Cue the caffeine, podcasts to listen to in the car, and countless nights of dinner “on the go”.
When you are planning your pee breaks every day, that screams overcommitted and too busy.
As moms we help our kiddos manage their time, but what about us managing our busyness?
Our family includes a high school freshman, a 5th grader, a 4-year-old preschooler, and a 2-year-old preschooler. This means I transport to the high school, elementary, public, and private preschool buildings. Each kiddo is ready and excited for their new adventure! Not sure I am ready though.
In our house, each kid can choose one activity per season. For example, our freshman is in traveling soccer for the fall season. But she also has religious education and high school band commitments from her mom’s choice of activity. Some weeks this equals 7 out of 7 days she is involved in an extracurricular activity.
When you add three more kids into this equation it equals mass chaos. And a very large wall calendar to keep yourself sane. This is when busyness overtakes your life!
As I have spoken with other moms, a common stresser is busyness. In all areas of our kids’ lives. Sports are now three practices a week with games on weekends. Who else can relate to activities consuming your lives?
I had a goal of being more present and attentive. And while this is feasible in my brain, the output has been lacking. Mostly due to busyness.
How to Combat Busyness
We have a “kid date night jar” and our goal was to take each of our kids on a date each month. In reality, that has happened two times in the six months since we started it. One month we may get two completed. In May we didn’t get any completed due to being busy with activities and birthdays.
What is making us so busy that we can’t find an hour to have uninterrupted time with our kids. Is it work stress? Home stress? Overscheduled kids’ activities? Or is it maybe we are just exhausted by the end of the day and can’t find the energy. All of these reasons could be true.
This question has weighed on my heart more than usual lately. As a stay-at-home mom, there is plenty of time with kiddos but is that time being wasted? Is there a priority of quality time with each child? Am I making use of those precious moments?
What to Do
Here are two ways to implement a quick change to the busyness of life. First, learn to say “no” to anything that doesn’t bring you or your kiddos joy and passion. Traveling soccer for a ten-year-old versus a recreational team. Three practices a week versus one practice a week. That seems like an easy fix to add time to your weeknight.
Why do parents always push so hard? To have their kiddos on the most elite team or traveling every weekend. Have they stopped and asked if this activity is a passion for the child? Do they find immense joy and happiness from it? Because if the answer is no, then stop the activity and make it fun for them again.
Second, limit activities to a reasonable amount. Maybe one arts-related activity and one sports-related. Or a coding club and a Lego league. Kids don’t need to be in activities every night of the week.
When you have multiple children, the activities will quickly pile up with practices and performances. As moms, we value our time with our families. And that time is precious when your kids are constantly gone in activities.
In our house, we stress the importance of quality of time over quantity of time spent together. We may only get a few hours a week with all family members together, so that is going to be quality time for us to connect and engage with each other. The best times are yet to come! You want to be present and ready to see them. This week take time to reevaluate the priorities your family has. I look forward to hearing from other moms about what you do to combat busyness in your family life.
How does your family combat busyness?
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