I’ve had a strong urge to write about this topic for a while, and I finally put pen to paper (yes, I still do this, it’s therapeutic, especially when I am writing about a topic that’s very close to my heart). Unfortunately, not only was I once wearing my Busy badge with honour, but I’ve lost meaningful connections to busyness.
I constantly hear the “busy” excuse almost daily, whether at work or in my interaction with other mothers or my clients. I’ve also observed that mothers constantly compare how busy or stressful their lives are. I know mothers are not the only victims of this phenomenon, but I often see it in the motherhood realm. Sadly we’ve reached a point in our society where ” Busy” keeps mothers separated from one another just when they need each other most. “Busy” keeps mothers burned and alone.
Mothers wear their fatigue, burnout, anxiety, and perfectionism like a badge of honour. Mothers are glorifying this attitude that you aren’t much of a nurturing or “good” mum unless your children and family have a schedule that’s filled to the brim. One needs to ask here: “Does busyness actually equate to better and more productive?” and ” How can we effectively nurture our children when we are so empty and depleted ourselves?”
Nothing can truly prepare us for this demanding task of keeping another human being alive and thriving. The process can be complicated with so many unforeseen circumstances that can easily make us feel out of depth or overinvest in our pursuit of being the best. So, what are some of the red flags that you are wearing the Busy Badge?
- Your days feel out of control. You feel like you no longer control your schedule, and your days are spent managing everyone else’s problems that arise.
- Running around all day gives you a sense of self-worth. You feel important and needed by tending to everyone else’s needs.
- You are constantly overwhelmed with what needs to be accomplished on any given day.
- You often experience shame and guilt that you aren’t meeting expectations.
- You feel pressure to sign your kids up for extracurricular activities out of fear of being judged or missing out.
- You prioritise work over self-care and relationships.
Wearing the ” busy” badge makes you vulnerable to burnout. When you think you’re seeking greater efficiency by constantly doing several tasks and not giving yourself permission to rest, you are making yourself less productive. Our brains were built to focus on one task at a time; when we don’t allow our brains to function the way they are supposed to, we slow ourselves down, increase our anxiety levels and drive ourselves into the ground.
Below are my top five tips to help you manage your time effectively and give you time to rest and reset.
- Keep a family calendar in a central place so that everyone can see it. This puts the responsibility of planning for appointments and events on each family member.
- When cooking, make a double portion and freeze half for future meals.
- Online grocery shopping is a huge time saver if available for you. The little extra that it costs can usually justify the time it allows you to do other things or breathe.
- Have dedicated phone-free, kid-free and even computer-free blocks of time during your day and permit yourself to breathe and re-align.
- Get a good night’s sleep-at least aim for eight hours, four nights in the week.
Next time you find yourself in the whirlwind of winning the “busy race”, step back, examine your motives and think about whether you are doing something or saying ‘yes” because you feel you should or you actually should. As women and mothers, let’s commit to stop comparing, devaluing and judging; instead, let’s unite to win the motherhood-thon and cheer each other on.
If you’re feeling out of alignment and would love some support and strategies to help you get back on track and Reset, check out my one-off coaching session here