Under the category of, “Be careful what you wish for,” many a mom has wished for “not so busy” in their family’s life – only to get it then wonder what to do with themselves. Whether it is transitioning from working mom to stay at home mom, or from having young kids at home to kids in school, it is a big change in your schedule. Like all transitions, busy to not-so-busy (and not-so-busy to busy) is a processes. Respect and consideration for such a transition can have a big effect on how you feel about it.
Yes, even if you wish for it, suddenly being not-so-busy can feel unsettling. Just like you can feel out of sorts when the family schedule ramps up, change in just about anything from simple schedule to overall activity level can create an unsettled feeling. If you and the family have been very busy, you may think that just dropping it all is the answer and you’ll suddenly feel better. But will you?
We are all busy, it seems, but some of us seem busier than others, and there are busier times of the year. Before throwing it all to the wind, and finding yourself wondering what to do with your time, figure out why you’re feeling too busy and address it in increments.
What do you want to scale back and why?
If you are starting to think that you and the family are just too, too busy, try to figure out what was it that pushed that level of busy to the critical point. If you can find the time, of course. Was it just one part of the family schedule or multiple things? Is it a transitional time of the year and this increased level is temporary? Or likely permanent?
Who is feeling the stress from the busy? Just you? Just the kids? Just your partner? All of you? Some variable subset on any given day? If the busy is likely temporary, you may need to just push through. But if not, it might be time for an adjustment.
Try a schedule rearrangement
Perhaps this level of busy, this step too far is about one element of the schedule. If you felt mostly together before this one thing was added, can it be rearranged? Can you get some help with accomplishing it?
If, for example, your daughter’s ballet class is what is causing the stress, can you carpool with another mom? Or trade the class for another day when the family schedule is a little more bearable?
Little steps back – or one big one
Much as we might claim we want it, sudden, dramatic changes can be unsettling. After so much busy, it’s not uncommon to sit and think, “Shouldn’t I be doing something right now?” Instead of dumping everything off the family schedule all at once, try scaling back in steps, and allowing for a bit of transition time with each step. You may find that a mid-range scaling back of busy is what you need, not a wholesale ending of activity!
Busy is busy, and each of us have different levels of busy tolerance. If you start to feel overwhelmed, you may be tempted to throw it all to the wind. Before you do that, though make sure it’s really the right thing to do!
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