I’m sooooooooo busy. Don’t you just HATE it when people say that? As if you’re not? As if they are somehow busier than you? When they haven’t even taken the time to ask you what you’ve been up to because they’re sooooooooo busy talking about themselves. How do they even know?
Besides, when did busy become a virtue? When did it become a measure of success? When did busy mean I’m better than you?
What are you busy doing?
I have three kids. They all have different needs, different schedules. There is a white board that still says MAY. I swear to god. I haven’t updated it since MAY. I’m too busy. So I moved it to the cloud. The phone dings every hour to remind me there is something I need to do.
My 2 year old has a food allergy that causes me stress every time he’s out of my sight at preschool. Even though I know they take steps to ensure his safety. My 7yo has just been diagnosed with ADHD which at first settled my frayed nerves about him, but then created a whole new worry. My 5yo has a nervous tick in her face that at this point I can only assume is a direct relation to my own frazzled presence in her life.
Today I am off to the eye doctor. I have a stye or something in my left eye. This morning at the grocery store my vision blurred to the point that my heart started to race. I wondered if I was going to have a stroke right there in front of my 3yo at the checkout.
What am I busy doing?
Here’s the thing. I am not a single mom working 3 jobs to ensure that my kids have the basics that they need. From the outside looking in I am a suburban housewife. I live in a wealthy town. My husband makes a good living. My children are healthy, and happy. My children are happy.
But I feel like they could be happier. Prior to a few weeks ago and specifically today I thought that meant keeping them and me busy. Busy work.
So I have been busy taking steps to be less busy. Weird I know. So to be clear, in my time away from these pages on the blog my busy has also meant that I’m not busy. It means that I’m spending time with my kids.
I used to brag about how busy I was that I couldn’t even read a book. It’s important to read to your kids, but it’s also important for them to see YOU read. That’s how you raise readers.
It means that I’m cooking Sunday dinner instead of running a errands or trying to fit in one last sports camp.
It means instead of plopping them in front of the TV to watch a movie, I plop them at a park and let them be kids.
I’m trying to change the meaning of busy in my house. It starts with me. I don’t want my kids childhood to be a blur to them or to me.
Last night instead of rushing my daughter into bed so I could get downstairs to finish cleaning the kitchen and then jump on the computer to organize just one more thing, I brushed her hair.
I can’t even remember the last time that I brushed her hair just to brush it. I didn’t pull it tight to quickly get through the snarls while she cringed. There wasn’t a place we needed to be to get it into a quick pony so she could be off to school or soccer or gymnastics.
The lights were low. The little fan on her dresser was humming. She sat on her little pink stool and I sat behind her on the floor. I just brushed her beautiful brown hair. We talked for 5 minutes while I smoothed it down with my hands. Brush, brush, brush. “Thanks mama. It looks beautiful.” and she gave me a kiss. It was a little slice of heaven on earth.