the one about when i was busy being busy

When I resigned from my full-time teaching position last May, I had many fears. One of my biggest fears was that I would be bored staying at home. I was worried I wouldn't be busy and would loaf around the house in my PJs all day, appearing lost, lonely, and worthless. Strong words, I know, but honest feelings. Being a stay at home mom, homemaker, domestic goddess, whatever fancy term you like to use, was a very foreign concept to me as my mom has worked as a teacher my entire life.

"What the heck will I do all day?" I wondered many times.

You know where this is headed.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

My biggest surprise? Just how busy I have been.

Shamefully busy.

I say "shamefully" because I feel it has been the wrong kind of busy.

My fear of the b-word (boredom) pushed me into planning over-drive. From day one, I made sure I had something on my calendar everyday. A play date. An errand. An appointment. An entertainment of some sort. A responsibility. A duty. (29 years old and I still giggle at that word)

I wanted people to see me and say, "Look at Ashley! She stays at home with her girls, but she is always out and about and still active and getting things done. She's so cool. And beautiful." (Ok...reeling it back in...)

Before long, my monthly calendars were looking like some crazy, confusing maze...time consuming and really leading nowhere.

Of course, as adults (not just stay at home moms), we have lots of things to do in order to keep our lives up and running. We have places we have to go, people we have to see, and things we have to do.

However, I had to have a reality check with myself because didn't I quit my job so that I could be more available to my girls? 

So that I could do puzzles with her at the table instead of merely supervising from my post at the kitchen sink?

So that I could build block towers with her on the floor instead of simply hearing them tumble from my office while I edit photos?

So that I could enjoy slower mornings with sleepy-eyed, fuzzy-headed girls instead of pushing them to get out the door on time for fillintheblank appointment/errand/obligation?

I have declined invitations to color with her so that I could return an email.

I have passed on opportunities to teach her something new so that I could plan preschool lessons for my class.

I have denied them the simple joy of lounging in PJs for half the day because we had someplace important we had to be.

Even though my 3 year old enjoys a good trip to the store, I'd have to think that she'd rather build an obstacle course with pillows (with me) or read one of her zillion books (with me) or play with her Barbies (with me) than ride in the shopping cart while I tell her "no, you can't have that," or "no, we don't need that today," or "no, you can't get out of the cart" over and over and over again.

So today, I'm committing to under-committing. We may not make it to every play date, lunch date, function, or meeting. We may have a week where we don't leave the house except for emergencies (Starbucks counts, right?). It may take us a little longer to get out of the house in the mornings. We may be late. I may actually let them nap in their beds and not in their car seats. Emails, texts, and Facebook messages might get returned the next day. The house might will be a disaster. (OK...not much of a change there)

Because my girls are going to grow...they are going to learn...they are going to play. They are going to experience life. They are going to giggle, and they are going to cry. They are going to learn to walk and learn to read and learn to ride a bike without training wheels. They are going to outgrow diapers and outgrow toddler clothes and outgrow beloved blankie and Baby Bella.

All of that will happen...ready or not.

Busy or not.

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