Five lessons learned from a forgotten lunch.
Yep, school is in session. It's much more peaceful around the home front, and for us working moms with school-aged kids, it's a lot less guilt-ridden time of the year. They're at school -- we're at work. That is until the dreaded call or text that sounds or reads something like: Mom, I can't talk/text, but I forgot (insert item) and I need it (insert time, usually, immediately). These calls used to rattle me, throw off my work-life mojo for the day. But no longer. I've decided that there are great lessons to be learned by the Real You in the "I forgot my lunch" scenario and I thought I'd share them with you.
Lesson 1: Nobody's perfect. I know, secretly when your child forgets something, you find it to be a reflection on you. Stop it. It's not. You cannot possibly be in charge of all of the tasks, minutiae and everything else that you have put yourself in charge of. You know that, I know that. So stop beating yourself up. When you do arrive to drop off the forgotten item, take a look at all of the other items other children forgot. And back at home, make sure you are sharing the parenting chores with your spouse and, age appropriately, with your kids.
Lesson 2: You aren't alone. See close of Lesson 1. Motherhood, just like any all-encompassing pursuit can be isolating. If you find yourself alone when you'd rather not be, or just feeling like you aren't connected to any other adults, it's time to ask for help. You aren't alone, but you probably haven't let anyone who loves you know how you feel. Remember the other forgotten item runners? There's another mom out there feeling the same way you do. Find her.
Lesson 3: Don't get stuck with the presentation -- it's the execution that matters. Here's what I mean. As a new mom at the elementary school, I remember vividly the first "Mom, I forgot my" call. Not only did I feel not perfect (see lesson 1), I stressed over how to deliver the forgotten item. I don't even remember what it was, but I do remember worrying about whether a Target plastic bag would be okay, or if it should be a hand-made bag with his name appliqud on the side. Should I include a note? If I didn't, was I a bad mom? If I did, was I hovering? All of these thoughts are more about you than your child. Presentation does matter in business setting or a fancy restaurant; at school it's get me the stuff, ma'am, and especially once they're in middle school and beyond -- scram!
Lesson 4: Enjoy the interruption. Yes, interruptions are annoying -- especially if you're on deadline or when you've finally snagged a moment for yourself -- but once you receive the call, try to embrace the moment. Maybe the universe had a different plan for your day? Just be open. Take a deep breath and see where it leads you. Sometimes even, these types of calls provide great fodder for a blog.
Lesson 5: They are only young once. You know this. I know this. They are only our little people for a short time. Someday, you and I will be fondly remembering these runs to the school -- sometimes a couple in the same day -- with a smile. Try to remind yourself of that the next time you see the text. It's nice to be needed. And they do, so much, need you.
Kaira Rouda is a mother of four, author and entrepreneur. Sign up for her tip of the week and get your copy of Kaira's new eBook: Turn your Passion into Profit! To learn more, visit www.KairaRouda.com, follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn.