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Busy is Good?

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I'm pretty sure I'm not a masochist! Even though I put myself through torture (be it dancing in my pointe shoes, sleep deprivation, or just pushing myself harder than necessary) then feeling gratification from the accomplishment (not the pain) I always come back for more! I think most moms enjoy that delirious pleasure; the thrill we can enjoy when we accomplish something we didn't think was possible. I know I'm right when I say that most moms constantly try to do more than can be done.

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I think most moms have to be overachievers. Don't you feel like moms sometimes put too much on our own plates? We put pressure on ourselves to be perfect; the perfect mom, wife, friend, teacher... It is most important to be happy doing something we feel is rewarding and giving great effort toward a goal or accomplishment that we have decided is worthy; because that's what makes us the best moms, wives, and workers possible! When I give something or someone my time and energy, I give my whole heart. My heart is full and has the capacity to expand even more, but sometimes it's tired!

America seems to be catching up to China in the way that our culture is becoming more overstressed, overscheduled, and over competitive for both our children and ourselves. In our hectic lives we are rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off singing, "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!

Kids get picked up from school then dropped off at practices and classes then do their homework. Parents are in the same boat as our children! But adults can depend on stimulants like coffee, tea, chocolate, wine... Do our children need stimulants too? It's as if we are constantly on a treadmill and it can feel overwhelming, for both parents and children.
I am the queen of sticky notes and try to write my "to do list" daily so I can prioritize. When the sticky note isn't big enough to reduce my load, it's time to say no before I physically and mentally shut down. I always think this time next week will be easier because I'll find my groove and the workload will decrease; but I just think times have changed and everyone is scrambling to get more done than we used to.

Americans are workaholics! We can't bring ourselves to say no to more work! We want the bigger paycheck, the recognition; the praise...Adults still feel like we are getting report cards! We all want to get that A+ and please everyone. But in all this work, we are teaching our children that they don't have time to just "BE." I am so guilty of this! We want to provide our children with all the opportunities and activities that time and money can afford. I remember my parents driving my brother and sister and I around to activities; but I also remember playing Uno on the way there. I think there just has to be a happy medium for normalcy and sanity.

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The good news is I think being busy is a privilege and a really great thing. All children thrive in organized activities. Their self esteem and friendships can grow with outside activities. My four-year-old daughter wants to know her schedule every day. She likes looking forward to her activities; seeing her friends, teachers, coaches...These scheduled activities let children and their parents come together and enjoy the best aspect of life, time. Our time and experience is worth something and when we give it, we should give it our all. With time, nothing is impossible.

It helps me to recite the following then things naturally seem to prioritize themselves:

For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned. Don't count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count. Time is more valuable than money; you can get more money, but you can't get more time.
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Photos: Ashley's daughter Zooey at British Soccer Camp and Zooey performing backstage before the ballet begins. Ashley's son, Quincy at Aqua Kids swim class. 

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