There are 24 hours in 1 day; 365 days in 1 year. That’s exactly 8,760 hours in that 1 year. Comprised of 525,600 minutes and exactly 31,536,000 seconds. So with all of those hours, minutes and seconds we’re living in, I want the world to understand:
I am not sorry for being late.
I am changing my perspective and celebrating the extra 5 minutes it took my toddler to throw her temper tantrum, the 10 minutes it took me to chase her around getting her coat on, andthe 15 minutes it took me to find the lost shoe that she HAD to wear (amongst the other 15 pairs it just HAD to be the Paw Patrol shoe!). The truth is, I’m tired of saying “I’m sorry” because I wasn’t on time. It’s not you, it’s me. And I’m breaking up with my habitual apology. As her mother, she needs me to cut myself (and her) a break.
Some might say I’m disrespectful of your time. Please know that is completely untrue. I’m grateful that you allowed me time. That you provided me grace and opportunity in the midst of my chaos.
Ask most moms, and they’ll tell you they start their days early and on empty. While I don’t intend to live a chaotic life, today, and for the next few years, that is my reality. I choose to start enjoying those hours, minutes and seconds more than the guilt trip that being perpetually late provides.
Just to be clear, I know school and work begin at an exact time, and I have no desire to get called to the principals office. So here’s how I try to set myself up for daily success.
- I let my appointments know ahead of time that it is likely I will NOT be on time, but I will be there. Without expectation, there is less disappointment. I prefer they just remain happy to see me.
- When running more than a few minutes behind, I make sure to call…sans apology.
- School drop offs are assigned to the parent who is more likely to be able to pull that off. I’M NOT IT!
- I run businesses, and I don’t do opening duties. I outsource that to employees who don’t have toddlers.
- I build time into my schedule. For example: The appointment is at 12:00, so I write down 11:30 on my calendar.
- Every day I start with the intention of being as on time as I can get, but I try not to be too hard on myself. I don’t dwell on the missed opportunity to be on time, AGAIN, I simply set rational goals for myself.
- I prep the night before: shoes, clothes, bags by the door. When we wake up, we have a a better chance of obtaining those healthy goals.
- I celebrate when we ARE on time. Ice Cream for Everyone!!!
So cheers to all of you who are on time. I admire you, and I do hope that one day my life will allow for more timely practices. Kudos to all of you who continue to try, like I do, but are burdened by the changing winds of toddler and infant moods. One thing I have learned is that if you ask a child to hurry, they will SLOW DOWN.
To those in waiting: I respect your time. I know that you have a schedule. It’s never my intention to be rude. That time is as precious to me as it is to you. I am cherishing these moments. Even the meltdown has an element of love within it. You see, I am calming a sweet toddler whose crisis is a shoe, but this crisis is hers and requires her mother’s love and attention. These moments, while you wait, I am not spending my time doing nothing. Instead I am raising our future and I believe that is a beautiful use of time.
If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves. –Maria Edgeworth