It's so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Laundry, dishes, homework. Meetings, presentations, business trips. Bath, books, bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. We can get so caught up in our to-do list, that we forget what life is really about. Too often, we sacrifice what matters most for what matters least.
Well, at least I do.
I'm embarrassed to say that many a day in my early years as a mom, I couldn't wait for nap time so I could actually get things done. Sure, I loved my kids but there were emails to read! Groceries to buy! Bills to pay! Too often I would drive around the neighborhood, anxiously waiting for the boys to go to sleep already so I could go about the business of my day. How many sweet moments did I miss? How many memories, lost forever? And for what - to chase the myth of the empty in box?
While I'm far from perfect. The BadAssMama is learning to slow down and enjoy time with my family. Nearly six years have gone by in a flash, and my teeny preemie boy is a kindergartener who takes karate and hand-to-hand grappling (much to his mother's dismay, he's quick and very good at it). I can barely recognize my sweet baby boy, who just yesterday was nursing and snuggling in my lap, and today is a long, lanky three year old who insists that he's really four.
Gretchen Rubin got it right. The days are long, but the years are short.
With the new school year, we have a new morning routine at BadAssMama Central. Instead of racing to jump on the 7:32am train, I take a later train into the city and drop my boys to school. Every day. While Angel can get there as early as 8am, the nursery doors don't open until 8:30. When I first heard this, my instinct was to put them in before care so I could get to work early (the consultant in me still believes that I should be at my desk at the crack of dawn, even though I am ALWAYS there at least 90 minutes before anyone else...). Instead, I decided to choose the "we" over the "me". I could take the 8:48 train and still get to work by our stated start time of 9:30. This was much later than MY usual start, but I could certainly still make it work (I'd found myself there closer to 9:30 most mornings during summer camp and the world didn't come to an end).
It's only been a week, but I now find mornings to be my favorite time of day. The boys have invented an entirely new morning routine. They wake around 6 and come to snuggle in mommy's bed. We brush our teeth and the boys get dressed while I set up the next day's clothes and PJs for the night. After inspection (I found Victor's underwear on backwards yesterday...), we head downstairs for a good breakfast so they have enough energy to play and learn at school. I finish any odds and ends for lunch then head upstairs to finish getting dressed for work. We head out early, so that the boys can take a morning walk with their friends before it's time to line up (an incredible tradition at their school - great for getting the wiggles out!). Angel goes to line up around 8:25 and I take one last slow lap around the courtyard with Victor before walking him to his classroom at 8:30.
I love that the boys are excited to get to school each morning. I love watching them interact with each other and their new friends. A sweet and extremely well spoken 1st grader even introduced himself to me today ("Hello, Angel's Mom? I'm Dale. I'm in first grade and I know Angel"). We count Transformers on the drive to school (Camaros and tractor trailers), and pray for a good day. While we still need to stick to a schedule, most days the time passes slowly and I am able to truly connect with my boys in a way that was never possible in our previous morning rush. I love watching their little personalities develop and listening to their opinions on everything from what we should eat for breakfast to what they might do at school today.
I love my new morning routine. It's hard to teach and old dog new tricks, but I will be forever grateful that I took the chance to switch my morning schedule to make more time for what matters most.