I chose to have children so the commitments and responsibilities that I have to fulfil every goddam day are totally and utterly of my own making. I get that. I’m not complaining about how busy I am…I’m complaining about how busy other people insist on telling me they are.
By ‘people’ I mean either
a) those still blissfully unaware of parenthood or
b) those who are so far down the line their kids are practically parents themselves.
Let me put it like this:
Today, I had a full day without the baby to just work. That was a full 8 hours to sit at my desk and trawl through the deluge of emails, the obnoxiously long ‘To Do’ list that included two project proposals, a whole promotional campaign to plan and the rewriting of an 36 page document, not to mention the pile of receipts that have been staring at me for about three months.
Pre-Small, this would have been a week’s worth of work EASILY. Post-Small I’m the Swiss railways of working humans. What used to take me a whole day is now accomplished in the space of the Small’s nap. If she pulls a 2-3 hour nap, not only do I get all my work done but I can also clean the house. Previously, I’d dedicate a whole day to cleaning the bathroom. Now, a week’s work is completed in the space of a working day in which I have to keep stopping and remind myself to breathe because I’m concentrating so hard I often forget.
This does not make me special or magic or pitiful. It just is. It’s just what every parent has to do to make modern life work. It does however make me busy (a horrible word)…which in turn makes me productive and efficient (awesome words). If I didn’t figure out a way to be productive and efficient my Small wouldn’t eat or have shoes.
So, when I’ve transferred my working life to the spare room rather than the office I used to rent because it’s more time efficient and when I’m working at 11.30pm or 5.30am because it might be the only time I can work, I’ve got to admit, I get a little grump on when ‘people’ (see above) tell me that they’re so sorry they didn’t get around to meeting that deadline…they’re just so busy! Or, “I’m so sorry I didn’t read your email I’m just so busy.”
Busy doing what? Working? In your office? Where you’re paid to be to erm, work? Don’t you get at least 8 hours every day to do things such as meet deadlines and read emails? I can only imagine the wonders I could achieve if I had 8 hours a day five days a week.
In fact I kind of want to punch myself in the face for not realising my own astounding abilities to get shit done before I had a baby. What I could have achieved! What I could have done with my life!
So next time you tell me you’re soooooo busy and that you are sooooo sorry you didn’t get around to doing a, b or c then here’s some advice: Don’t. Just stop. Don’t say the words because I honestly don’t give a shit. We are all busy. We have all got shit to do and we have all got a lot on our plate but trust me on this, if you don’t have kids that still depend on you to survive and eat and wipe their bum then chances are you’ve got way more time on your hands than your mother-shaped counterparts so please don’t tell them you’re busy. If you’re THAT busy it means you need to be that much more efficient otherwise you’re just an unreliable douchebag who can’t be relied on.
Busy is not an explanation. It’s an excuse.