“Hurry up!” These are 2 words that I continually find myself saying in my head. As a mom, I made myself a promise that I would not subject my child to the spirit of “hurry”, even though hurry is one of the ways I function & always have. And so I say it to myself instead: “hurry up. . . .get in the car. . . .we’re going to be late!!!!” And then I calmly say out loud to my child, “we need to go honey. . . .please get in your seat.” And sometimes I even turn it into a hurry game! I say, “ok. . . .let’s see how quickly you can get in your car seat. . . ready. . .set. . . .go!!!!”
If you are a parent, you have probably guessed that I have a 3 year old. She is just independent enough to dress herself, go potty and get ready to leave. HOWEVER, she is just young enough that she puts her shoes on the wrong feet. . . .or wears a tank top when it’s 30 degrees outside. Thus, the reason for my sense of “hurriedness”. It doesn’t matter what I do, we are either ridiculously early or crazy late to every function. When I set aside a good 30 minutes to get her ready, allowing for those expected threenager behaviors, my little girl is an angel. She gets ready, wears the appropriate clothing and says, “sure mommy!” to every request. And so we are super early. Then there are other days. You know. . . .the days when we are crazy late because I am logical. I cut the time down to allow 15 minutes to get her ready since we were left with too much time the day before. And so she then pees all over the toilet seat, spills her milk, falls off her chair hitting her head and is screaming the whole way out the door. Throw all planning efforts out the window!
Because of my desire to cure my hurriedness, I have done some serious self-assessment over the past few months. I am a music therapist. So I have this strong tendency to give myself therapy and dig deeper. I love figuring out the real reason behind why we do the things we do. After some self-reflection, I realized that I am hurrying because of focusing on completing the task more than enjoying the process of completing it. I love fitting in just one more task. “Oh. . . .I still have 5 minutes! I think I’ll do a quick zumba workout before we leave!” I’m not kidding. This is me. But the reality is that I am so focused on completing the tasks, that I forget about enjoying the process that is involved in getting me there. As a therapist, we focus on the process instead of the product. When I am teaching a child with developmental disabilities to play the piano, we see every opportunity as a learning opportunity because our goal is not to make that child a concert pianist or even a good pianist. But the goal is to increase fine motor skills, on-task behavior, and following directions. In typical piano lessons, this process is often overlooked. And I need to bring that thinking into my personal life. Instead of saying to myself. . . .”naptime is at 1. We have to clean the car, get gas & go at the park by noon. I hope we can fit it all in!” I need to switch my focus so that I can enjoy some of these tasks with my daughter. I desperately want to enjoy spending time with my 3 year old. She can be so much fun! I find that I only enjoy her when I am in the moment, focusing on the process instead of the product. Once I slip back into: “the task must be completed!!!!”, then she becomes an annoyance and hindrance to the task’s completion. That is not fun for either of us.
Hurried mommies (and daddies): Take life one moment at a time. Pour yourself into each moment, reminding yourself that those tasks will get done one way or another. Don’t rush them. That little child will grow up so fast. Take time to smell the roses. I bet your 3 year old will do it without even trying!