I’ve seen a lot of really great blogs and articles lately encouraging parents to slow down, enjoy watching your kids smell the roses and resist hurrying your child. That’s really neat in theory and I do love this philosophy. I recognize that my three-year-old has no sense of time and no internal feelings of urgency yet. I’d bet a large percentage of adult anxiety stems from feelings regarding time and I sure wouldn’t want this to be something my kids are worried about at this age.
“Children think not of what is past, nor what is to come, but enjoy the present time, which few of us do.”– Jean de La Bruyère
We’ve been so lucky to have my parents up from Florida and living in our neighborhood for the last 6 months. It’s made our lives so much easier to have my mother taking care of our infant daughter at our home, allowing us to save money and have only one drop off and pickup. But now that they’re heading back home I’ll need to get into a new morning routine and get a three-year-old, a baby and myself out the door by 6:45am, five days a week. My husband leaves for work around the time I’ll get the kids up so any help from him is really out of the question. Just like the anxiety of going back to work did 6 months ago, this is what is consuming me these days. How will I ever deliver my children to their respective schools dressed and fed and still get to work by 8am? How will it be getting the three year old out of the car, into the 9-month old’s daycare for drop off and then back in the car to go to her school? And it’s wintertime! In reality, the going back to work anxiety was WAY worse than the actual going back to work ended up being. I hope it’s the same with this transition as well.
I went to an amazing seminar at my daughter’s school a few weeks ago (Montessori for Practical Life) and one of the things they stressed is that if a child can do something themselves, you should let them do it (unless they ask for help). I want to empower her to do things by herself, but sometimes it’s just so much more efficient for me to do them for her! It’s so hard to be patient while you’re watching her count out exactly three squares of toilet paper or when she’s trying to get that last little bit of toothpaste out of the tube. I’ve been working on phrases I’ll try to use to ease her into the next phase of our morning routine without losing my cool. It’s tough. We recently switched things up so she gets dressed, goes potty and brushes teeth before breakfast. And if there’s not enough time we’ll just take a small breakfast in the car. It’s not a punishment, but if we run out of time, that’s just how it is.
We have a super cool, big, gigantic whale (at the kids’ museum) on our way to school and sometimes I promise to drive her into the driveway to see it if she will cooperate and keep moving in the morning – whatever works right? What works to keep your kids on track in the mornings? Do you have any easy, car friendly breakfast ideas for me? Are you successful at hurrying without hurrying? I’m guessing I’m not the only mom who’s struggling with this.