While some families certainly do have schedules that would make your Google Calendar cry, doesn't it seem like proclaiming you're busy is just the hottest new way to tell other moms that you're doing it all?
It's hard to pinpoint when this happened or even why, but we suspect that somewhere over the past few years, as Pinterest and social media started to latch on to the world of motherhood and suddenly you could see exactly what other moms were doing, a new brand of moms was launched — the Busy Moms. In actuality, these moms have been there all along — the Mrs. Jones in that whole "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality — the ones who are happy to tell you everything they are doing — volunteering twice a week in her child's classroom and planning a charity run and taking yoga every morning at 10 a.m. and how they're doing it without breaking a sweat.
And just like that, being busy was cool. It was a conversation piece and the automatic "how are you?" response for moms. In a world where many moms (and all women for that matter) want to feel like they can do it all — from making gourmet, healthy meals for their family every single night to being an expert crafter who has an Etsy business, to having a successful career to coaching their child's soccer team — this generation of moms are taking it all on, and with the goal of being busy leading their mantra.
So, are we really as busy as we say we are? There's no doubt that being a mom can push your schedule to insane limits, especially as your kids become the age where you are practically a shuttle, running from sports to dance to play dates, squeezing homework, meals and family time somewhere in between. But being busy is also about making choices for ourselves, isn't it? And, about accepting that we can be as busy, or as un-busy as we choose to be and that no matter how busy we are, that is what we have designed for ourselves.
If you're feeling particularly busy and find yourself using it as a reason to not focus on the things that are most important to you or to your family, it's time to re-evaluate your priorities. Some are surely unavoidable, but make it a goal to spend an entire month making no unnecessary commitments (be strict with how you define that!) or choose one day of the week that is 100 percent unscheduled to see if that helps alleviate how busy you're feeling.
One of the first steps that all moms can take, regardless of how busy you are, is to stop using the word "busy" as your go-to emotion. When you feel like you're about to launch into a conversation about being busy, change the direction and instead, talk about some of the cool things you're working on at home, with your kids or at work. Busy is somewhat of a state of mind — the more you focus on being busy or how busy you are, the more it consumes you. Yes, you probably are busy, but don't let it become who you are.
The other epidemic behind being "busy" is that it's easy to put off time with friends and family due to having too much on your plate... or by giving the impression that you are too busy to get together for those fun evening wine sessions with your best girlfriends or to spend the weekend with family out of town. If you keep telling people how busy you are, eventually they're going to get the hint and stop making the effort to keep you involved, saying that they didn't want to pull you away from what has been keeping you so busy.
If you are on the other side of the busy coin and have a friend who can't seem to get her head out of her calendar, be persistent and kind. Offer to work around her schedule or join her on the soccer sidelines or for her spin class. You may have to think out-of-the-box to maintain a friendship, but put the effort in and hopefully she will respond.
Lastly, try to remember that everyone is busy. Being busy and being a mom goes hand-in-hand and your busy isn't any more valuable than another mom's busy. Regardless of how busy you are, be respectful of the ways that other moms feel they are busy too — trying to compare how busy you are to another mom only sets us all back as moms, and likely only clutters your already busy mind!
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