We Rush. Sometimes We Regret It. What’s Learned?

Being a working parent isn’t for the faint of heart. I have the gash on my bald head from this morning as a reminder!

I was rushing to feed one daughter breakfast (and convince her she needed a sweater) and chat with my wife who was doing double school drop-off before getting ready for a train trip up to Boston, where I’ll record more episodes of the Bright Horizons Work-Life Equation podcast. This is my sixth time doing the trip, so I know the routine, and that meant I cut the timing closer than I did the first time.

But this is also one of those weeks without any margin for error. I’m in Boston today. My wife is in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m back in Boston on Thursday. Friday is a half day of school!!!

Add to this my father – universally known as Grampy – is having a routine medical procedure so he won’t be here as our extra driver this week. So we have one parent, two schools and three kids for the week. Plus two away games for our older daughters. Even if I had done better in Calculus 231, I’m not making that math work.

So I was rushing just as my wife would be rushing right after me.

One of my hacks to make sure I don’t forget things when I’m scrambling is to put what I can’t forget on the floor in front of me, so I literally trip over them as I hurry out. I did that today. But after dropping my phone, glasses and bag on the ground, I charged too quickly into my closet, banging my head on the doorframe. That hurt.

I shook it off and kept going – until I glanced in the mirror. There are many indignities to being bald. Gleaming gashes that would otherwise be covered by hair is on that list. (As I type this, I’m remembering an earlier trip to Boston where a pigeon pooped on my head at the train station. It did not feel like good luck.)

What could I have done differently?

All the things I know to do:

–       Get up earlier.

–       Lay out the breakfast for my daughter first thing.

–       Do not read the news and drink my coffee.

–       Talk to my wife later on the phone.

–       Place my phone, glasses and bag further from the closet door!

Or I could just remind myself of what I also already know: that sometimes the juggle is harder on certain days. Some days, we’re juggling swords and flaming torches, other days it’s soft balls we cannot miss.

So we try again tomorrow.