The Best Laid Plans...
Today, my grade school daughter went back to face-to-face school for the first time since March of 2020. Like many families, we have been waiting for this moment for over a year, and while it’s for only two days a week and only for a couple hours a day, we were both more than ready!
In my mind, on her first day back, she was going to wear a cute outfit with perfectly painted toes. She was going to have a cute hairstyle, and we were going to ensure her backpack was full of everything she needed. I envisioned her skipping out the front door as I took an adorable school “first day” picture of her holding a chalkboard sign. It was going to say something clever about FINALLY going back to school or the end of the longest spring break ever. I am sure you’ve seen the social media pictures I wanted to replicate. I wanted to capture this moment. Afterall, this is her last year of elementary school and I wanted to make it as memorable as possible!
Well, it shouldn’t surprise you that things didn’t go as planned. Rarely do things go as I planned. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be writing this if things went smoothly. I saw an applicable quote the other day that read, “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.” I don’t know who said it but it’s true.
Here’s how it went down. I wrote the wrong time down on our schedule and we were two hours behind. So, her ride arrived at 11:30 A.M., instead of 1:30 P.M., and she was still in her pajamas, lounging on the couch playing Xbox. Thinking I had time on my side, I had just finished my shower. As the doorbell rang, we quickly realized that her backpack wasn’t packed, her hair wasn’t brushed, and there was no use in trying to dress her in an adorable outfit. Perfectly painted toenails? Forget about it. They were chipped and needing to be trimmed. A bit of chaos broke out as we scrambled to get her ready as her ride was patiently waiting for her.
Instead of mom-shaming myself and beating myself up over the fact that I wrote the wrong time down, I gave myself some grace with a pat of the back. It may seem odd to be rewarding myself at a time like this but hear me out. In less than 5 minutes she was dressed, her bag was packed, and it even included a snack and water bottle. I even managed to get a picture of her as she hurried out the door. There was no chalkboard sign, but was that really necessary when her messy hair says it all? In the end, she made it to school and ultimately returned later with a smile on her face. That’s what really matters right?
Getting back into the swing of things is already proving to be tricky, and it’s only the first day back. I am sure I am not the only one that feels this way. Whether your kids resumed school months ago, or are still waiting to re-start, things may not go as planned but that’s okay. Here’s one more applicable quote for you from Oprah that helps put it in perspective. She said, “All stress is caused by wanting this moment to be something it’s not. I inhale what it is, and I accept this time for whatever it has to show me.” Either way, inhale whatever your situation is, and focus on the positives today, mamas. You are doing better than you think you are.