I don’t know about you, but lately I feel like we moms are in a competition to see which of us can be the most crazy busy! My family participated in that competition for years! We ran from one activity to another with no down time. Then last year I stopped to ask myself, “Are we addicted to busyness?”
Are We Addicted to Busyness?
I think the simple answer to this is YES and NO.
I don’t think we intentionally make ourselves overly busy; I just think it happens, and we let it wash over us. We let it run us down like a huge ocean wave, and as we splutter along we lose site of the important things that are sitting still on the shore.
We run from one activity or appointment or obligation to another dragging the children along behind us. And when we stop to talk to other moms we see, the conversation inevitably turns to the topic of how busy we all are! “Busy?! Yes, we’re definitely busy! I’m so tired of running around…” It’s as if we actually strive to be busier than everyone else.
About a year ago I noticed this pattern in my own family. I realized I was tired of being crazy busy! I was ready for us to get unbusy!
So what did I do? I made the decision to cut out some activities and obligations and to be clear with others about what I was doing and why.
Now when I see other moms and the conversation turns to our schedules, I’m happy to say that I’m not in the running for the busiest family award! Instead, I share about the (small number of) activities we’re involved in and how we are enjoying them.
If you’d like to “unbusy” your family, it’s definitely possible! The hardest part is deciding which activities to continue and which to stop–at least for the time being. Even though it can be difficult deciding where to cut back, the reward–a manageable schedule and more down time with your family–is absolutely worth it!
How Do We Get Unbusy?
- Start by Saying “No” – We can’t say yes to every activity, field trip, class, hang out, etc. that comes along. I have started saying no and declining more offers and opportunities. I only say yes to things that will be a good fit for all of my children at once (or at least the majority). That way we can do less and still be doing something fun or educational for all.
- Limit Activities – I limit our daytime activities to only twice a week. We are still pretty active in the evenings with the kids’ sports, so we are keeping our days quieter.
- Less Per Kid – Each child gets to choose something he or she enjoys, but nobody is allowed to participate in so many activities that it makes life difficult for the rest of the family.
While it doesn’t always work perfectly, my quest for becoming intentionally unbusy has worked! It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy less-hurried days at home with my children. And we sometimes, in spite of our sports activities in the evenings, get to spend a quiet evening at home together too. It’s so much nicer giving up our crazy busy lifestyle in exchange for a more relaxed way of living! I LOVE it!
So you might want to ask yourself, “Am I addicted to busyness?” If you are and that makes you happy, great. But if you feel that dragging, nagging drudgery, then take a step back and reevaluate what things you are doing and what value they are bringing into your lives. It won’t necessarily be easy to cut back–hard choices may be needed–but I think you’ll find your new unbusy schedule as lovely as I have!