One of my biggest pet peeves is lateness.
I’m ashamed to admit, some of my grossest behavior has stemmed from being late, fear of being late or even the concept of being late.
Whether it’s fair or not, I view lateness as a waste of my time and a waste of your time.
Sometimes lateness is unavoidable, but to me, that doesn’t seem to matter.
When we are running late (or I just feel we *might* run late), my blood pressure rises, my impatience kicks up to 110% and my temper flares.
Sadly, when my children are grown adults, I’m fairly certain this WILL be something that they remember from their childhood.
It’s not like I’m not trying though!
I have ADHD and my brain is consistently in overdrive. Since I KNOW this about myself, I create routines and time goals for our normal everyday schedules. The organization station I created for school, my clothing organization bins and my kitchen tips are all part of this system.
They are all part of a larger picture that help me function as a normal adult (medication free) and a mother. If I don’t force myself onto a schedule, hours (and events, activities, deadlines, etc) can pass for me in the blink of an eye (if you have ADHD, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about!).
I’ve even blogged about our schedule and most of the time, it’s wonderful. It makes us all happier and sets off our day on a GREAT note.
All this to say, our schedule is important to me…and sometimes it’s too important to me.
Proverbs 11:2 NIV—When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Recently, despite our clothing bins and our other morning routines, we were not hitting my time goals for getting ready. It started with my morning deal seeking…the deals were just non existent! I have a goal to have at least 5 deals posted to the blog before the kids get up in the morning. I was only at 3 deals by the time I woke the kiddos up. This was a BIG deal this day because I knew I was going to be volunteering at the school a good chunk of time that morning.
Waking them up, I already knew I was in a bad mood.
The night before, both kids had struggled to fall asleep and both were excessively tired and whiny on this particular morning.
Shoes were misplaced, my son’s glasses were nowhere to be found (and that thing I was volunteering for that day? The VISION screening at his school!) and my daughter refused to eat breakfast.
I looked at the clock at 7:45 (our goal time for leaving) and then I looked at my children:
My daughter was not dressed and finally just now eating
My son had no shoes and no glasses!
I lost it. Oh I am so ashamed of how I lost it. I kept up a steady stream to my son about his irresponsibility of losing his glasses (we found them days later in my MIL’s room). I repeatedly told my daughter how frustrated I was that she did not go to sleep on time.
Finally we tracked down an old pair of glasses for Noah (his last prescription, so almost 2 years ago) and I got my daughter dressed and threw her breakfast in the trash (awful, I know…but I actually don’t regret doing this. This was a lesson she needed to learn the hard way since it had been a somewhat consistent issue for her).
Headed out the door and got the kids to school with time to spare before the tardy bell. The whole way to school, I kept up my griping. I am tearing up just thinking about this.
After dropping them off in the designated area, I drove to the other side of the school to park my van and wait the few minutes before entering the school to do my volunteer work for the day.
And I felt sick to my stomach.
Don’t get me wrong, my kids were not little angels that morning. They did not deserve the attitude that I dished their way though. It did not help our morning go faster. It did not find my son’s glasses. It did nothing but hurt my sweet little ones hearts and MY heart.
I resolved that I would give them a BIG sorry when they both got home.
Throughout the morning, I kept being hopeful that one of their classes would come in for the screening while I was there. As the morning went on, I thought about my behavior and I thought about how saying sorry just didn’t seem like enough. I needed to show them with my actions that I loved them and that that love is absolutely unconditional.
So even though I knew my deal blog had a disappointing amount of deals and I had a to do list a mile long, I went and ate lunch in the cafeteria with my kids that day.
They LOVE for me to eat lunch with them. I’ve done it once a week since school started this year, but it’s always been a planned thing. I knew surprising them would be a big (happy) deal 😉 .
The joy in their faces was worth it. I apologized for my behavior and told them that I felt we needed a “re-start” of our day (for what it’s worth, they both apologized for their behavior as well, without any prompting from me).
That hour that I spent with them (they have lunch one after the other) at lunch was my way of acknowledging that I let my “punctuality” issues get in the way of being a nurturing and kind mother to them. It was my “sorry” in a situation that the word sorry just simply would not have sufficed. They would have accepted it and they would have moved on. My heart wouldn’t have though.
Will this be the last time I “lose it” on my children? Oh that’s doubtful! I am not a saint and they are amazing, but they aren’t perfect either!
The lesson I learned though was that I am going to make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll be small. Sometimes they’ll be big. Sometimes sorry will be enough.
However, when my mistakes hurt the hearts of those I love, I need to show through my actions that my apology is deeper than words. That I have acknowledged my mistake and that it has changed my heart and I have learned.
I hope that by doing this, by taking this extra step when I have acted in a manner not consistent with the life I am so desperately trying to model for my children, they will learn this valuable lesson earlier in life than I did. Hopefully preserving relationships that might be damaged by our pesky human nature to let our insecurities, issues and bad habits inflict pain on the ones we love.
Sometimes saying sorry just isn’t enough.
If you want to share a time when you needed to show you were sorry through your actions, comment below. Please keep your comment respectful and kind. Rude comments will be deleted.