Sunday, June 10, 2012

I’m Raising a White Rabbit

   This morning as I was rushing my girls to get ready for church a thought occurred to me, a thought that comes to me whenever I’m rushing to get somewhere. 

I’m raising a white rabbit.

   I realized that today, like most days when I’m trying to get my kids ready and actually leave on time, that I say “we’re going to be late” or “hurry, hurry!” about a dozen times.  What kind of impression is this leaving on my kids? The answer?  Let me share a little story with you.  Not too long ago I told my girls that we would be going to the grocery store.  I instructed them that after they finished breakfast they would need to get bathed and dressed and then brush their teeth.  Like the good little girls they are they finished their breakfast then went upstairs to get in the tub.  The morning went smooth with no real issues (go figure, we weren’t on a schedule!) In not much time they were dressed and ready to leave.  *A little side not here, whenever we go anywhere we have to doggy proof our house because our beloved creature, Maverick, gets a little anxious when we leave.  Lets just say he’s a nervous eater and a little high strung when he’s by himself.
   So my girls were ready and heading out the door when my oldest turns and shouts back in to me while I’m doggy proofing “Mom! We need to hurry.  We’re going to be late!”  She said it with such desperation, as if the world hinged on us getting to the grocery store “on time.”  I sighed internally and explained to her that we were not late, that we did not have to be at the store at any particular time, and that we were OK.  It was at this moment that I realized that most of the time when my girls are getting ready either my husband or myself are not far from them urging them to move quicker so we wont be late. So much so that any time we get ready to go anywhere my oldest just assumes we need to hurry or we’ll be late. I’ve been trying to be better, trying to take a breath and realized that it’s OK to be a little late sometimes, life will go on.  Don’t get me wrong, we should be on time to church, or appointments, or any other obligations we have, but I think in the hubbub and stress of our high paced lives we forget that in the midst of all our rushing sometimes our children get lost in the confusion of the race.  What’s the solution to this problem?  I have no idea.  However, I have made it a goal that even if we are late I will not let my anxiety affect my children.  It’s kind of a lofty goal, but it’s something I’m going to work on and strive towards.


  1. The one thing that kind of cured me of this problem is that I will ask myself, "So what if I'm late? What's the worst that can happen?" I especially do this for parties- I used to be so anxious about getting there "on time" and I'd go in this crazed dash and get through the door and people are just standing around chatting and someone will look up and say, "Oh, hi!" and it really just makes all of my crazed rushing around seem a little absurd. I try to remind myself that even if I am late, most of the time it doesn't matter as much as I think it does. And more importantly, most of the time those few extra minutes are not worth the emotional stress & damage inflicted on my kids to get them to move faster.

    With kids, the best cure for lateness is to set all your clocks ahead and convince yourself they're correct. In the mornings I set an exact time that we need to be out the door- 7:47 at our house, even though the bus stop is about a 2-minute walk away and the bus doesn't arrive until 7:55. For church it's 10:30, even though church doesn't start until 11 and it's 10 minutes away. I try to give myself that extra cushion to allow for suddenly lost shoes, emergency bathroom breaks, and other unforseen adventures.

    I grew up with a dad who was perpetually late and I vowed I would not be like him. I remember the first time someone complimented me on my consistent punctuality. I felt like I'd just been crowned Miss America. :-)

  2. When I was in charge of a Japanese exchange program in my town I was hosting the gentleman who came with the group. One day he burst out laughing so hard he could hardly speak. He finally stopped long enough to explain in his japanese accent. "I learn a new word. 'HURRY' you tell your children. Hurry, eat, hurry dress, hurry to car. I can't wait to go back to Japan and tell my students, 'Hurry stand up, Hurry sit down."

    It gets worse. He told me he couldn't shop with me anymore because he couldn't keep up. I ran to fast. That was when I burst out laughin. I told him I was doing my best to SLOW down shopping. I seriously was going so much slower than usual. You're right. What's the hurry :)

  3. I agree with KaseyQ as far as giving myself and my kids a "cushion" by leaving early. We live on the edge of "town" so we're almost always heading south to go wherever it is we need to get to. We're the same with Church tho--it starts at 9am and we try to be in the car by 8:20am to give my new deacon plenty of time to complete his priesthood duties.

  4. This is such a great reminder. Thank you for focussing in on something I don't always realize I need to work on. I always say 'My kids are growing up too fast', but I seldom sit down and actually savor the small slow moments. Thanks you!



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