I’ve noticed these days that the common response to “how are you doing?” amongst each other, especially us moms, usually includes one word: BUSY.
I don’t blame us- we have to keep the house in order, keep our kids alive and entertained, keep up with school supplies lists, soccer games, and errands, while somehow feeding our families and being a full-time taxi driver of our clan. That doesn’t even include moms that also have to work full-time or part-time jobs in the midst of the chaos, or are involved in our church groups and play dates.
I recognized a few years ago that every time someone asked about my life and what I was doing, all I did was explain how busy I was. When I got down to it, I felt convicted about the fact that I wore my “busyness” as a badge of honor. Whenever I could exclaim all of the things I was currently doing in life, it was like I was saying to that person “Look at how important I am! Look at how much I have to do! Look at how needed and selfless I am!” That wasn’t my intention, but I realized the word “busy” was allowing me to feel like I was some kind of big-shot.
I had a slap in the face during this time when I realized my life was a glorification of busy, rather than my values and the things that actually mattered to me.
If I got even deeper, I realized that I was using busy-ness as a means to measure my value and self-worth…maybe the busier I was, the more I was contributing to others, and the more valuable as a human, mom, and wife I am.
The truth is we are more than what we do and contribute in this life. We are humans with needs, emotions, feelings, and something to offer beyond committing to yet another meeting or committee. We have gold within our passions and hearts, yet we dish out mindless yeses to other things hoping that we can find embellishment somewhere along the way. We can be busy and yet unproductive, not actually accomplishing anything we want or that adds value. We say yes to everything and feel pressure to do it all, only to question ourselves at the end of the day.
Part of what I do in my personal training and online coaching is teach women how to live balanced lives, and not in the extremes. Along this line, I teach the truth that we can’t do it all, and it’s okay. For most women, this is a breath of fresh air when they’ve been crushed for years by all the pressures and obligations around them to do it all, and look good & smile while doing it. No one is made to do it all- even us moms.
I give you full permission to pick 3-4 things that you and your family are rallying around for the next 6 months, and then commit to those things. Do them well, hone in, then say “no” to all of the other fluff. This way we know we are not giving 2% to a bunch of things but 100% to the things that actually matter.