6 cures for I’m-too-busy-itis

When was the last time you just stopped what you were doing, turned off distractions, and just spent some real, quality time with your family? Or even just one-on-one time with a child?

I don’t know about you, but my mind and body have a tendency to be on full-throttle from the moment my alarm clock (a.k.a. my 3 YO) buzzes at me until the moment my head hits the pillow at around 11:30pm.

Wake up to 3YO dancing on my head, realize his night pull up leaked, change him, throw dirty pajamas in the hamper, realize hamper is full so grab laundry bag, throw in a load on the way downstairs, get breakfast going, pack lunches, wake up sleeping beauties, and on and on I go cycling through an arm’s length to-do list. As soon as one task is crossed off, another jumps on the list to take its place.

Sound familiar?

The upside is that it feels productive. That’s always nice, especially if your days are filled with chasing after unpredictable little people. We all need to feel like we’re accomplishing something.

The only problem is that it’s so easy to get so stuck in the doing that you stop being.

As a mom, I am frequently guilty of getting so caught up in the work-dinner-activity-grocery shopping-shuffle that I cheat my boys – and myself – out of the little moments. Moments where I’ve got 42 pounds of cuteness on my lap, a nose full of Burt’s Bees-scented hair, and am wondering aloud how on earth those pretty colors got inside that big glitter-filled ball as my son turns it around in his chubby fingers.

Over the past six months I’ve been making an effort to switch off the list-driven me at regular-ish intervals. The image above is from one of those moments with my little guy (we’re goofing off at a Monster Truck show).

Here are 6 tricks that are working really, really well.

Start your day with gratitude

Before heading downstairs to start the breakfast prep, I close my eyes and pick one thing about each family member that makes me feel really lucky. It takes about 30 seconds, but it has made a profound difference.

Sharing lunch packing duties with my better half

Put the question: “what kind of mom do I want to be today?” at the top of my physical to-do list

Try to get down on my knees and really look at my boys in their eyes when they ask me an earnest question about something

Limiting laundry duty to three days a week

Monday and Friday for the boys, Sunday for mom and dad.

Limiting screen time to Friday night

It’s a rule that keep ME from pushing the easy button too many times. My iPhone counts as a screen.

How about you? Do you get stuck in the busy-itis rut? I’m curious what kinds of things you do that snap you out of that go-go-go mode and center your attention on what’s truly important. Please share!