You Know You’re Too Busy When…


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Family, Kids, Life Lessons, Memories, Mothering, Parenting | Posted on 15-06-2012

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You know you’re too busy when…your child doesn’t have time to poop because you are rushing from activity to activity.

That’s when you know that you have too much going on. And that’s when you know you have turned into PSYCHO MOM.

School. Playdates. Doctor appointments. Extra curricular activities. Sports. Lessons.

When is enough enough?

It is enough when your child gets home from school, goes upstairs to poop, but you stop him mid-poop and yell, “HURRY UP! GET YOUR PIANO BOOKS! WE’RE GONNA BE LATE FOR YOUR PIANO LESSON!”

Do we want to speed through childhood and life? So much that we can’t even go to the bathroom?

This week was my breaking point. It is now time to reassess. And maybe not sign up for that extra summer camp.

Am I turning into the type of mother who over schedules her children? One of those psycho Moms that I find annoying? The kind whose children are so busy, they don’t have any down time to simply lie in the shade to discover that grass blades indeed make great whistles?

Summer is upon us. We need to drop something. Lower expectations. Something.

I used to believe in only one activity per child at a time. Then one activity turned into two. But does swim lessons count as an activity or is it a necessity? I care and want my children to be well-rounded and interesting and active. But I also want them to be happy. Are they happy when they are rushing from activity to activity? Their distressed faces tell me otherwise.

With three kids, there’s soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, art class, horseback riding, football. Three kids multiplied by x number of activities. Now we’ve got an algebra problem. And I suck at math.

As a child, sure I had lessons–tennis, ballet, gymnastics, swimming, horseback riding, even drama and cooking class–but I also remember having lots of free time. Idle time. Play time.

Run-through-the-streets-to-chase-after-the-ice-cream-truck time. Time to loll with my friends in the shade and pick blades of grass to turn them into whistles.

Fast forward a few decades and now I’m yelling at my child to hurry up while he’s pooping? Yikes.

I don’t want to be THAT kind of Mom. I want my children to be happy. And have plenty of time for pooping and whistling.

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Comments (36)

Love this.

Yes, I find myself talking my daughter in to being excited about the next thing. “But you love gymnastics … it’s FUN and all of the practice is really paying off. You can do the splits! … And, you’re going to love our weekend away. You get to go rafting and to the swimming pool, and… and… and…

I mean it’s a little nuts. Sometimes a kid (and a mom) just wants/needs to chill out. Sort of stinks when all of the “FUN” becomes a bummer.

Thanks for the reminder, Pippi. Time to take a little time to stop (no drive bys) and smell the roses.

I know what you mean. We took the whole summer off from anything planned or scheduled. No summer camps, no sports, no art classes, no VBS, nothing. It is sooooo nice. I haven’t driven my van in 3 whole days. That was unheard of until a few weeks ago when I made this decision. It just gets to be too much. I’ve noticed that the kids are happier, and Zoey doesn’t throw nearly as many tantrums now that she’s not confined to her carseat to drive all over creation every day. Ahhhhh…

Your comment about when fun becomes a bummer hits the nail on the head (or the Mom on the head).

I have over schedulitis and no one is happy about it. Time to smell the roses for sure! It IS rose season after all. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

Thanks for writing! Happy kids make happy Moms, huh? 🙂

I’m gonna do more of what you’re doing…or not doing.

Thanks for your comment!

Hey I’ll poop when I’m dead!

Oh god that’s a horrible thought. Sorry.

Well I need a job. Want me to be your babysitter/cook/nanny/kid-pooping-helper?

I have good references.


Can you be a reference for me?


You’re hired!

And yes, I would be a reference for you…great writer, humorist…


Nicely written! I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry because I totally empathize and I only have one kid!

It was such a busy school year that my son was just looking forward to sleeping in – that’s it!

Our plans are simple this summer, but then the doubt starts creeping in as people mention the camps their kids are going to, and activities they are busy with, and I start to make myself crazy thinking that somehow he’ll fall behind.

Then I remember, it’s easier to find your own path if you’re not caught up in someone else’s race.

Nicely said! I think finding your own path is best. And figuring out what balance of activities vs. down works for you.

Sounds like you’re doing just what you need (want) to be doing.

Thanks for writing…have a wonderful summer (whatever you do or don’t do)!

You know, when I was a kid, I never had lessons of any kind. Lessons were for families that had money. What we had was kids. So anyway, I like to think I’m well-rounded and interesting and active. And I was allowed to poop whenever I wanted to, so there’s that. I’m not saying don’t give the kids any activities, but there’s something to be said for a kid to learning to schedule his own time or to stretch her imagination in finding a way to entertain herself.

So I’ll quit being the bossy grandma now, because they’re your kids. You’ll do what’s best.

I had to giggle a little about the pooping part. My poop humor and my immaturity are too much together sometimes.

It might be time to start crossing some activities off the list, because while I suck at math too, I’m pretty sure the answer I arrived at was =tired mom.

The kids need a break, but goodness mom, how do you manage to get them all where they need to go? Kudos to you!

Swim lessons are a necessity around here because we are surrounded by water. Other than that–we are out in the garden throwing dirt on each other. I totally get where you’re coming from. Cancel something–every mom needs a good poop:)

Man, I love those days when we’re supposed to be three places at once (NOT!). My sister once asked me if I was going to clone myself; that sure would be nice.

My son is just now thinking that he wants to add two more activities to his fall calendar. I’m going to limit him to one. He’s going to be seven and doesn’t need to do something out of the house every evening this fall. I hope he understands…

Great points! I try to keep it to one thing at a time but then of course they overlap and suddenly 4 nights of the week are taken up and we are all going crazy from rushing around.

It truly is time to slow things down and just let the kids be kids . . . play, explore and have fun.

This should be a commercial for Quilted Northern toilet tissue OR a PSA for over-scheduling parents.

I’m planning a free-range ’80s summer this year, replete with no bedtimes, no laundry (daily beach visits mean bathing suits only), and no helping kids decide what to do with their free time.

I may be asking you to suggest structured activities by July 5th, if my experiment fails.

Isn’t it crazy how hard it is to balance it all, with my daughter we got to the point where she could pick one activity to do so I could balance and not be in a mad rush to be in two places at once.

You make some great and valid points. I agree that kids need time to be creative, play, frolic, and hang out with each other. I, too, had summers that were wide open and I remember popsicles and riding my bike with no shoes and catching lightning bugs (fireflies) and just being a kid. Oh yeah, and plenty of time to poop.

Tomorrow is our last day of school, so bring on summer and let’s let the good times roll!

Thanks for writing!

Indeed! The kids need a break and I need a break.

Plus I don’t want my kids to grow up with poop problems because they were too rushed. Yikes! Wink.

Thanks for writing!

Dirt throwing sounds just about perfect. 🙂

Let me add “cancel activities” to my to-do list!

I know where you’re coming from! I, too, have a seven-year-old son and I remember last Fall was crazy just keeping up with adjusting to school and one sport.

Also, fewer activities and shuttling might mean more time to have some ice cream with Mom. 🙂

Thanks for your comment!

I hate rushing, don’t you?

I’m all for playing, exploring, and having fun. Let’s check back in mid-summer to see how we’re doing. 🙂

Oooh, your plans–or rather, non-plans–sound just about perfect!

Maybe it’s an SNL commercial for “Depends for Busy Kids and Moms.” Ugh. I’ll have what you’re having.

Thanks for writing!

I never took tightrope walking lessons, so my balance is askew. 🙂

Thanks for your comment!

It is hard to find the balance isn’t it? Pooping takes priority though!

I agree, pooping takes priority!

Thanks for writing and reminding me that!

Your post made me think about what I really craved as a kid. What I came up with surprised me. It certainly wasn’t structured lessons or activities, but it also wasn’t time to “do nothing” alone. I craved time with my parents (or I suppose any respectful, caring adult) where I decided on an activity and they went along and supported and helped and listened. Like helped me build a fort, or a snowman, or whatever it was.

Just thought I’d share that, in case it’s helpful. I hope you and your kids have a great summer!

Yeah, it’s hard to know when enough is enough but not having time to poop is probably a good sign. LOL!

I only have one kid and we live in the city in a condo. I feel guilt that she can’t just go out in the backyard and play or hang out with her siblings so I have a tendency to over-schedule her.

This summer I’ve decided my mission in life is to invite other people’s children over so they can entertain my kid. No rushing around. No “we’ll be late for soccer!” Just kid’s doing kid stuff at home or at the park.

Though in mid-August I scheduled some summer camps because kid stuff is cute… until it’s not and Mommy starts praying for the school year to start.

Aw, I’m really glad you said that. I think that’s pretty common. Kids want to be nurtured and cared for and time to hang out with their parent or parents to be shown they are loved.

Sounds simple, but in our rush and to-do list, sometimes, it’s just sitting together in the shade and eating some ice cream. 🙂

Thanks for that,

Sounds like you’re finding ways to have simple fun. Kids love to play with other kids. We always have friends over. But you’re right, sometimes camps are good too (and maybe you’ll be needing a little break by then).

I think it’s finding out what’s right for you and finding the right balance.

Thanks for sharing!

I feel you. I work full time and have to keep the kids doing stuff during the summer so I can work. I feel like I’m running constantly.

I feel for you. Even if you’re always running, I guess it’s good when you can take a break sometimes. And just veg somewhere in the shade.

We are doing the best we can,

There is simply no way I could make my son poop any faster. I stand at the door and say “Aren’t you finished yet” and he answers back “One more!” I don’t even know what that really means. He does soccer and swimming though and we were thinking about adding baseball – but there’s only one kid – so it’s not a management nightmare yet. 🙂

Yeah, you can’t really rush a poop!

I think you could add soccer only because it usually doesn’t interfere with fall, unless it’s Spring soccer. Then, you’ll get really good at juggling!

Thanks for the comment and for the giggle,

I love that you shared this. Talk about reality!!
I’ve been having my own internal battles over scheduling activities for my kids. Although they are quite little now, they won’t be for long and I like to give it some thought.
I also want them to be well rounded, educated, and able to pursue whatever interests they have.

But, I am also really free range in my way of thinking and want them to have lots of free time to just be little unscheduled hooligans. And to poop freely. 😉

Thanks for sharing!

I’m so glad you stopped by and commented!

It sounds like you already are doing the balance thing and as you go, you’ll figure out what works best in terms of scheduled activities and hanging out.

Enjoy and keep me posted!

Aw, you are so tough on yourself. Ease up, recognize that, okay… you see this trend… and you can make it better. In the meantime, be nice to you. 🙂

Aw, thanks. We are paring down our activities for the summer and will spend more time chilling.

Thanks for the kind words!

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