My girl LOVES Kindergarten. Loves. It.
She has friendly classmates, an incredible teacher . . . and an adorable love for learning.
So last week, when I told her that she was only going to have two days of school because of the holiday, I was waiting for her to be disappointed.
Instead, she got giddy and said, “So no rushing around to get out the door in the morning for a couple of days? That’s nice.”
With a flipped lip and a tilted head I asked, “Is that how you feel about our mornings, honey?”
“Sometimes,” she said. “I wish we weren’t always hurrying, Mom.”
Her statement didn’t shock me . . . deep down I knew that my kids could feel the the rush of our lives if my husband and I could sense it . . . but to hear her say it out loud stung my heart. I know what stressing and hustling and rushing does to my soul . . . it’s the last thing that I want my kids to grow up feeling, too.
She took off to play with her dolls after I assured her that we would work harder to make things less stressful in the morning . . . and I took a second to pause and to BREATHE.
Because I recognized this moment as one of those ones that could send “I’m a bad mom” thoughts through my mind. The ones that make me feel like I can’t do anything right. The ones that can haunt me and bury all of the good things that I do to bring love, happiness and joy into my kids’ lives.
A year ago I would have let that happen. I would have sat in this and used it as one more fact that supported my theory that I was ruining my kids’ lives because I couldn’t figure out my own.
But that nonsense didn’t get me anything besides sadness in my soul. And I’m done with that.
So instead, I welcomed her little confession as an opportunity.
An opportunity to make it better.
Because I’ve been thinking about the rush in our home a lot lately, too. How we barely make it out the door on time for school because we barely have time in the evenings to set out clothes and have laundry organized. How I rush them into their car seats even for a trip to the store that has no “deadline” to be there . . . because my adult brain gets triggered if things aren’t moving at the quick pace that I’m used to them going. How I am hurrying the kids through their bedtime routine because I want my “peaceful” time at the end of the night to get here faster.
I don’t like any of that . . . but I’ve also done little to change it.
So I didn’t let her little statement turn into a negative air attack on my own self-worth . . . instead I turned it into the fuel I needed to turn off the auto pilot switch and make some change for all of us.
Slowing down my mind so I can be more present. Getting more sleep so I can grasp my patience. Remaining calm when we are running late. Saying no to things that don’t bring peace to our family. Hearing my own thoughts so my correct priorities could swim their way to the surface right past all of the social-pressure obstacles that have held them down.
Because just like the “rushing around” has been taking away the joy of my daughter’s experience of going to school, it has also been robbing me of the experience of what I love, too.
My kids. My family. My passions. The memories.
And the ultimate love of getting to be a mom.
Because when I slow down . . . I can finally hear the voice in my head that reminds me that I’m a really GOOD mom. A mom who wants to keep fighting off the stress in the hustle by seeking out the joy in the calm.
So my kids can get back to focusing on the joy in theirs, too.