I'm a Mom, so I'm Going to be Late. To Everything.

This is a public service announcement.

I'm going to be late. To everything.

And, yeah, I get that it's rude to be late, and timeliness is important. But...maybe it's not the most important thing.

See, I used to get embarrassed when I was late to something because it showed the other person, "Your time isn't important to me." Pretty rude, right? And it showed, "I'm not responsible enough to manage my time well." Like, hey, I'm bad at adulting!

But something has changed in my life recently. A new little person with curiosity in his eyes and wonder in his heart has come into my world and shaken up a few things: pace, priorities, and pride. (Three Ps because I'm a nerd for alliteration.)

If you have children, you understand how time changes. All at once, you experience the fastest year of your life that was filled with the s_l_o_w_e_s_t days of your life. Right from the start, everything slows down because all your new baby does is eat and sleep, and while those things sometimes happen on the move, most of this takes place while you're on your bottom. You've never sat around so much before while also doing something so important. And then before you even finish alternating between staring at your baby and binge-watching Lost again, you're chasing a crawler or a toddler. Right before you're supposed to leave the house, they poop, or ninja past the bib to smash banana in their shirt, or bump their head and need cuddles. Everything is moving, but the clock isn't yours anymore. Your kiddo holds the clock.

At some point, probably while your baby is still new, you're going to realize you can't go about everyday life the same way you did before kids. Not everything happens smoothly anymore. Sorry, let me rephrase. Nothing happens smoothly anymore. It's decision time. You have to choose between getting to church on time, (which, at this point, would already take a legion of angels carrying your mini van over the slow drivers) and comforting your crying sweetie who just wants to be held (and not crammed into the car seat while you swear at the straps for being tangled). Before you decide between rushing to church or embracing lateness for the sake of cuddles, remember there are little eyes watching you. Little eyes learning what's most important to you by what you choose to prioritize. Suddenly, you look into the eyes of the person whose only need is YOU, and you know without a doubt what your priorities are.

You've already let go of most of your pride. How much of it can you hold into when you haven't showered in five days so you smell like warm milk, B.O., and spit up? How much pride is left after a friend surprises you with a visit and sees things growing in the pile of dirty dishes that have covered your entire kitchen? Or how about right from the start when you spread your naked self in front of a room full of people and pushed a human being with all the guts and glory through your vagina? So maybe after all that, it's not so hard to let yourself "look bad" because you're late.

That's where I am now. I'm pretty comfortable making this mass announcement: I WILL BE LATE. I'm letting you know upfront. If you need me to make a commitment that requires me to be on time, that'll be a no from me. You can't count on me to be on time because there's a little guy who's counting on me to take it slow. There's a small person who picks up a block and studies it with such wonder and curiosity that I don't want to interrupt his learning to rush off somewhere. There's a little boy who needs to nap after all his exploring and growing, so I'm going to let him finish his nap. There's a child learning patience and the importance of relationship and nurturing, and I won't compromise those things in order to force us to be on time.

I'm not trying to be rude or irresponsible. It's just that my family is a unit. If one of us moves at a slow pace, we all do. My priority is my family. And I'm letting go of any pride that tries to convince me otherwise. I'm putting time on the back burner to create space for the most important stuff...before it's too late.


Thanks for reading! You can find even more stuff about momming with faith, gentleness, and boobs on Her Arms Are Strong's Facebook page!


Janel B said…
I have a lots of friends who are late all the time and basically what I do for them is I give them a different time for our meeting so that they end up being there on time .it has only backfired on me once when I had an event that started at 2 PM but I told my friend who is always late that it started at one so that they gave her extra time to get there and she actually was on time that day and ended up being at the event an hour earlier than everybody else
Anonymous said…
Wonderful read! I'll definitely tell my friends about this! xx - Laura Rike
I have 5 kids and can do related to this! I am not that lasts usually but in them days where I am there is no way I'm making anywhere on time that day!!
I really enjoyed this post! It reminded me of the days when my mom used to drive me to school in the morning. I would usually arrive to my classroom, just in the nick of time or more often, a couple minutes late. One day, before exiting the car, I turned and asked, "Am I EVER going to be EARLY for anything?" My mom smiled, shook her head and sighed, "No. Not for as long as I'm your mother, sorry." And...she was RIGHT!
Jessie Mullins said…
Hahaha! And thank you!
I remember those fast-paced, hectic days of being a young mother with tiny ones in tow. If an appointment was for 9 a.m. I would put it in my calendar for 8:15 a.m. That little trick helped me get out the door with time to spare and be a little less stressed. :-)
Jessie Mullins said…
Giving yourself a lot of time to get going is a good idea! Naps are usually what hold us up, though, and I feel it's important not to interfere with natural sleep and rest patterns.
Suzanne Warye said…
Haha. This is so true. Now that I have two kids, I feel like I'm constantly late.

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