Come on now ladies and gents, we have all been there in some capacity or another.
The most beautiful blessings in life are our children, for those of us who have them. Yet they can equally be the “little angels” that can push us to our limits.
I’m talking about those beautiful lovely weekday mornings when you’ve woken from a long restful sleep, ready to take on the world. You’re telling yourself, this is going to be an amazing day and the kids are going to be SO well behaved today. You are going to have plenty of time to get everything sorted, get out the door on time to do all three different drop-offs and get to work cool, calm and collected, and ready to give your 200% for the day with a big smile. J
So the morning starts with me getting up with a happy disposition… “Good morning honey! Did you have a good sleep? We are going to have an amazing and happy morning, aren’t we?!”. “Yes mummy” (butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth). Everything is running smoothly…uniforms checked, breakfast prepared and lunches packed. I give enthusiastic encouragement for the beautiful little munchkins to get dressed, eat breakfast and pack their bags. Oh, and don’t forget the homework, the library book that’s due that day, the new items and the learning words for the day, and everything else that’s been created as an expectation for Year 1 and Kindergarten!
Well, at least everything is still running smoothly…then within a split second…chaos breaks out!
One starts complaining she doesn’t want vegemite on her toast and that her pony tail isn’t high enough. (She literally lost the plot because of her pony tail?!) The other is having a melt down because his shoe laces aren’t tight enough and his shirt isn’t sitting the way he wanted it to. All whilst bubs is at my feet wanting to be picked up and carried all morning. I don’t know about you but while you’re visualising this… I’m having so much fun!
In amongst all of this, you are trying to remember your key priorities for the day and the various deadlines as you open your calendar checking the first meeting, staff reviews, KPIs and the list goes on. You finally have 2 minutes to get dressed, trying to remind yourself to make sure you change those slippers for your slick heels. (I’m sure more than a few of us have been guilty jumping in the car, half way to drop off only to look down in dismay…oh s#%t! I wonder if there is a shoe shop that opens before 9am!) and then return to the kids to start rounding them up, praying that none of them will touch your beautiful crisp white shirt you’ve prepped for your important meetings.
Finally, through major repetition and pleads, you get them in the car, with bags, homework, drink bottles while you’re breathing for calmness hoping your anticipated all-out war doesn’t break out in the backseat (as per normal). Drop off one done, yes!!! You are giving yourself an internal high-five while getting to drop off two with “MUM YOU FORGOT MY …!!!” (I’ll let you finish that one off). Still, you get to drop off two trying to contain a major breakdown while other parents are giving you that all unimpressed side look of “What have you done to your child?” or “Can you hurry up and just move already?”… You manage to put a nice little lid over the situation negotiating an equally positive outcome so they don’t go off for the start of the day upset. Drop off two done, internal high five again! YES!!!
Now to drop off three. You finally pull up to drop bubs off, turn around to see him fast asleep in the back seat. I don’t know about you but now I feel like the most terrible parent in the world contemplating waking him up as it’s 8:15am and you’re meeting an important client at 9am, AND you need an hour to get there. Still you get out, reluctantly wake him up and take him in. Drop off three done!
By the time you get back in the car to get ready for your first meeting, you realise how exhausted, how stressed and how overwhelmed you are feeling and it’s not even 9am! I mean your day hasn’t even essentially started!!! I haven’t even got to the pressures of the internal, conditional and societal expectations we are constantly required to attain. That is a conversation for another day…
Are you with me ladies and gents?
You can do this! You pull out of that last drop off driveway, your mind over thinking about your key responsibilities for the day, with other thoughts flooding in with images of those beautiful little munchkins of yours, and what you may have forgotten to do or bring for them. What a chaotic rush! TOMORROW WILL BE BETTER, you whisper to yourself…
We all know this song and dance very well and as much as we may think so, Valium is not necessary to solve this situation. We just need to be kinder to ourselves and acknowledge that we are doing our best. We are not going insane. We are human. We are balancing the different layers of our lives everyday to the best of our capacity. We are doing an amazing job as a working parent!
Despite the myriad of emotions we’re going through, let’s think of all the transferable skills we are developing:
- Multi tasker
- Sleep expert
- Head negotiator
- High-calibre leader
- Mindfulness expert
- Stress management expert
- Conflict management extraordinaire
- Executive coach
- Learning and development director
- Director of project management
And the list goes on… Don’t you need these skills in your workplace? Get those on your CV!
Enjoy those mornings ladies and gents and remember it’s ok to need a triple shot of coffee before 9am. You are doing a fantastic job everyday!
As always, keep smiling!