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Are families too busy?  Is your family too busy? 

Do you ever feel like you are too busy & stressed?  You aren’t alone.  Last year, I had read an article titled The Disease of Being Busy by Omid Safi. I came across that article again this week and it spoke to me.

A dog lying on a couch beside a little girl.

To quote from this article:

“I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.”

Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.”

The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.

And it’s not just adults. When we moved to North Carolina about ten years ago, we were thrilled to be moving to a city with a great school system. We found a diverse neighborhood, filled with families. Everything felt good, felt right.

After we settled in, we went to one of the friendly neighbors, asking if their daughter and our daughter could get together and play. The mother, a really lovely person, reached for her phone and pulled out the calendar function.

She scrolled… and scrolled… and scrolled. She finally said: “She has a 45-minute opening two and half weeks from now. The rest of the time it’s gymnastics, piano, and voice lessons. She’s just…. so busy.”

Horribly destructive habits start early, really early.

How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?

Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?

What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

A woman and a little girl sitting in a hammock holding hands.
How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?”

So, Mickey and I decided we weren’t going to try to keep up in the world… and we didn’t want to teach our kids to be that busy either. We were going to LIVE life because it is enjoyable, fun, wonderful and amazing when you live it right. Yes, life is busy, but we don’t have to make it even busier. We can try to scale back.

I think about my grandma: she raised four kids at home…

A family  posing for a professional photo.

She and my grandpap had one car that they shared. Her days were filled with laughter from her children, games that they played together, housework, cooking, and love.

She was one of the happiest, most grateful people that I have known.

Yes, my grandma had to do more work because she didn’t have the technological innovations that we have now that give us the ability to do more… faster. But what really happens?

We do more… all the time. We get X done faster, so we have time to add Y & Z.

I want to remind myself (and you) to just take a step back and think about how we are living our lives. We need to be “more than just a machine, checking off items from our to-do list.”

We need to be involved with our family- playing games, baking cookies, sitting down to have a conversation, building with blocks, practicing spelling words, teaching the new math tricks, going on a walk and just talking…

A picture of an adult\'s brown leather boots and a little girl\'s water boots.

And we need to just BE.
Be in the moment.
Be relaxed.

Take a bike ride if you want… or don’t… but do what you want to do today.

A woman wearing sunglasses posing for the camera with two kids sitting in a bike wagon behind her.

Talk to your family. Just sit & talk. Teach them patience and listening skills by having conversations with them.

I want our kids to play, to laugh, to come up with ways to entertain themselves, to dream and hope, to set goals for themselves, to enjoy spending time with us. I want to create a home that they will want to come home to.

I don’t want to be so busy that I forget to just ENJOY LIFE and I certainly don’t want to teach them to be that busy. When we cut out all of the “extra stuff” we find that we have time for the normal day-to-day stuff.   We find time for spending time with our family, cleaning our house, cooking our meals, spending time on that project we’ve been wanting to do or jutting sitting down to reading a great book.

It starts with us.  It starts at home.
A group of people standing on top of a grass covered field
Today, put your to-do list aside and just do what makes you happy today. Do what makes you smile.

Spend time with your family…  it is when you really get a chance to bond, to just sit and talk.  You spend time together and just enjoy being together.

Remember… it doesn’t have to be this huge amazing adventure – simple times matter just as much.

one on one time with allie b
Have a wonderful day & soak up the memories. 🙂


You’re welcome to download my FREE One-On-One Time Calendar(to start focusing on what really matters).    I’ll send you the calendar & some tips via e-mail.A close up of a calendar on a white background.

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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Thank you for this, I really needed to hear it! As a stay at home mom, I find myself feeling guilty for not getting my children involved in all things fun related. I am surrounded by moms who are constantly running one place or another and sometimes wonder if my kids are missing out. We do fun things, but our days aren’t covered up with them. When I look back on my childhood, almost all of my memories have to do with unstructured time or the simple things in life.

  2. Hello, would love to see more stories about how Jesus has impacted and changed lives for the better! Thank you, your stories truly inspire me and cause me to reach higher and higher for true happiness!

  3. Fantastic as always Becky! and beautifully written… this is so true! And the more children you have.. the harder it becomes to just be still!

  4. I absolutely feel that most of the families I know are far to busy. I know it is hard for a lot of families to juggle their children’s busy lives and allow time for family time. I have chosen to not have my kids involved in many after school activities because I feel it is more important to be home together creating memories. I like that you mention to let kids be kids. This is a struggle of mine sometimes because I don’t want to deal with the aftermath of allowing this, but I know it’s important so thank you for that reminder.

  5. My kids are grown but I see so much of this. It’s like a competition to see who can have the most exhausted kids! Kids need time to be bored (yes!), to play, to create, to dream. Great post!