Have we lost the ability to stop in a busy world?

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How my friends with older children didn’t laugh at me I will never know (other than they are lovely).

“I’ll have plenty of time soon,” I said confidently. “When Freya’s at nursery two mornings a week.”

What they already knew, of course, is that there is never enough time. Fast forward four months and I’m laughing at myself.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on one of those challenge programmes, you know, like 60 Minute Makeover, where I have a set time to get everything done and always, always, just about scrape by.

When she’s not with me I feel the need to do ALL the jobs. Shopping, cleaning (especially all the bits I’ve previously ignored *cough* skirting boards), prepping, admin. You name it, I cram it in so there isn’t a minute spare.

The first few weeks I purposely kept myself busy so I wouldn’t think about her sitting alone crying my name in the corner of a classroom (which couldn’t have been further from the truth) but I seem to have just carried on.

The lists in my bullet journal get longer and longer each week.

It’s like I feel the need to justify my existence, if I’m not working or looking after Freya, by not sitting down at any point during the 2.5 hours she’s away.

I seem to have forgotten how to just…be still. And I have that Ferris Bueller quote buzzing about:

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Even with the luxury of time (I mean maybe 15 minutes or so not the entire morning) I just can’t stop – even though I’m sure the skirting boards could hold the weight of dust for another couple of years, at least.

I’m not sure who I’m trying to prove myself to. Mark would be the obvious choice, as he is the one “at work”. He’s really not bothered and in fact said I deserved a break after a pretty full on few years.

I know we all have busy lives, a never ending “to do” list but somewhere in the back of my head, tucked behind the sleep deprivation, it feels like I’m missing the point.

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17 thoughts on “Have we lost the ability to stop in a busy world?

  1. I think we’re all the same aren’t we? We crave time to ourselves, but there is never enough time in the day. My two are still little and I cram everything I can into nap time and once they are in bed. My hubby keeps telling me to slow down and just have an early night, but it’s the ONLY time I can do stuff. I guess the only thing I can say is that I’m doing stuff I WANT to do (like my blog) as well as stuff I have to do. I can’t ever just sit down with a cuppa though. Feels like missed time. Here’s to slowing down and smelling the roses now and again. #sharingthebloglove

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    1. Oh yes, I remember the nap time cram. As my time has increased so have my list of jobs. Maybe I need to do a list of wants and needs and pick some from each?

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  2. Hi Tara, I love Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Everyone should watch it every once in a while. I know from experience that skirting boards do hold their weight in dust, windows don’t stay clean very long (of course, I did them yesterday honest!) and I am sure the fairy tale The Magic Porridge Pot was based on a laundry basket. I have also found that if I don’t rush to do the laundry, the baskets don’t fill up half so fast (funny that).

    There was a time when I busied myself doing things that could have waited and felt guilty if I didn’t do them, thankfully that phase didn’t last forever. Remember life can be short and the more stressed we are the less efficient (happy) we are.

    Thank you for linking up to the #MMBC.

    xx

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  3. Great post, I know exactly how you feel, some days I think ill sit and relax when baby sleeps but then things wouldn’t ever get done! slow down world!!

    #sharingthebloglove

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  4. I still try to kid myself, rather too often, that I will have more time to relax when ‘such and such’ happens. Its a habit I need to break. There is always enough time to do what you want, if you want it enough, and you prioritise it. But there is so much to distract and fill our minds with. I hope you manage to give yourself a break occasionally! xx

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    1. You’re so right, Alice. I think it’s permission I’m searching for, although I’m not sure who from. Hopefully now I’ve thought about it I can make some changes (and ignore the skirting boards :)).

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  5. It is okay to take it easy. I remember when my son first started going to kindy I really missed him and would do anything to make the time pass more quickly before I rushed off to get him. So I can understand wanting to keep yourself occupied while you adjust. But really this is probably your only time I just do whatever you feel like in that moment. I get five hours child-free time on a Friday. I guard this with my life. I could easily fill it up with errands and housework, but I’ve made some rules for myself. Only one appointment (the kind it sucks to take kids to – like the accountant) and no housework except mopping the floor (impossible with a 4 year old ‘helping’). It gives me a good four hours and I prioritise things like writing, walking without having to stop to examine every stick and puddle, knitting the hard bits where I have to count and sometimes I do really rebellious things like watch whatever I want on TV. It’s your time. Honestly, I think I get more done overall by taking it easy on those Fridays and I know I feel so much better and are so much less grumpy!

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    1. It’s such a strange feeling, isn’t it? I don’t know why I feel guilty. I like the sound of your rules. Since writing it I’ve definitely had a rethink about trying to cram so much in. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate your input.

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  6. I’ve been forced to slow down lately and realise that I just can’t do it all (or even most of it!). But the guilt that follows is really hard to deal with – it’s just so difficult to just allow ourselves a bit of a break, isn’t it? Hope you can manage to carve out some time for you soon. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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    1. It really is, Katy. I’m determined to give myself a break. The world is not going to end if I spend some time writing instead of cleaning the skirting boards 🙂

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  7. I completely get this. I think it is so vey hard to stop and just be. Sitting down isn’t relaxing if you can see all the ‘to do’ lists waving at you. The only way i can manage this is to venture out away from the house of jobs, and be in nature. Even if it is for 15 minutes. It helps. Every little helps right?

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    1. So pleased it’s not just me. I was actually thinking this morning, if I’m not in the house I can’t do jobs! Maybe I will follow your lead 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

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  8. Oh this is me I thought I would have so much more time when my eldest started school and I only had Holly to look after. How wrong was I? The day just flies by and I never seem to get to a place where I can have a break. I hope you get a break soon. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

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