We, as mothers, all know how brutal early mornings can be. The normal run of the mill getting everybody ready and presentable for the day, can turn into chaos when your 6 year old needs his tooth out IMMEDIATELY, the Tooth Fairy is visiting the school and he can, under no circumstances, meet her empty handed, fingers clasped around a semi loose tooth, your daughter remembers she needs a family photo. All buckled up and ready to go you remember the lunch boxes on the kitchen counter! At last, with ten minutes left to get them to school on time, you speed out of the driveway and notice hubby in the front door(!) you wave and blow a kiss trying to suppress the guilt that you did not greet him.
This scenario might be extreme, but there is no doubt in my mind that life, for most of us is too rushed and extremely busy.
Afternoons are no better – if you are blessed enough to be with your kids after school, time is filled with a huge variety of activities: driving kids to extra murals, doing homework, household shopping, in between all this you answer business calls whilst the siblings declared war in the background, you pull angry faces at them and roll your eyes, signaling wordless threats in their direction. I must admit, juggling all the balls and the onslaught on my attention leaves me overwhelmed and results in nothing been completed to my satisfaction… at this stage I feel despair, irritated and exhausted. Usually the migraine starts shortly after this.
WHY ARE WE SO BUSY
· Societal expectations
I get the feeling that there is an unwritten law that it is fashionable to be busy. The less time you have and the more you need to do, determines your success and how important you feel…. This is truly absolute nonsense!
You can’t run from technology. We are all glued to our cellphones, receiving business calls, emails, Whatsapps from clients. Feeling responsible towards my business I usually took these calls, answered the mails and whatsapps even if I had to interrupt my 6 year old telling me about his day or walking away from the court where my daughter is playing a tennis match. We are ruled by technology.
Why is there this unwritten law that we cannot say NO? Why do we put a smile on our face and even though you feel a panic attack creeping up on you, we reply with “No problem, leave it to me”. Yes, we can multitask, but there is no need to have a super woman expectation or a tendency to feel guilty if we say No to our children, be it time or finances, we are not neglecting our kids if we sometimes say: “No, unfortunately it won’t be possible”. In life they won’t always get what they want and in saying no, you are not neglecting them, but actually equipping them to deal with life.
There is no doubt that our kids keep us busy but how much pressure do parents place on their kids to achieve and take part in extra mural activities, in order to brag amongst other parents (societal expectations) or is it really the kid that would love to master or uptake an activity? (see YES/NO above, especially if your finances are tight)
· MY MARRIAGE
These points mentioned are only a few reasons for our busy and rushed lives and given the above it is clear that little time is left for our marriage. Unfortunately a happy and fulfilled marriage is only possible when time and effort is put into the relationship – putting time and effort aside to accommodate the rushed and busy lifestyle is placing your marriage in jeopardy.
Prioritize your relationship with God and your spouse. A loving, caring and supporting husband lightens the burden placed on you, this is only possible if you make time to build and strengthen the relationship between yourselves. You need time alone, diarize these appointments and DON’T CANCEL because of something irrelevant like doing something for somebody you could not say NO to. Make it a heart and mind decision to be there for one another and building your relationship.
Now, before the fresh start of the new year, let us
· re-evaluate and prioritize that what is really important and of significant meaning, not only for myself but also for my spouse and my kids.
· Make an effort with time management
Personally I would love to spend more time with my kids outdoors, sit on the lawn and watch the ants scurrying to and fro. I would love to, after supper and the kids all tucked in, sit outside with my husband and admire the stars.