Ask someone how they are going these days and they usually say “busy”. I know it’s become a bit of a status to say ‘I’m busy’, but it seems people do simply choose to live a busy life.
We live in an era of such convenience. You can pre order takeaway coffee’s to skip the queue, have your groceries delivered free to your door for no extra cost, pay all your bills and shop for your birthday presents online. Heating is instant, cooking is quicker with fancy gadgets, dishes are done in dishwashers and clothes dried in the dryer. Yet the more time we free up, the more we want to fill that with something else.
I feel like we are all lying to each other and very few are willing to break the pattern. I am personally very aware of life getting so busy and I know with 6 kids I am going to have to fight so hard to not let busyness take over my life. I know how much it effects the whole family. How much less patience I have when life is busy and how much I miss enjoying small precious moments because we don’t have time for them.
It’s hard to know what to do to fight the busyness, but someone recently told me of a busy mum of 9 kids say “there is always something you can remove from your schedule”.
I think the best idea is to actually sit down and write out some goals for your family. What is important as a family and as individuals. In 15 years time when you look back what will be the things you will be glad you did. Are you going along saying yes to things and have lost sight of what is actually important to you as a family.
Some things to ponder:
Do you eat together as a family and use this time to converse and relate to each other? Is the calendar so full that you find yourself burdened by things such a celebrating someone’s birthday, rather then being excited about them.
What is the long term thinking for after school activities? Is being the best footballer in your local town at 10 as important as being present in the family and going to parties.
I’m sure there are many more questions to ask and this will vary from family to family. Personally I have seen some families balance long hours of sport very well with family life and be prepared to quit or pull back when life becomes unbalanced. I have also seen families be so committed to their sport that they no longer participate in the other things in life that they in theory see as important.
What works for your family will be best found by you. But it will take some honesty, some goal setting and careful reflection. There will always be people, clubs, coaches, events, work places etc asking more, more, more of you and your kids. There is always more. I think in all honesty even our kids would be happier if we said no more often.