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Growth Spurts: Busy, Busy, Busy

I am currently in the midst of what tends to be an incredibly busy time of year for my family. Within a four-month period, we celebrate all three of my children’s birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We also experience the busyness that comes with school fundraisers, service projects, and programs during this time of year. Now add to all of the above: numerous meetings, lessons, work, birthday and holiday parties, homework (x3), and all the other normal activities. Oh, and I should probably clean the house, which is pretty much always at the bottom of my list. Yes, I’m busy.

I like to think that my family and I live rather simply. We really try not to over-schedule ourselves. Our children are normally involved in only one extra-curricular activity at a time, and it’s rare that all three are involved in something during the same season. We like to spend a good deal of time at home together. But sometimes life just gets busy. And since you’re reading Parents & Kids Magazine, I have a feeling you understand this type of busyness.

Being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I think it means you have to be really intentional–and often creative–about quality time with your family. Even if you don’t have many minutes or hours to spend together during the day, you can make the most of the minutes and hours that you do have together. Some suggestions:

  • While you’re riding in the car together, turn off all music, movies, phones, games, etc., and just spend that time talking to each other.

  • Sit around the table and eat together as a family as often as you can.

  • Be intentional in your conversations. Ask specific questions about how things are going at school, work, home, etc.

  • If you can, let your child tag along with you as you run errands, etc. Use that time to talk, teach, and connect.

  • If you have the option to cut something out of your busy schedule, then do it! And don’t feel bad about it; you are protecting time with your family.

  • Instead of watching TV, take a walk or play a game together as a family.

  • Look for creative ways to stay connected, even when you can’t spend a lot of time together. Write notes; send texts or e-mails; call when you can.

  • Particularly on the really busy days, don’t be in such a hurry to get your kids to sleep. Take your time tucking themin, and allow a few extra minutes for good conversation to end the day. (Confession: This one is really hard for me.)


Being busy doesn’t have to mean being completely out ofsorts as a family. It does, however, mean that we have to be good about prioritizing, making the most of our time, and learning to say “no” to what is good in order to say “yes” to what is better. These years are precious and few; let’s not let them be crowded out or overshadowed by a bunch of activities.

 

Carrie Bevell Partridge nearly missed her deadline for this article because she was so busy!

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at carriebevellpartridge.com and Facebook.com/carriebevellpartridge.

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