Here’s what my new weekday morning looks like since my daughter started school.
4:30-4:50am (depending on how much prep I did the night before) I get up and get started getting myself ready. I try my best not to wake the kids until the very last minute before we have to get out the door.
6:00am my family is on the road.
6:25am we drop my husband off to work.
6:45am we drop my son off at grandma’s house.
7:00-7:10am my daughter and I are parked outside her school door.
7:20am we go in and I drop her off for before care.
7:30am I am at my office.
I’ve been up for almost 3 hours on the move before my full day of work starts.
It’s been a transition for my family. To say it has been overwhelming for me would be an understatement.
But I am getting used to it. I am no longer just in survival mode.
The thing that has made me embrace this change the most is that 10-20 minutes I spend sitting in the car with my daughter in what feels like the wee hours of the morning.
Those minutes are some of the most precious of my day and they breathe life into me.
What started off as killing time before I could drop her off has turned into a daily bonding session with my first born.
During this time she talks to me. In her 3 year old voice. With her 3 year old concerns and joys.
Without the distraction of her baby brother, or the television, or mommy trying to multitask.
And I listen. She has my undivided attention.
Unlike sometimes when she is trying to tell me about something that happened at grandma’s house or about a song she likes and I am half listening while I drive, or clean, or cook, or take care of something.
We eat the portable, quick breakfast I packed for us. Sometimes she pulls out her Kindle and shows me how to play her new favorite game.
But mostly, she talks to me. And I look her right in the eye and I listen to her.
And when she tells me how she helped out a cousin or classmate I get really excited and tell her how proud of her I am for being a caring, generous human being.
I take the time to shower her in praise and affirmation.
I hoard all of her words and her raw, unfiltered emotions – be it joy at learning something new or sadness at her grandmother being ill the day before.
When the clock hits 7:20 we wrap up whatever we are doing and get out the car and take a picture. Sometimes in the car, sometimes in front of the school, sometimes inside. Her choice.
And everyday she appears to get more and more comfortable with going to school and being around these people who are less and less like strangers as the days progress.
I am grateful that we have that time to kill. Mostly because I am aware of the bond that she and I are developing in that time.
A bond unlike any that I share with another human being. A bond I’ve never had with my own parents.
Yeah, sometimes being a mom is a lot. But being her mom is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.
If you find yourself having a hard time adjusting to something about parenthood, I just encourage you to seek out moments like this.
Moments that matter. Moments where you really bond with your offspring and get to know them as people.
Embrace those moments. Let them ground you. Let them breathe life and happiness into you when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, or worried.