I had a rough day last week: the kids were being kids, but it was just really hard to be patient that day. Nothing about my morning was that far out of the ordinary- we had messes, diaper rash, accidents, and tantrums in public places. Some days are just harder than other days I guess.
After that morning, I suddenly remembered a quote I'd heard recently, that "life is not an emergency." I'm realizing that I am so guilty of this! I race around and tell my son to hurry. Just last week I was telling him to hurry up and buckle into his car seat and he asked me why. I was astonished. I fumbled around for words to try to explain, but I realized I had nothing.
Really self, why? Why do we need to hurry? Why do we need to jump in the car and zoom off? Will one minute of waiting to let your son buckle himself in all by himself change anything? You'll be one minute closer to the next stop light. Why? Is the stress you are causing worth it?
This is definitely an ongoing challenge for me. I like to get things done. I like to mark them off my list and move right along. My kids pace is just so different from mine! And although I think that there are instances where they could probably stop dwaddling so much (hello hour long dinners)... most of the time, it's me that needs to slow down. It's mom that needs to talk a breath, think things through, and recognize that life is not an emergency. Sometimes I treat life like a series of imminent disasters- "the cup is about to fall! Don't throw baseballs in the house! Don't climb on that!" Granted there are times/situations where this is probably true (I'm looking at you, 15-month-old on top of the kitchen table), but I tend to make things a bigger deal than they really are. I recognize that I am quick to react, instead of roll with it.
I wish I was more easy going. Certainly, there are days that it comes easier than other days. But lately, I seem to be in a rut of stressing out about little things, which is not what I really want.
What I want is to keep life-long perspective. Because being one more minute late is not going to matter, even an hour from now. It certainly won't matter tomorrow, or in a year. I want my kids to remember that their mother loved them, not that their mother was always rushing them to do something somewhere. I want to remember that truly, life is not an emergency. I can be calm and adaptable. I get to choose my actions and words, and I want to choose to be unruffled and easygoing. I want to be less set in my ways, and enjoy things more as they are happening.
I'm at the beginning of this decision, and I'm totally open to suggestions on how to do this. Anyone have some great tips for me?
As I think it over, the first thing I'm going to do is make a sign for my wall with my new saying: Life is not an emergency. I think we would all benefit from the reminder.