It’s become common in our culture to over-emphasize and exaggerate the work we have, even feel that to be so burdened is laudable; that suffering and forbearance is somehow virtuous. But here’s something to think about: the result of this tendency to exaggerate workload has consequences. First, it can be self-defeating. No one wants to spend all weekend doing laundry. And while laundry, by nature, is intermittent and takes time, how many hours of actual hands-on time needs to be spent? 20? 17? 5? Does it serve any good purpose to magnify our tasks and responsibilities? Making these statements alone compounds a feeling of being overwhelmed, and coupled with a sigh of exasperation, all the more can drag us down.
From the parenting angle: what effect does this have on our kids? Likely, it leads them to follow suit and over-exaggerate their workloads, too. Should we be surprised when they exclaim “I’ve been working on my homework all day!”?
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and tempted to fall into exaggeration, pause for a moment and “right-size” the scope of how long something really took. In addition to shedding light on time management and setting a practical example for our kids, it’s amazing how much better this simple shift can feel. -t