Sunday, September 8, 2013

I've Just Been So Busy...

I've been meaning to post glorious, insightful parenting gems for weeks. I've just been so busy. At least that's my excuse.

Today, as I was busily scrolling through Facebook, I saw this:

And I stopped. Immediately. The message slapped me awake. It's what we do, isn't it? We glorify our "busy".

Now, some of what we do--of what I do--is legitimate busy. I do have teens with hectic schedules and without vehicles. It seems that their practices are always scheduled at the same time on the opposite ends of town. And of course, they are scheduled on the same day as important meetings I've been mandated to attend. There are days I am fully in favor of human cloning!

Today's Facebook post brought some perspective, however. When did society begin glorifying busy. We all know those Super Moms who spearhead every community service project and decorate personalized cupcakes for every student in her son's class for party treats and creates 50 page scrap books from found art and recycled bridal bouquets for teacher gifts and organizes the soccer treat schedule, but brings treats to every game anyway just in case someone forgets and just ran a marathon last week and NEVER has a perfectly highlighted hair out of place! We all stand in awe. How on earth does she do all of that? It makes us feel guilty when we send the bag of Oreos to school and  have to rely on Super Mom because we did, in fact, forget soccer treats. And our hair is never perfectly anything. And yet we feel so busy. In fact, we beat ourselves up if we aren't busy.

So what is the pay off for busy? Does it make us feel like Super Moms, even if we aren't crafty or won't ever run a marathon? Does busy help us feel justified for our parenting choices? Does Working Mom glorify busy as a way to make up for not staying home? Does Work-at-Home Mom glorify busy as a way to make up for not doing it all, like Working Mom does? I've had the opportunity to be both. If I stop my busy long enough to think about it, the answer (for me) is this. Busy does make us feel like we are sacrificing for our families. When we run--or rather drag our tired butts--through the finish line at the end of the day, we feel some satisfaction that we gave our all to our kids. That's a good feeling, but it might not be such a good lesson.

Have you noticed that our kids now glorify busy to the point that they don't know what to do with leisure? They get nervous if they aren't Tweeting or chatting or listening to music or watching TV. We can hardly blame them, though. It's how we raised them. We dragged them to Scouts and soccer and cheer and gymnastics and baseball and dance and Tae Kwon Do. We even equipped our cars with TVs and DVD players, so they wouldn't be bored while eating MacDonald's on the way to swim team. If we are honest with ourselves, there were probably many times they told us they did NOT want to go to practice or games in 100 degree weather or rain or after a late night. Looking back, I wonder why all that busy was so important. I think I'd like to have a little bit of that busy back.

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