This morning started like any other- with me stressing about getting up, getting everyone ready, and where we need to be on time. There is never, ever enough time in the day and we are always rushing and we all hate it.
Except that this morning, as I was getting in the shower, and the others were still abed, I took a moment to stop and notice the anxiety I was having, and the urge to start nagging people to get up and at ’em. I let the hot water engulf my still sleeping body, patting myself on the back for being mindful of this and for redirecting my anxiety with the thought, “we always make it out of the house on time and everyone always gets where they need to go.”
Which is true.
I got out of the shower, primped, dressed and was feeling a-okay. Then I went out to the kitchen where Jack was grousing about having to go to school and Emily was plastering oatmeal over her entire body as well as the table. Lunches still needed to be made. Emily hadn’t had a diaper change yet. Hair needed to be brushed. Cars needed to be moved around and packed up with the gear d’jour.
I got overwhelmed.
I started rushing and any mindfulness and congratulatory attitude I had went out the window.
Emily refused to get dressed, so that meant we had to seek permission to treat her as a hostile witness, thereby cramming her little limbs into fresh diaper and clothing. By the time lunches made it into back packs we were running late.
My stress manifested in my gut, making me extra-queazy-cranky. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! I chanted like a deranged cheerleader of the annoyed.
Jack and my husband made it out the front door to the bus stop while Emily and I made it out the back door to where my car was parked and ready to go. My arms were full with my bag, her bag, our lunches, coats, her blankie and her baby doll. Emily paused on the porch to go through her ritual of looking at this and that. I figured I had the 15 seconds it would take to shove all our crap into the car.
I turned around just in time to watch as my daughter fell face first into the cement from the second step of our porch.
I froze for an instant then ran towards her, simultaneously yelling for my husband and fighting the urge to vomit.
Long story short, she was fine. We iced her and wiped her down. She had a nasty abrasion on her pretty little forehead and will probably have a black and blue, but she was alert and oriented, able to count, talk, and sing in the car on the way to daycare. When we got to daycare, I had the nurse check her, and told her teachers who assured me Emily would be well watched and cared for. Emily had already gone to play with her little buddies in the sand box and seemed totally past it. I also called the pediatrician who reassured me that toddlers fall, and that if Emily got over it and is acting normally, she is most likely fine.
As for me, I drove to work with intrusive visions of my little toddler doing a face plant into the cement, and berating myself for being such a speed demon in the morning.
Oh, and did we all get to where we needed to go on time? Yes. Yes we did.
So there was truly no need to be such a freak about rushing.
The entire incident made me check in a little with my mindfulness about mindfulness. For me, being mindful is being 100% aware of what is going on around me, and accepting it for what it is without trying to manipulate or change things. So, I’m sitting and being aware of my stress level, of the pain in my stomach, and of my feeling that I am the world’s crappiest mom.
I’m trying to accept my mindfulness fail.
And though I can’t change anything about what went down this morning, you can bet I learned something from it.
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