Parenting, A Different Kind Of Busy
Remember when you didn’t have kids and you were so busy? It was hard to get to the gym more than three times a week, to make it to all those social events, to get to the grocery store, to put away all the laundry. How dare anyone tell you “just wait” or try to push their parent-status-busyness on you. You were busy too!
Yes, that’s totally true. One person’s level of busy doesn’t make another person not busy. It just may look differently.
The first few months don’t count. Re-finding your identity, routine and a full-night’s sleep all call for some societal grace.
But once your past all that, you’re an average citizen again. Finding time for the gym, social events, groceries and laundry may not be easier, but it’s not impossible either.
There is one thing in life that is certain: you don’t get more time in a day. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, with or without kids. It’s not about more or less busy, it’s about a shift in priorities.
Gym time matters. It’s precious. The windows of opportunity to go or more finite, so you have to plan ahead, and you have to go. Or you find an alternative. Maybe you workout at home. Maybe you take your kid for a stroll.
Same for social events, planning ahead is critical. Guess what? You also quickly learn to start saying no. One, you have a legitimate excuse. Two, superficial social events seem a lot less important. Three, your downtime has been replaced with parenting time, so something has to give.
Groceries, laundry and any other chores. You’re either more productive in knocking out these to-do’s or you pay someone to do them for you. You also find lots of shortcuts. Microwaveable chicken nuggets and can green beans three meals in a row? Okay.
You only have 24 hours in a day. You learn to quit procrastinating and wasting time. You stay late at the office a little less. You watch tv a little less. You browse social media a little less. You care less about the things you don’t truly care about. You may even notice your non-parent friends seem way more busy than you.