A Typical Thursday...

So, picture this. A regular Thursday morning, hustling to get the kids up, fed, dressed and in the car to head to school. Most of our mornings feel a bit like we are competing in a 100 yard dash, there is sweat, there are sometimes tears, and there is always cheering - or in this case, kids screaming loudly in a van as we wait in line at school.

Chris and I have tried to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual so we can take that deep breath before we dive headfirst into the day. This Thursday was not that kind of day. We woke up 30 minutes LATER than usual, with our heads already spinning - picture the scene from Home Alone, “we slept in!”. But, don’t worry, this story doesn’t end in me forgetting a kid at home - #momwin.

Somehow, we manage to get kids up, dressed, fed and in the car. A quick kiss goodbye and we are off on our days. The day seems to slow as we pull into school, waiting for the bell to ring and Will and I have a few extra minutes to chat about Pokémon cards and what he is going to have for lunch. He doesn’t seem particularly frazzled from the fast-paced morning we have had. Another Mom win. Check.

Off to school he goes with a few “mom kisses” in his hand, just in case. (One is my favorite traditions I have started with him - 10 kisses in the palm of his hand, should he need one during the school day).

I take a big sip of coffee, waiting in the car line to get out of the parking lot and head to drop #2, daycare. I call a friend, a morning routine of grounding myself and finding just a bit of “me time”. We laugh about kids, talk about each of our days ahead, and promise to meet for a glass of wine soon. As I pull into daycare, I wrap up the phone call and as I am stepping out of the car, I realize it for the first time.

I don’t have shoes on. Not even socks. Nope, I am completely barefoot. What?! How did this happen??

I laugh into the phone - “Oh my god, I don’t have shoes on!!” My friend responds: “What? Like not at all? Do you have an extra pair in your car?” Ha - yeah right, who keeps extra pairs of shoes in the car. Apparently, people who have had this happen to them before. She asks, “are you going to go home and get a pair of shoes?” I think to myself, I don’t really have enough time to do that. Besides, it would be an additional 20-30 minutes of babies in the car and THAT is enough motivation to just walk into daycare barefoot.

The parking lot is full of put-together parents, fully dressed, WITH shoes on. Ok... gotta lean into this one, I get the stroller out and walk into daycare, shoeless. Laughing it off as people look at my bare feet in amazement.

Now, while it’s a funny story - it got me thinking of how often we hustle, without taking a breath to make sure we are ready for the day. Often times, my brain feels like it has “forgotten it’s shoes”, because I am already thinking about the 8 other things that need to happen next and not remaining present.

If this Thursday morning experience is any indication, I need to slow down. Or, wake up on time  Either way, something needs to give.

Have you experienced the hustle? The mad dash to check off the to-do list, almost haphazardly and often times forgetting things along the way? I have felt this recently. “The forgetting” - whether at work or at home. An email goes unanswered, the laundry doesn’t get switched over, a conversation that I thought I had with my husband actually didn’t happen.

In doing some self-reflection, this happens when routine is broken, when things pile up too fast and too high that I can’t distinguish the noise from the important stuff - like putting shoes on in the morning. So, how do you pivot? How do you realign priorities in your relationship, work, home life? How do you cut out the noise so you can focus on the important stuff?

Do you wake up early to reflect? Come home during lunch to rest? Call a friend in the middle of the day to take a mental break? These things help me. And, lists. Lots of lists. And lots of phone calls with my husband to say “what is important for us to get done this evening?”

Last year, Will forgot to put his shoes on before school, and when I asked him why he had forgotten, he responded “I had too much going on this morning in my brain”. I feel you, Will. It seems that “too much in the brain” = missing shoes. Do you ever feel like there is too much in your brain?

So, this is me, trying to slow down. Take time. Distinguish the noise from the important stuff. Prioritize all of the stuff in my brain. Try and remain present. And, always have an extra pair of shoes in the car.


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