As much as some believe that they can do all things and that nothing is lacking, needing attention, or minor improvements, the truth is the more a mom adds to an already full schedule the likelihood that she fails at something increases. For example, more focus on parenting and less on activities will help quell angry outbursts from tweens and teens.
From being tardy to most appointments to forgetting to do essential things, Mother's excuses begin to fall on deaf ears and in time she is viewed as Super Trouble. People don't want to spend much time with a stressed mother, in-law or stepmother who is overwhelmed with activities and responsibilities. They distance themselves when she is often tired and saying things she has no business. They begin to lose faith and trust in her. Is it really necessary to fill one's day with so much to the point that children's health care needs are overlooked, a husband can't get a decent meal, and a household is often left in disarray?
Children usually are talked into or forced to participate in extracurricular activities by adults, but typically they aren't much interested as we would like to think if you were to overhear their conversations or read their messages online about what their parents want them to do; rather than what they truly enjoy. They are persuaded to get pets and told to attend special events because friends will be there. They are lured into volunteering for projects and fundraisers with a promise of a cool reward if they do well. Some mothers operate just like children, "Okay, I'll do it...Will I get that freebie, my name on a plaque, a cool toy, a pat on my back from my husband and children...? Sure, mark my name down."
Running around like chickens with their heads cut off, many of these busy mothers aren't sincerely engaging with anyone. It is more about recruitment, networking, being a busybody, etc. They look through you, over you or around you when they talk. They aren't truly listening before advising. Their minds are racing and so are their hearts. In time, someone is lying on her back taking selfies on her phone asking her social network, "Please pray for me."
Now I don't mean to sound cold, but what I am about to say is convicting and may irritate a few moms, but the truth is when the writing is on the wall for you to slow down, just take a look in the mirror at yourself and do it! Offensive things that you wouldn't ordinarily say or do slip out when you are doing too much. Your body weight increases because you aren't watching portion sizes, exercising, eating at consistent times, and popping unhealthy things in your mouth like you are a teenager again. "I'm okay," they say. There are those moms who are starving themselves to death. You can see the veins protrude out of their necks and their legs look weak as if they can barely keep their bodies up. "Well, I'm healthy," the mom says defensively often in a rush. Meanwhile, her friend cries out, "I'm fine too" while she eats everything she shouldn't before noon. Tell that to the steadily widening face, arms, ankles, thighs, and more she likes to sit down and rest on for hours. Explain these things to one's lungs who are trying to fill with air while they carry far too much weight than they can handle, or the excuses a skinny woman makes who often complains about being so weak and cold. Your body is talking, but are you listening? Most likely not--no more than you did when a parent wanted to share a story with you while you ignored her and watched your child performing.
I think of some deceased, conceited mothers who thought that they were so special, very important and needed to be honored because they just had so much going on and did so much for everyone, but notice I said they are deceased and as I indicated in my book, When Mothers Cry, years ago, most of their partners have outlived them. Something to think about.
Is it really necessary to have weekly, monthly or annual events and then cry broke afterward or curse others because they don't have the time or energy to dedicate to one's grandiose ideas? Do you really need to buy gifts for your family, the teacher, the preacher, etc. every single holiday and then fuss with your husband and others about finances yet again? Does one's child have to be a part of every activity that comes up? Do you have to participate in every civic group event dragging your family along even when they don't want to go, then on the way back to the car (after the service) you act ugly toward them? Are you really making life worth living when you are often stressed, and dare I say it, controlling around your family?
For some mothers, in-laws and stepmothers, the truth is some of your kinfolk is sick of you and you probably heard it through the grapevine. They talk badly about you, because you have spent years boasting, exaggerating, talking too much about you and your family, money, new purchases, investments, etc. They don't like you very much, not because they are haters, but because you have showed them far too often your tired, emotional, angry, and/or impatient dark side by making flippant comments and displaying a prideful posture around them. Pride isn't cute, cursing to people's faces or behind their backs or giving people intimidating stares isn't kind either. Watch what you are teaching children, Mothers! People get tired of the foolishness!
So prepare yourself mentally and get your adequate rest because you are going to do what you always want to do anyway and then end up crying about all that you do later, argue with your spouse and do other mean-spirited things while your family just eye rolls, pouts and deep sighs once again.
Nicholl McGuire is the author of Tell Me Mother You're Sorry and other books.