If you came to the Harmony 2.0 event earlier this month, you will have heard me talk about Laura Vanderkam and the idea of 168 Hours in a week. You would have also heard me talk about what a nerd I am that I listen to audiobooks on repeat in the car and at work. (I used to listen to NPR but let’s face it. There’s only so much politics you can take daily.)
My point is, I’m a true, nerdy believer in the 168 hours. In my re-listening of one of her books, specifically the “What the most successful people do before breakfast” (I warned you extensively that I’m a total nerd, so…), she talks about intentional time spent with the kids before breakfast. I don’t know about you, but my mornings with my boys look like this:
7:00am: The boys have climbed into our bed for the morning snooze. We hit snooze on the alarm clock.
7:10am: The real alarm goes off and the real frenetic time starts. I jump out of bed, run to the bathroom, and brush my teeth. My husband is in charge of getting the kids to the dining table by 7:25-ish, and I (still in my jammies) rush to the kitchen to make coffee, makes lunches for the boys, and make breakfast. THIS is when I listen to NPR.
7:30am: The boys are at the dining table and I RUSH to wash face/makeup/get dressed in 10 min. My husband rushes to pour the coffee and hustle the kids through breakfast.
7:45am: The yelling starts about how everyone is going to be late and no one can find socks.
7:55am: Their schools are half a mile away; we all leave the house and my oldest is already late for school (7:55am start). My youngest, oddly, since they’re both in public elementary schools, has a late bell that rings at 8:00am. I’ll take it, cause I take our youngest and I’m hardly ever late enough that he’s marked tardy.
Yes, I know that we should get up earlier, but my husband doesn’t get home until 1am usually, so that won’t happen. Yes, I know we should have a more relaxed morning, but honestly I’m just not organized enough to get everything done the night before. And yes, we should probably get to school on time.
But really, I’d like to focus on the 7:30am-7:40am time frame. I asked my husband, after Laura Vanderkam told me to have intentional time with my kids during the morning rush, to have intentional time while I got dressed. He fought me for a second, worried that I would get pissed if he was sitting with a cup of coffee with I was still rushing around, but then agreed. And I remembered:
One morning, 2 years ago, when my oldest son was in Kindergarten and he didn’t have to go to school until 9:45am (WTF really. Insane.). When one morning my husband couldn’t take him to school, so I took a late start at work to hang out with my oldest until school began. That morning I opened Monopoly for the first time, and my little 5 year old fell in love with it. He was late to school that morning, not because we were rushing, but because we were UN-rushing. We were just enjoying the time, playing this board game that takes literally years to finish, during a beautiful spring morning while the sun streamed into the house. He was late, intentionally, because we were happy being together.
This is what I remembered.
There’s no point to this, no real light bulb moment of how to make our mornings better. But there is a motivation, now that I remember that Monopoly morning, to make things intentional. Intentionally give them a big hug and a big kiss before rushing off to change my clothes. Intentionally being together, talking, and enjoying. Even if it’s just for 10 min, being intentional about it.
We can’t play Monopoly in the mornings now, but we can be intentional about giving them love. And in my opinion, it’s worth it if they’re a couple min late to school, if they feel a little extra loved.
xo – Kris