I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today! Here’s a Preview:
As a mom of boys, I often hear that it must be nice to have a drama-free house, and while that is mostly true, now that we’re parenting teenagers, some mornings are a rollercoaster of emotions that can leave me spinning for hours if I’m not careful.
Occasionally our boys sleep straight through their alarms, and when they do wake up, they are stressed, rushing to get ready for school. Other days they seem to awake in bad moods. Whether they didn’t sleep well or are just cranky doesn’t matter; for a few minutes they attempt to recruit the entire household to be as moody and grumpy as they are, only settling down if they succeed or we call out their behavior.
Sometimes one of our sons will remember last minute as he is rushing out the door that he needs a signature on a form or money for a field trip, or worse, he misses the bus, requiring me to pause my workday and drive him to or from school.
I’ve learned that in every one of these scenarios, I have a choice. When my kids sleep through their alarms, and I need to wake them, I can startle them awake or do so calmly. My response to their stress has the potential to increase their anger or shift the momentum of the rest of their day.
When they ask me for a signature as they rush out the door, even though they know they are supposed to hand me documents when they walk in the door from school, I have the choice to respond with exasperation or to take the paper, sign it, and move on calmly.
When one of my sons rushes home in a panic after missing the bus, he knows my workday has started, and that he has misjudged his time in the morning. When I hear the nervous, “Mom?” I know an opportunity is waiting. I calmly pause, close my laptop, and smile, and that car ride becomes a gift.