This has not been an ideal day, although it started out fine enough. I woke up at the right time, brewed a cup of coffee in my Keurig, and sat down to work.
I had planned to write, but had important emails to attend to, so I answered those. Then I connected in an early morning call over Skype with a client. We wrapped up our conversation when my sweet Natalie woke up earlier than usual.
We dove into our morning routine of showers, breakfast, and getting dressed (wait — I packed lunches and didn’t eat.)
And then Maggie resumed the complaints I’ve heard since school began: I don’t like school. I don’t like when people tell me what to do. I don’t like being quiet. I don’t like following the rules but I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t want to go to school.I am a mom first!
After tears and tantrums, we finally got into the car to travel to school.
When we arrived in the parking lot, Maggie refused to budge from the back seat of the van. She insisted that she didn’t want to go to school. I had to pry her from the car, and she continued to cry. Once inside, her anxiety accelerated. She kicked and screamed, and ran from the classroom. Parents, teachers, other students watched her unravel.
I knew I could not give in. School is a non-negotiable. And yet, I want to be sensitive and helpful to her in the transition. I let her calm down in the bathroom with a glass of water, and I settled in, waiting, in the school lobby. She emerged from the bathroom, wild haired, with red swollen eyes.
I told her I would sit with her and her teacher brought some school work. I got a Jolly Rancher from the principal and she sucked it happily while completing a math worksheet.
I started answering work emails. I answered a call from a friend, who prayed for God’s peace. I reminded myself that I’m a mom first — the work will always wait.
Suddenly, she seemed calm and happier. We walked down the hallway to her classroom. She sat in her seat, grabbed a sharp pencil, and started her work.
I kissed her goodbye, and now I am calm and settled in my home office. Pandora is playing a peaceful song, and I am still sipping the mocha a good friend brought to me at the school.
It is not an ideal day, but I am doing what is needed, and all will be well.
Here’s why: I am attending to the most important things. Top on my list is this: being available to and present with my husband and daughters. Next, serving my clients and team.
If I can stick to those most important things, even the worst days will turn out okay.
Tell me something! What are your Most Important Things? How do you turn a bad day around?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
In,order for my to cope w/challenging day I think of pleasant thoughts&remind myself of alot of using relaxing methods to keep mind at positive balance
What a great story, Becky. We had a rough evening with our daughter yesterday and it really rocked my wife and I. But knowing that I’m a husband first, a father second, and everything else falls after that makes decisions about my priorities easy.
Remembering to be intentional instead of merely reactive? Well, that’s a bit trickier…. 😉
I think any parent hears you loud and clear. We must keep our priorities in line. I know that most people actually respect you more because of it.
Good job! Maggie will be so proud of herself when she comes home!
You’re a GREAT Mom – thanks for sharing this day’s experiences! Your actions with Maggie reflect your core values. Living an aligned life isn’t easy – and being a MOM comes with daily challenges.
Virtual hugs aren’t as good as 3D ones, but I’m sending you one right now.
Not an ideal day, but a fantastic day for your child. My wife and I practice attachment style parenting and I applaud you. Some would argue that you are teaching your child that if she cries, she can get her way and Mom’s attention. But you did the right thing by her. You followed your heart.
What a fantastic day for you and your child. She has learned that Mom is there for her. She has learned that Mom listens. She has learned a powerful lesson in trust today. She has learned that she can trust that her Mom is there for her. She can go into the world and face her dragons (school) and be safe, and that everything will be ok. Mom has my back.
When my daughter reached her limit with school one morning, I took her to breakfast and we talked and talked and talked. She never once expected me to do that again. She learned that I am there for her. She never had an issue with school again after that.
Bravo, Mom! Bravo!
Sounds a lot like whitewater to me. Congratulations!
…you found “the line” and came through the rapid(s)
…you slipped into an “eddy” and will continue to make a difference.
I appreciate you,
Your post speaks to me on so many levels.
Yes I’m a mom who is busy chasing a few dreams of her own — but who often has those dream-chasing moments interrupted because, well, I’m a mom. And real life trumps my “want to” life on a frequent basis.
So often I’m frustrated by the interruptions to my day — and the “interruptions” have names.
And then I remember this quote by C.S. Lewis:
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”
Yes, my dreams are important to me. But the people in my life …they are my Most Important (not) Things.
Wow. What a powerful reminder. As my eyes get all teary. And what a powerful writer you are. Thank you. You are an influence to many.
I’ve had days like that. I have been reminded of how important vida.Lo impprtante of giving people time to Auno cares. As the five minutes that one should devote to support their children before entering school. eIf we are sensitive to the changes they are.
Having an ordered list of the important things in life helps the days that are not “ideal” less onerous.