exhibit etc. But when every minute is already jam-packed with activities, that is not possible. As you say, in a few years they won't want to spend so much time with us and we will miss it. Also, as a working mom, I don't find it necessary to spend my little 'free time' running back and forth all late afternoons/evenings of the week taking and picking up my kids from their various social engagements all. Ideally I would love them to do sports AND learn an instrument (because music is important) AND pursue the things they enjoy (painting, writing etc.), but at what cost (financial and non) does this all come?


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