Today I am eating yesterday’s breakfast. Breakfast didn’t happen for me yesterday, but I am OK with that. Let me tell you why.
One thing that is guaranteed to put me into a cranky mood is feeling rushed and/or late. Being a parent of one four year old, one two year old and one 3 week old means that feeling rushed and/or late is inevitable. For the longest time the morning rush to get to Simeon to Jr. primary, Ariella to daycare and myself and Meghan to work was by far the least enjoyable part of my day.
Bags need to be packed, lunches need to be made, breakfast needed to be eaten and cleaned up after, we needed to get dressed, and on and on it goes. For the first few weeks I made the same mistake over and over again. I started my day at the time I knew if everyone just did what they were supposed to at the speed I wanted them too we could be ready and out the door with time to spare. But I had two problems;
1. People were not always doing what I thought they were supposed to do
2. When they were doing what they were supposed to they would not do it at the speed I wanted them to
This would result in one very grumpy Dad. It felt like I was spending all morning growling like a bear at everyone to hurry up. Finally after a few weeks I came to my senses and I switched my strategy. Since I couldn’t change anyone else’s behavior I decided to change my behavior.
I woke up an hour earlier to make lunches, and get the bags packed before anyone woke up. Once they were sitting neatly by the door I got breakfast on the table for everyone else, then I headed to the bathroom for a nice shower and shave.
Once I was dressed I started getting Meghan and the kids out of bed and ready to go. While they ate I did my kitchen tidying and I tossed my breakfast into my bag so I could eat it in my office in quiet. All of a sudden the morning grumpy dad bear was gone. I didn’t have a kid sobbing putting on their boots because I took their breakfast away, and I didn’t have a wife giving my the stink eye for telling her to do her hair faster.
Most days this works very well. Yesterday for a number of reasons turned into one of those days where the breakfast I tossed into my bag sat there uneaten. Until now anyway. Today I am eating yesterday’s breakfast. But yesterday Simeon and I laughed and chatted as he ate and got dressed for school. I got a chance to empty the dishwasher before we left. And Meghan Asher and Ariella were able to sleep in. I am OK with that.
Awesome! As you know, I get that stressed out feeling. I am either right on time or EXTREMELY late. I always try to give myself lots of extra time, but time always slips away. And sometimes, I don’t sweat it. If I know it isn’t an appointment I’m making, I give myself grace to take a little extra time and be a little late.
But all of that above will be me in a couple of days. Yes, even the awake before everyone bit so that maybe the house won’t look like such a pigsty.
I just wish I could not stress about being rushed/late. That is the advice Meghan gives me from time to time. It just doesn’t seem to take.
The trick is to pick your battles. Doctor’s appointment or church meeting? Yeah – maybe stress about it. Playdate with Tish and Jason and I? Don’t sweat it. Kids are playing and having fun whether you’re there or not. 🙂
…not that I have any of those playdates left. 😦
That is a good point. Picking ones battles if so often the key to success.
And we will have to find a time for other playdates. They not be as often but if we pick a week end we may get all the parents too!