Stop and ask some moms (or anyone, really) around you how they’re doing and, more often than not, you’ll get the same answer, “Oh the usual, super busy!” or something along those lines. I would almost be willing to bet that most people you ask this to would have the word “busy” in their answer one way or another. Busy has become such a way of life that it just spills out of our mouths…busy, busy, busy. It’s almost like a badge of honor for some people – who has the most crafts done, the most activities going on, the kids activities planned from after school until bedtime.
Honestly, when people ask me how things are or how I’m doing, rarely do I even stop to think about their question and defer to the thought that I have a million other things going on and instead just respond with “So busy! How are you?!” Realizing that I don’t even answer that question as honestly as I can when people take the time to ask me how I am led me to the realization that I’m probably addicted to being busy. Upon immediate thought, it seems stupid that I would crave being busy or stressed when it seems like we all try to avoid that as much as possible, but when I really stopped to think about my daily behavior, it became even more clear. A few things I noticed:
I put off going to the bathroom.
Umm, how dumb is this?! It was one thing when I was a classroom teacher and literally had to hold it as long as possible, but during the day while I’m at home with my kids? No, thanks. I would catch myself having to finish folding that last load of laundry, finish emptying the dishwasher, or running just one more errand before allowing myself the relief of going pee. Talk about a UTI waiting to happen and simply setting a silly standard for my kids.
To-do lists turned into “what I didn’t get done lists.”
I’m a list girl. I love some good organization; planners and notebooks make me so happy! Writing things down in my planner was a great way for me to sort through things I needed to do at home or at work, but instead of looking at all the things I did get get done, I started stressing over not getting it all done. I wouldn’t let myself rest until literally everything was done and crossed off the list because I didn’t want to worry about what didn’t get finished. This was especially tough during the holidays!
I don’t know how to relax.
I have had this “problem” since I was a young girl. I am either sleeping or on-the-go. It’s normal to me and the idea of relaxing is foreign. I can’t just sit and watch TV – I multitask and work on the computer or clean at the same time. I clean the tub while I take nice, hot showers. The memes about women coming home, taking their bra off, and calling it quits is difficult for me to wrap my brain around because I love having something to do. This has started to take its toll as I often ‘burn the candle at both ends’ and wonder why I’m so stressed out.
My husband and I rarely see each other.
A couple months ago, my husband got an email to join a flag football league. Seeing they also had a skeeball league (yep, that’s a thing!) on a different night, he told me I should sign up for it since I love playing so much. We both jumped at the opportunity to do something new and signed up. After the first week we realized that between those two league nights away, plus my weekly workouts on a different night, plus well…life, we realized that we only actually got to see each other one night during the work week. While I love that we are able to make new friends and engage in activities we enjoy (great self-care!), I also miss that quality time at home.
I’m. So. Tired.
I absolutely take the ownership for putting this all on myself. The more I analyzed my own activities and the busy I create, the more I realized what a nasty cycle “busyness” can send you into. I am very much a Type-A perfectionist, so crossing items off my list and feeling accomplished only reinforced the need to continue doing it…as if moms need any more stress! I would make myself especially busy in times of high stress or frustration because working on other things, even monotonous things such as housework, was a distraction from things I didn’t want to have to think about or deal with.
Busy is an escape.
Instead of wearing myself so thin each day, I’ve been working on prioritizing my time and activities and trying to only say ‘yes’ to the things that will truly make me happy. I’ve focused on slowing down and doing things with intention, whether it’s cleaning up the room or sitting down to play with my kids who are growing too quickly.
Do you struggle with being ‘addicted’ to busy? Have you worked any strategies to help ease your stress? Let us know in the comments!