Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Purposeful Parent Tip: You’re going to mess up. It’s not the end of the world.  Move on.

It has been a busy time in our household lately. As you know, I’ve been heads down in my Mom to Mompreneur Now! Tele-summit program and my children are fully engaged in school and activities. If I’m not conducting or moderating the interviews for my tele-summit program, I am chauffeuring my daughter to basketball practice and my son to friend’s homes. You probably have a similar routine, right?

Routines are nice, aren’t they? Their predictability provides a sense of comfort and safety, don’t you think? We come to rely on them as much as we come to hate them for they can also make our lives boring and uneventful.

While I do like surprises, I’m fond of my routine as well. Until… well, let’s just say until that routine throws a wrench into my life; like it did the other night.

I had picked up my daughter from school and dropped her off at CCD class. I quickly drove home, changed my clothes for a networking event, picked up dinner, and off I went to my event. Sounds fine, right? No problem. All went smoothly according to my routine. Until…

At 5:45 pm I got a call from my daughter. “Mom, do you have my backpack and trombone in your car?” I froze. Here I was twenty minutes away in the middle of an event and my daughter is at home with no backpack to do her homework and no trombone to practice.

“Yes – I guess I do,” I replied. I knew I wouldn’t be home for a couple of hours and she was to be working on her homework before heading to basketball practice. That time was now lost and we’d have to look at Plan B.

“You’ll just have to do your homework after practice,” I said. I knew she would not get home until 8:45 pm and that she had at least an hour of homework and practicing to dont sweat the small stuffdo. But it could not be helped.

I said “You’re always asking me to stay up late on a school night. Now you can!” She was not amused.

My networking colleague recommended I drive home and get my daughter her things but with rush hour traffic, I’d never make it. She would already be on her way to basketball practice. I decided to stay put, enjoy my event, and know that while my daughter might be a bit sleepy the next day, all would work out fine.

“Don’t you feel guilty?” my friend asked. “No, why should I? It’s a simple mistake, we have a solution. No guilt.”

As parents, we do our best to stick to schedules and routines, but sometimes they are thrown off by the unexpected. It’s how we react to these little surprises that says more about our parenting than the day-to-day routines. It’s easy to be calm, cool, and collected when things are purring along, but when there’s a hiccup, well, that can be a completely different story.

I returned home before my daughter and when she arrived; she immediately scooped up her backpack and set to her work. After about 30 minutes she decided that it would be better for her to wake up early and complete her last assignment. It worked out perfectly. She got a good night’s sleep, woke up early and finished her work.

We hear all the time, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” This is so true not only in parenting, but in life. Do you want to be the parent who freaks out at every little hiccup or do you want to show your children that you can calmly work through these challenges and recognize them for the little things they really are.

It’s your choice.