There is No Way You'll Ever Be Busier Than Me!
I may have blogged about this before. I most likely have because it's both my biggest pet peeve and my biggest struggle. Kinda funny how my biggest pet peeve is also one of my biggest struggles.
Back when I was in high school, I was muttering to my friends that I wanted an after-school National Honor Society meeting to hurry up because I was supposed to leave right away to go to a surprise party about an hour and a half away. I didn't want to be late because I desperately didn't want to spoil the surprise. Everyone hates a surprise-spoiler.
Anyhow...one of the girls standing near me said in all seriousness, "Oh Melissa, you will never be as busy as me." I about fell over. My friends around me couldn't believe she would actually say that to someone especially since she was known around school as having little to no social life. I didn't come up with a good retort because I hate face-to-face conflict of any kind. I did rage to my family and friends later and still bring up the issue years later.
When I told my dad about this little incident, he brought up one of his Bouch theories. (My dad's last name is Boucher so he calls his life observations Bouch theories.) Here it is: Everyone always thinks they are busier than everyone else. He then went on to say that there are different levels of busyness. Level one is making sure you get your strawberries canned before they rot in your garden. Level four is deciding whether or not to bomb Iran. Housewives usually are busy on a level one while the President of the United States is busy on a level four. He also brought up the point that sometimes housewives with no children think they are the busiest women in the world at the same time as a mother of four is working full-time outside the home and trying to get her kids off to their various activities fully clothed and on-time thinks she's they busiest in the world.
Everyone has a right to think he or she is busy. Busy individuals just need to keep their busyness in perspective. No stay-at-home housewife without children should ever say she is busier than a mother who works full-time outside of the home. She can think it all she wants and whine to her husband and mother about how busy she is, but should never publicly downplay the busyness of a working mother.
I know that I'm kind of trying to downplay the busyness of stay-at-home housewives who have no children, so I'm sort of doing the same thing as some friends and family members of mine who have whined about their busyness via Facebook in the past. This post is a lecture to myself on one of my biggest struggles as well as a pontification on one of my biggest pet peeves.
I'm a teacher, so I get pretty busy during the school year. If you count the amount of work I have to do at home and the amount of work I do running our school's tutoring program, I often work 13-14 hour days. I almost never work less than a 9-10 hour day. I'm not a mom yet, but I often lapse into thinking that stay-at-home moms have it made. They get to do housework and take care of their own children all day. What could be better? How can they even begin to whine about how busy their lives are? They don't have to deal with other people's problems. They just deal with their own family's needs. I see so many articles and blog posts about how busy stay-at-home moms are while teachers get ripped to shreds for having such an easy job because they get summers off.
This line of thinking on my part is completely, 100% hypocritical. I'm falling into the trap that my acquaintance in high school fell into all those years ago when she told me I would never be as busy as she was. Yes, teachers are really busy. Stay at home moms are really busy too.
I'm sure some of my thoughts will change as I have children. I really hope by cultivating a right attitude towards busyness while I'm young and naive that I will handle the responsibility of parenthood with much more patience and fortitude than I would have otherwise. I know for a fact that I will slip into thinking I'm the busiest woman alive between now and the day I die. I just need to remind myself from time to time that I'm not the only busy person out there. We all are busy in our own little ways.
So here's the bottom line: accept your busyness as YOUR busyness. God allows different people to handle different amounts of responsibility. God also expects different amounts of work from different people. Don't judge others on their lack of busyness. You have no right to do so. Even though I so badly want to say that stay-at-home childless wives have the easiest lives in the world, I can't. Even though I want to say that moms who are also teachers are the busiest women in the world, I can't (although you could make a strong case for it).
What I can say is do the best with the time God has given you. Don't whine about the lack of time you have. Don't try to get others to feel sorry for you. (They won't anyways.) Accept your lot in life with patience and fortitude. Every time you start to think you are the busiest person on the planet, think about the busyness of the President of the United States. Chances are you are no where near as busy as he (or someday she) is.