Late. And How I Plan to Fix It.

Recently I was reflecting on how June marks my anniversary of 5 years as a working mom – I returned to work in June 2009 when my sweet little Conlan was 3 months old.  Though I feel like I’ve figured a lot of stuff out since the beginning and have gotten a whole lot better at this working motherhood thing, there is one piece that still eludes me.

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Stop me if this sounds familiar.

The alarm goes off.  You roll over and your first thought is, “It cannot possibly be morning already.”  So you hit snooze, because you know yourself and you’ve set your wake-up time for a little earlier than necessary to build in a bit of extra sleep time.

It goes off again.  And this time your thought is, “I know I should really get up right now but I’m so tired.  If I just hit snooze again I’ll {get ready extra fast/skip the shower/wear my hair in a ponytail/forego baby’s morning nursing session/insert your own personal excuse here} and I’ll still be able to get out the door on time.”

Then the alarm goes off a third time, and you finally get up.  Next it’s rushing, rushing, rushing, and late, late, late.  And you’re cursing yourself for not getting up 15 minutes earlier because now you’re leaving the house 15 minutes later than you need to.

But you don’t learn your lesson, and tomorrow the whole thing repeats itself.

This might not be everyone’s story, but I also know that I’m not the only one out there who struggles with this.  I’ve become more of a morning person than I used to be, and I really do love the morning time, but the whole getting out of bed thing that has to happen first is not my fave.

I’m 20 minutes late to work.  Like, every day.  And it’s not a huge deal because I don’t see students at that time and I get my work done and I put the time in, but it doesn’t feel good.  Nobody wants to be late to work.

This is not the time to leave the house when you are supposed to be at work at 8:00.
This is not the time to leave the house when you are supposed to be at work at 8:00.

I can’t even blame my kids.  They’re easy.  They’re already up.  Conlan dresses and brushes his teeth by himself.  He needs no help in the morning.  Brynna just needs a diaper and clothes and she’s ready to get out the door.

Nope, it’s not their fault.  They’re not the ones who hit the snooze button.  It was me.

So this week I’m fixing the problem.  How, you ask?

I’ve decided it’s time to be realistic, not optimistic.  I can’t listen to the lie I tell myself in the wee hours of the morning that getting us all out the door will only take 45 minutes, so sleeping an extra 15 won’t be a problem.  And in order to stop believing that lie, I have to confront my morning schedule head-on.

That means making a detailed, ordered list of all the things I need to do between the time I wake up and the time I arrive at work.  Working backwards, I identify how much time each task will take and what time I need to be doing it.  And then I can figure out what time I actually need my feet to hit the floor in the morning.

Here’s the schedule I came up with using this strategy.

morning routine

Well, looky there.  It’s no wonder I’m 20 minutes late every morning.  Because every morning I’ve been lying to myself and convincing myself that if I roll out of bed at 6:45, I’ll still make it to work on time.  But I really need to get up 20 minutes earlier.

Which I know is kind of the no-brainer conclusion when you’re consistently 20 minutes late, but clearly identifying all the tasks makes it much more apparent in my brain that a 6:25 wake-up is actually necessary.  I’ve taken out the optimism and replaced it with realism.

So there you have it, friends.  If you’re having trouble getting out the door on time – whether it’s to get to work, to church, to an afternoon playdate, take some time and really look at how long it will take you.  Figure out all the stuff you have to do, work backwards, and stop convincing yourself that it won’t take that long.

I know all us mamas have superpowers, but getting kids out the door at super speed is not one of them.  Sorry.

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9 thoughts on “Late. And How I Plan to Fix It.

  1. Loved this post. And I had to laugh…since we were late this morning ourselves! Although I admit that I took it all in stride and instead of hopping into the car all stressed out and yelling at the kids to “hurry, hurry, hurry” we took our time (quick time mind you) walking to school. It made for a much happier morning. Maybe I should reevaluate how long it takes to get ready in the morning. Or maybe not. The last day of school is right around the corner afterall. 🙂 Happy Monday to you! Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 13:05:46 +0000 To: lesliebarbierimrs@msn.com

  2. Reblogged this on The Messy Girl and commented:
    Kristina @ Family. Work. Life is a great blog and really hit on something today that I have been working on — the elusive wake-up-on-time habit I have fallen out of.

    She makes a valid point, when you add all the tasks together to get you out of the house and into work ON TIME, that 15 snooze button cannot be hit, and no amount of convincing yourself it can is going to get you to work on time.

    Make sure to stop by and show her and her blog some love!

  3. Love this! Every evening I tell myself that tomorrow will be different, I will get up and be productive etc. Maybe I need to get some of the morning tasks done in the evening, when I seem unable to fall asleep, instead of the morning when all I want to do is press snooze and hide under my sheets!

  4. LOL this is so true for me. Just had my first baby 3 months ago and it is SO frustrating being late every. single. time. This morning was the first time I arrived literally two minutes early to work!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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