Graduate-Level Parenting

I’ve decided that I will truly have graduated as a parent when I:

  1. Spend as much time actually parenting my kids (and enjoying it) as I currently spend wondering, worrying and writing about it.
  2. Consistently get out of bed early enough to get myself together mentally, spiritually and physically before the kids wake up.

No more would I be rudely awakened by someone screaming in anger or pain while someone else cackles and giggles wickedly. No more would I angrily come downstairs half-dressed and blind to squint and yell the same lecture at indistinguishable blobs I assume to be my jammied children who are rolling on a floor covered in Cheerios not watching the screaming television.

Instead, they would come down to a bowl of warm oatmeal and a happy mom with inner peace who took the time to exercise, pray and shower, and even dress herself. Armed with the grace of God, faith hope and charity, and the steel zen fortitude needed to face another day, I will literally beat them to the punch.

Imagine having the first thing I think about my sweet children each day being about feeding and nurturing and loving –not just the instant fury upon waking that someone has woken everyone up at this unholy hour and are about to wake the –oh, and just woke the baby. Did I mention we’re talking about somewhere between 5:45 and 6:15 a.m. here? It’s not like I’m lazing about, mad that they’re up at 7 or something.

Getting up before the kids is the pinnacle I aspire to, even though it means 5 a.m. I know of mythical mothers who do it, and even some among my friends. They are evidence that it is possible.

It’s just more of that self-mastery mountain that I’ve elected to mope at the bottom of for years rather than start climbing. And on that topic, my week of banning daytime computer use apparently starts tomorrow.

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