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Being Busy Is Not A Competitive Sport

When did “superbusy” turn into something that women are supposed to be? It’s almost a competition: if you aren’t busy then you’re not doing a good job at your life as a mother, a wife, an employee, and a person in general. And that’s bullshit.

I remember when I was growing up (and I’m not that old, thank you very much) weekends were a time to relax. My mother dumped the chores on me and my sister, and my Dad retreated to the yard to work, which actually meant he went outside to avoid a house with three bossy women in it. My mother did stuff like run errands, but mostly she just chilled out and did whatever struck her fancy. She was busy during the week, and when she was busy on the weekends with stuff for me and my sister, she wasn’t puffed up with pride at how much she could take on. She accepted it as part of the deal, but made sure she put her feet up when she got home.

It’s become like a competitive sport with women these days, and I occasionally find myself feeling like I should probably compete as well. I mean, there are movies all about these busy mothers looking pleased as punch to be able to work and deal with homework and sports practices and dance and making a really nutritious dinner all week, and then doing some version of the same all throughout the weekend – with a smile and killer heels and hair that’s frizz-free. There’s no murderous looks at the husband as the mother calls out sight words while furiously cooking dinner for her starving kids. There’s no harassed single mom trying to make time to get homework and dinner done simultaneously, so that there’s time for a bath and some Minecraft videos before bedtime.

The reality is that most mothers start their day around 6AM and don’t stop going until around 9PM when their day belongs to them again, and that’s without trying to be a super mom. It’s exhausting work, and that’s okay. Know what else is okay? To be pissed that you’re too busy to color with your kids because for some reason society has started telling us that being busy is what you do if you really love your family. If you’re a good mother you should be busy all week and then make sure you have enough on your plate to make you busy on the weekends too. No lounging about for competitive super moms! Those that lounge obviously don’t love their children enough, or they would make sure they had plenty to do in order to show the world that a busy family is a happy family.

I don’t know how we buck this trend. Maybe it will find its way out like skinny jeans did, but I think it’s more likely to go the way of the dinosaurs if we stop playing into it. I am fairly certain that this super busy but happy and fully put together at all times mom is a figment of the imagination of some random men who think that’s what we should all be. Down with the fucking patriarchy! Not only do I like to sometimes chill at home and order a pizza on a Saturday, while alternating between playing video games and watching random shows on Netflix, but so does my son. We can have amazing quality time – better in fact – without even leaving the house. Weeks are busy. You work, there’s school, there’s piano lessons and PTA meetings and homework – you name it. But the weekends should involve a little chill time, otherwise everyone will go insane, and then you’ll be featured on Murder TV, and no one wants that.

There’s nothing wrong with saying no to going out, or deciding that you’re going to skip cooking one night so you can spend time together without worrying about who has to do the washing up afterwards. Life is busy, it’s a fact, but just because you don’t try to be the busiest mom out there doesn’t mean you’re failing some mommy test. In fact, refusing to get out of yoga pants on a Saturday and eating nothing but junk food with your kid, and baking fucking cookies and playing UNO all day just might make you the best mom out there.  No matter what society wants you to believe.

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