Some mornings are hectic and wild and crazy, and they hardly feel like special or sacred time. I am also a night owl – not a morning person. But I have found that the hour just before I drop Liv off at preschool when the three of us girls are together making breakfast or playing in the bath, that’s the time that I love. We are fresh from sleep, smily and happy, full of energy for a new day.
Our morning routine is something like this: girls wake up around 8am and I try to have toasted waffles or oatmeal started so that as Liv pads her feet down the hall she can already sense breakfast. I love that Taylor calls out to me from her crib and when I put on a big goofy grin to round the corner and scoop her up, she squeals in delight. It’s as if she’s seeing me for the first time after ages of time apart. The girls eat and then they share a bath. When you have curly-haired kiddies a morning bath is always awesome to avoid tangles and such, and it’s a soothing way to start the day all around. Everyone gets dressed and we walk hand-in-hand down to preschool for 9am class.
I was reflecting on how valuable of a stretch of time morning is for me when I was hiring a new Tuesday nanny for Taylor earlier last month. I thought I might get a head of myself on Tuesdays and have the nanny come early at 8, but then I realized that that means I would miss out on one-on-one time with my girls before the real rush of the day begins, and I changed back the start time to 9.
I know what you’re thinking – an 8am wake up is late, and most mommas would be so lucky to have fifteen minutes of morning together time verses my one hour. If there is one thing that I am MOST grateful for when it comes to my current work schedule, it might be that flexibility right there.
For the past two months or so though, my morning routine has been putting me in an uncomfortable position.
I’ll preface by saying that, despite the awesome flexibility I’m allowed, children are mentioned so infrequently in my workplace that I’m not even sure if my boss of three years has kids (if he does, they’d be long grown. Grandkids? Maybe. I honestly have no idea.) Because of the new 9am school schedule this fall, I was having trouble getting back home to a regular 9am group office conference call after dropping Liv off (and running back to my desk). I was finding myself making up odd excuses when I called in a few minutes late and I hated the feeling. One thing was for certain though, I was not, could not mention that being a good mom was my reason for doing so.
The obvious fix would be to have Taylor’s nanny walk Liv to school. Easy peasy. But I dig, so much, that hand-in-hand stroll that us girls have as we talk about the exciting day up ahead (and stop to stare at a fallen leaf or let T run barefoot down the sidewalk yelling ‘walk! walk!). I also love that I get to connect with Liv’s preschool teachers personally AND that I get to give and receive big Liv hugs and kisses at the door.
I was agonizing over that fine line of responsible team member vs good mom. I did not want to make being a mom an excuse as to why I couldn’t be a good employee (I am the younger by many years to boot). That’s so hush hush in my work environment and I’m sure most everywhere.
I couldn’t handle the consecutive lateness though. Finally, I pulled one of the VPs of the company with whom I get along very well aside and mentioned the adjustment in school schedule and my new challenge. He immediately shared a story about a similar situation from when his daughter was in grade school and, without making any big note of it, bumped the group meeting back 30 minutes. No one even questioned.
Who knew that this big-to-me issue would be resolved with the right ask to the right person?
Many, many professional women go through life balancing both their home, their job and the big divider between the two so carefully. That’s a bummer. That ought to change because we women are valuable thinkers and doers in this world, AND beautiful children are a worthy excuse for rescheduling now and again.
For now, at this moment though, I am personally grateful that I get to embrace my mornings all over again.
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