Kids or no kids, weekday mornings are a dizzying chaos of cramming two hours of activity into 45 minutes. Meals, getting dressed, getting organized and getting out the door.
When we were single, we got to take a few extra moments to breathe…if we actually pulled off waking up on time.
With kids, it seems like no matter what time you wake up and no matter how much time you have, you are always rushing out of the door, breathless, panicked, and to a certain extent, in autopilot!
Today, I took my two oldest kids to school early (or technically on time). We were all so proud! Clothes on, teeth brushed, hair combed, food eaten, lunches made, etc., etc., etc. We did it!
We pull up, and jump out of the car, and I start heading over to talk to my son’s teacher about his birthday. Then, my favorite person, Hector – who is the school “everything” – handyman, kid counselor, parent shoulder-to-cry-on, and more, walks calmly to me and my Gemma Bean (age 6).
He looks at me and smiles, then turns to Gemma – “Gemma, no coat today?” He did it perfectly! It is actually making me tear up now. He got us before Gemma or I could be embarrassed by a simple mistake. He said it in a way that allowed me not to feel totally as if I was the worst parent ever, even though it IS my fault that we rushed out the door with NO COAT in DECEMBER in CHICAGO!!!!
The reason that I write this is three-fold:
- Remember, we all make mistakes!!! We are human, and we are constantly rushing to the next thing on our list. Forgive yourself when you mess up, and forgive others when they do too.
- Your words have power – be smart in how you use them. This seems simple, but Hector’s word choices and his approach were so kind and non-judgmental. It allowed me the dignity to laugh at myself and then take care of my kid for what was a simple mistake.
- Take 5 seconds to LOOK at your kids. Very frankly, the school routine is so routine, that I just checked everything off the list this morning. Lunch – CHECK! Teeth brushed – CHECK! Seatbelts in car – CHECK! Then, while rushing my kids to school, I was thinking about the list of things to do this morning for work/home and school volunteering. I never stopped for 5 seconds and looked at my daughter before she jumped out of the car. She is so independent at 6, that I forgot that she really is ONLY 6.
So today, I vow that I’ll be a little better tomorrow. I’ll let go of how horrible I feel about letting my 6-year old walk out the door with no coat, and be grateful that there are amazing school staff at my kids’ school.
And, I’m going to go buy a couple coats to donate to the nearest Women’s Shelter. Because no one should be cold if we can help it!