We live in a culture where being busy appears to be the sign of success in motherhood. Whether working inside and/or outside of the home, in addition to keeping up the home, running our kids to every activity under the sun, making sure they are well prepared academically, socially, and physically all play into the criteria of being a "good" mom today.
But, does it? Really?
What if all of that busyness means we don't have the time, energy, or patience we need to fully invest in our relationships with ourselves, our faith, our family, our friends, or our community?
Because I'll bet if you had the opportunity to peek behind the doors of many homes in our driven-by-materialism, first-place-is-the-only-place, and "it's important to keep up with the Jonses" culture, you'd see the eventual emptiness in those values and priorities.
My friend, Brenda Yoder, has written a terrific book full of timely and useful suggestions around creating a life less busy and MORE meaningful.
Busyness doesn't foster success. It creates unbalanced priorities. ~Brenda Yoder, MA
With chapters such as "Letting Go of the High Wire Act" and "Managing Your Home So It Works for You" we have the opportunity to evaluate what is working in our lives and where we might be putting in too much time and effort while receiving little benefit.
So many aspects of this book struck home with me, but the chapter which really spoke to my heart was Chapter Nineteen: Don't Steal the Struggle. It's all about the the importance of allowing your children to face adversity in order to develop a tenacity to overcome the struggle and pain that life brings each and every one of us.
For me, this guidepost brought back so many memories of when my oldest, Nick, was struggling with alcohol. Living 1,000 miles away from him during his spiral with the greatest challenge of his life was awful...so often I was paralyzed with fear at the sound of the phone ringing...never knowing what the next call might bring. However, when I look back on that time in my parenting life, in some respects, since I wasn't right there, he had no choice but to accept the consequences of the choices he was making.
Parenting Nick through an active addiction took allowing him to experience and feel things I would never, ever want him to, while at the same time balancing the faith he could pull himself through. Ultimately, it was up to Nick anyway.
Would it have been easier to help him out of a ticket or bail him out of jail at the time, yes. But in the long run, I may still be living the same cycle with him today if I had.
Brenda's book also contains some great, short, activities to get you thinking about the priorities in your own life and what direction you may be headed toward because of them. I highly recommend Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All, for every mom, especially those who have been asking themselves, "why am I continuing to do this when I just want to spend more quality time with my loved ones?"
I am blessed to say Brenda has generously offered to give away a copy of her book to one of my readers! If you are interested, send me an email. The first one who does will receive the copy.
To see more of Brenda's work please visit her website!