You may not realize it, but busy sucks. Relaxation rules. If you are running in a thousand different directions week after week, please rethink your priorities. It’s wearing you down. It’s wearing your kids down. Being worn down sucks. And a grouchy, over tired family is a bickering, complaining, unhappy family.
If your kids eat dinner three nights a week on their way to activities —rethink those activities. If you are on the PTA, teacher appreciation committee, soccer snacks, and concession stand duty you have overextended yourself. Sure, parents do need to pitch in, but pick the jobs that allow you to be with your family. The world will continue to spin if you decline a few volunteer jobs. Volunteer at home. Volunteer to help your kids with their homework. Volunteer to rebound for your son, or hit tennis balls with your daughter. Volunteer to make popcorn for a card playing evening or a family movie night. If you haven’t watched a movie or television show with your kids in a month, you are missing valuable talking time. And believe me, kids will not tell you about their lives when they are late for karate, or being fitted for a cheerleading outfit. They need time to open up—time to connect.
photo ~ teendriving.statefarm.com
And yes, I do believe that teenagers are a good audience when they are trapped in your car, use that time smartly. Pretend like you are casually interested and then listen hard. But remember that very shortly they will be driving and your talk moments will have to find un-rushed time at some other point.
Don’t pass by your husband or boyfriend either. It makes him feel unimportant. Don’t spend hours telling him all you do. Sure, he needs to know, but if you are that busy don’t spend your only moments together bitching and moaning. Take time to hug. Male egos do not like to be last on your busy schedule. Slow down. Spend the evening relaxing. Talk. Give a back rub. Get a foot rub. Make love. Don’t be too busy for your relationship. Consequences are dire.
Find time to really connect with your kids—with your mother—with your sister—with your girlfriends. That’s why there’s Starbucks. Be there for them. Life is all about relationships. Those people at the bake sale will not hold your hand when you have a biopsy. Spend time on real life. Never blow off a girlfriend when she calls with a real problem. Don’t rush past your family and never get to know them. I’ll bet you still have much to discover about your kids. But you will never truly know them if you do not spend time with them. If you are hauling them here and there to hang out with others, just remember they are not hanging out with you. As they grow they might never even see the need for hanging out with you. That’s not good.
Don’t be too busy for those who truly matter. Someday when you need someone, you don’t want your family to be too busy for you. I’m just sayin’.