I hate being late.
The truth is, I have always struggled with the thought of being late to anything. From a very early age, my man-pleasing side of me kicked in strong and the mere thought of letting someone down by being late killed me.
I sang in the school choir from 4th grade until I graduated high school. Over and over again the choir director would remind us that when it comes to group singing that better never than late is always the best rule of thumb. Of course she was referring to coming in on the correct beat of the music and if that was just too much for you to handle it would be far better to keep the sound from escaping you instead of being completely obvious belting out a note even a millisecond behind everyone else. If you have ever listened to any sort of singing group you know that everyone has to be perfectly in sink otherwise you stick out like a sore thumb. Needless to say, I took that phrase very seriously and whether or not this was the intention, I applied it to nearly every other aspect of my life.
Let’s face it. Being the mom of three kids? It’s not easy to get all of us fed and out the door, especially considering our current state of sleep deprivation. It’s challenging to get all three kids dressed, hair and teeth brush, fully clothed, and out the door on time. Considering my oldest goes to school now, the fact we get there everyday day at all is a true miracle.
Today though was one of those days. This week has been exhausting on all levels and I just couldn’t manage to get myself out of bed. My husband came in on his way out the door to pull me out of bed yet I still refused.
The older girls were up getting breakfast and at this point Berni was in her crib playing as opposed to in the dockatot on our floor with her CPAP. I rolled over and sighed as I thought about the tasks that were already waiting for me once my feet hit the ground.
I don’t love being the last one out of bed. Typically I like to be up before the girls with my workout done and myself ready for the day. There hasn’t been much of that happening these days as I try to figure out where to squeeze the workout for the day in. Getting up early used to be my favorite part of the day. Let’s face it. When you are barely getting any sleep as it is, there is no way I can drag myself out of bed any sooner.
I’ll be honest though that working out is sanity to me. Yes it’s hard work and there are plenty of days lately I want to talk myself out of that short run or gym class, but my goodness the days I follow through I notice the biggest difference overall.
Today though, that had to wait until later as I rushed around changing diapers, making sure kids were dressed and fed and lunch was made.
In all my effort to get out the door, my oldest wasn’t having any of it. Instead, she was rather upset I wasn’t choosing her clothes for her. A difference from her normal independent self that would rather go to school without clothes than have her mother choose an outfit for her. Some days it seems like I already have a teenager around. This morning, what I was failing to understand was that she wanted me to give her options. Not just pick out one outfit, but pick out multiple outfits for her choosing.
Between her sobs and my impatience, I continued to put kids in strollers, grab a backpack, eventually talk my oldest into getting dressed and we ran out the door. Literally. All three packed into the stroller running to school.
I was several minutes late but not late enough to have to go to the office for a tardy slip. I got plenty of those in my school age days. My oldest, much like me is completely horrified at the thought she would ever have to get one. So I try my hardest to keep that from happening.
The day continued on in the same fashion.
I looked at the clock with the minutes passing by as if it were some sort of game to see how much quicker the clock to wind down the time as I ran around the house throwing stuff into the diaper bag for Bernadette, digging through drawers of clothes trying to find tights, oh, and making myself some breakfast.
I pulled quickly into the parking lot at ballet, opened the stroller and once again found myself running to the next commitment.
I can honestly say at this point in my life, I still hate being late! I also have a much better understanding of what it’s actually like to get all of my kids out the door on-time to anything. And, to have one who is utterly paranoid of being late. It’s a lot to manage.
In all of this though, I am trying to learn how to not snap at the girls words like “hurry up” or “we are going to be late.” I feel like I am constantly telling them to hurry hurry hurry. Of course I want to be respectful of others and manage my time properly, but I also don’t need to be snapping at them to get their rears in gear and out the door at a quicker pace.
I am learning what they need in order to be successfully out of the door on time. With smiles on their faces instead of upset mama didn’t help pick out the best outfit. Slowing it down is hard to do especially with a full schedule like ours, but by even changing my words, it makes all the difference in the world.