• The Family Grove

How I Got TIME Back by Heather McMechan

Do you feel like you want TIME back? Who knew the world would turn so upside in 2020? When I found out that my children would be staying home for the rest of the school year, the panic kicked in. I thought to myself: • How am I going to do this all day? • When will I get my work done? • What time is the next zoom? • When will this end? As TIME came back to me, I saw the stress level in my children change. The new normal mornings seem quieter and different. There was no morning chaos of finding uniforms, school work and swallowing breakfast running out the door. Now, they could roll out of bed, throw their hair up in a scrunchie and roll into their Zoom. Enjoying my morning coffee became a luxury as I sat outside-taking TIME to quietly admire the flowers, birds and iguanas I never noticed before. In the old normal, I would have been dragging tired kids to the car. Telling them to hurry up while watching TIME tick away. I would drive like a mad woman while lecturing about the shoe basket they should utilize by the front door. After almost 30 minutes of my morning spent in the car, I would arrive home, take a deep breath and look at the clock. My morning would be scheduled down to the last minute. Writing content, scheduled conference calls and graphics to be made. Then the ever scrolling and scheduling on social media. Never breaking for a proper lunch. I couldn’t remember if I had even had breakfast, brushed my teeth or put on deodorant. Before I realized, I had to pick up the kids from school. I would prepare for any after school activities. This included snacks, drinks, musical instruments, sports gear and the list goes on. I would turn into an unofficial Uber driver for the next 3 hours. At pick up, the carline conversations would consist of my kids sharing their day from the back seat. But I’m not sure I was ever fully present as I watched the clock driving to the next destination…again worried about TIME. After a full afternoon of driving and activities, we would finally reach the driveway tired, weary and hungry. That’s when I feel that TIME had left me again. Next was homework, dinner on the fly, cleaning up the kitchen and yelling at kids to get ready for bed. I’d barely had TIME to breathe or do anything special with my kids other than the structured scheduled hamster wheel cycle I had created. Now, back to the new normal. Since there is no where to go and no schedule outside of the house, we’ve got TIME back as I’ve joked with others and realized these last few months. My family has breakfast, lunch sometimes and dinner together. Food has become more about bringing the family together like when I was growing up. We have movie night, game night and I feel almost lost if I don’t get my evening walk in with my family. The laundry piles up and I don’t care. The emails continue to clog my computer, but I’ll get to them later. Instead, I make the choice for snuggles or comforting my kids as this is still uncertain of what’s to come. On another note, I was invited to a special Zoom with other moms a few weeks ago. My friend hosting asked us what we missed before quarantine. What’s interesting was every mom said what they didn’t miss and that was the crazy schedule, always in the car and never having enough TIME. That’s when it really hit me. I had finally had TIME back. Do I even want to go back to the old normal and not having enough TIME? Well, it seems in the mom world, many of us don’t. So here is TIME staring you right in the face. Now what are you going to do with it? Heather


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