After yet another conversation with a couple other working moms, I realized that being busy has become something of a status symbol.
We had spent our entire conversation talking about all the running back and forth for different activities. It was also summer, so there was even more running than during the school year. Much of our “quality time” with our children consisted on quick conversations in the van between activities.
Every day seems to become a very detailed and intricate plan to get children back and forth to the different activities they are participating in. And in the 20 minutes between dance and soccer, we are going to grab a quick bite either from the cooler in the trunk (if I had time to pack it) or, more likely, a local drive thru.
Then there is the comparison game. Who was up earlier? Who stayed up later? Who had more activities that day? Who spent more time in the car?
It has been ages since I heard someone brag about limiting their children’s activities (unless you count me in this post) or staying home to eat dinner and play games together or, gasp, giving your children free time to just play.
For some reason, being busy has become a status symbol for success. If you take time to just be un-busy, you are lazy. If you spent an evening reading a book alone rather than as part of a book club, you are anti-social. If your children are not in multiple activities, you are limiting their future potential.
What happened to the beauty of just not being busy?
When was the last time you just existed in a space together with your children – and it wasn’t your vehicle?
Do you recall the last time you gave yourself permission to not be busy?
Being a working mom is hard – just working and “momming” have plenty of demands. Yet, there is a message that, even in you have time to sit down, you shouldn’t as there is likely something you are not doing.
If you have time to sit down, you should really wash your dishes.
If you have time to read a book, you should really organize your bills.
If you have time to paint, you should sign yourself and your kids up for a painting class.
Oh my goodness!! Can I just sit down and do NOTHING for five minutes!?!
If you are waiting for permission to be un-busy, I officially give it to you. In fact, I order you to be un-busy. If you like, I can even give you permission to take an entire evening to be un-busy with your children.
Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to read a book with a glass of wine…