Busier Than Ever! Why American Families Can't Slow Down

Busier Than Ever! Why American Families Can't Slow Down

Busier Than Ever! Why American Families Can't Slow Down

Busier Than Ever! Why American Families Can't Slow Down


Busyness defines the lives of most Americans. For some, the focus of busyness is family. For others, it is career or social activities. Sometimes busyness results from a big event, like the catastrophic illness of a family member, but much of it builds from many seemingly inconsequential demands that collectively become overwhelming. We search for the best airline prices on the Internet, are "partners" with teachers in our children's education, and employ a battery of devices that promise to save labor if only we can learn how to use them.

Busier Than Ever! follows the daily activities of fourteen American families. It explores why they are busy and what the consequences are for their lives. Busyness is not just a matter of personal time management, but of the activities we participate in and how each of us creates "the good life." While numerous books deal with efficiency and the difficulties of balancing work and family, Busier Than Ever! offers a fresh approach. Busyness is not a "problem" to be solved- it is who we are as Americans and it's redefining American families.


Bill Allen was coasting along in his truck on the way to a softball game, with two boys seated beside him, when he suddenly realized that one of them wasn't his. Bill's biggest fear had come to pass, forgetting one of his boys. He turned around and raced back to day care to retrieve his misplaced son. the concerned staff chided him, adding to his anxiety and embarrassment.

Why was Bill transporting these children in the first place? He and his wife, Sophia Rodriguez, a data entry clerk in a public sector organization, were committed to providing extra structured activities for the two sons they were adopting, despite the additional commute that it required. Believing that these activities were important for their children's development and demonstrated that they were good parents, they therefore squeezed another commute into a schedule that already was so varied, tight, and hectic that the slightest miscommunication or delay led to disaster.

Each day started with worries, since Bill and Sophia had carefully rehearsed the night before who would transport each of the children to and . . .

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