The other day my neighbor came over for a quick coffee + cheesecake play date. We hadn’t seen each other in awhile and as she settled in, she asked,
“So, how have you been lately?”
The simplest of questions, really, but when you stop to think about it, what is the #1 answer we (and by we, I mean most of us women, mothers, and wives) give? Does it sound a little something like this:
“Oh, good! We’re just sooo busy!”
I’ll admit that an answer along those lines was on the tip of my tongue, because really, things have been so busy around here with the bazillion jobs I have going on and Ada’s school stuff and Ben’s woodworking and my weekend shifts at the hospital. Honestly, some days I feel like I can’t catch my breath and my husband was a tad irritated with me this morning when I was forced to put one of the girs’ old coats on Jake, complete with bright pink mittens because his were in the wash.
But honestly, I stopped myself.
Because you know what?
We are busy. But that’s life. And I don’t think that being busy is a bad thing.
Truthfully, the times that I have struggled the most in this motherhood gig have been the times when I haven’t been outwardly busy; when things seemed to drag on in endless cycles of being home with babies and toddlers and I literally never left the house.
I would hear people complain about being soo busy and I almost felt a little well, envious.
Because it felt like my life didn’t matter. That being at home with my babies somehow wasn’t as important, because while it was busy at moments, overall, my life looked nothing like what the world might seem to think is “busyness.”
Back then, I almost craved some kind of “busy” routine. When Ada first started preschool, part of me welcomed the chance to pick her up at 3:00–it was a break in the day, something to keep us on task and structured as opposed to the free-for-all it had been for the past four years. There were literally days and days on end that we wouldn’t leave the house and as wonderful as you want that time at home to be with your babies, sometimes it can get a little mind-numbing.
Now that I’ve switched into a new season of parenting, with school pick-ups and drop-offs, lunches to back, ballet classes, and increased work responsibilities, I see what all the busy talk was about. It can get overwhelming and I do need to check myself to realize the moment when I’m letting the busyness overshadow the beauty of being.
But honestly, in the midst of it all, I know the busy season won’t last forever.
Like the time at home with my babies, like my children’s fleeting dimpled-armed hugs, this too shall pass.
And I’m grateful for the chance to be busy.
To have fun activities to do with my children.
To have the opportunity to provide with my family.
To have things to fill our conversation at dinner.
To learn the art of compromise and self-sacrifice with husband, even if all we have to give right now is time.
I don’t need busyness as a way to fill my days or help my life seem more important. But it has helped me to see that there is a time and a place for all things in life.
And that “being busy” is not always a bad thing.
What do you think? Do you like staying busy or would you prefer to slow down a little?