Runing late is, or trying to get somewhere on time – slightly different but still in the same family of daily challenges in my opinion is one of the biggest forms of stress that mums encounter on a daily basis.
Trying to leave the house on time whether it is to get to work, get the children to school or to an activity on time can create an awful lot of unnecessary angst.
This bad feeling if it becomes hard wired into your family life can also start impacting on your family relationships.
I have worked with a number of mums who are stuck in this cycle of frustration in getting out of the house on time which then turns to irritability and anger at the offending culprits – followed by guilt at not being able to manage something which should be so simple.
When you get to the root of the issue the solutions are simple – but it takes a certain amount of practice and self discipline to replace what is essentially behaviour that creates stress and subsequently costs you more time with behaviour which doesn’t.
Try the following
- Establish when running late issue crops up most often.
- Ask yourself who or what are culprits. Generally when you take an objective look at the situation – the same pattern will be repeating itself time after time.
- What needs to change? Well actually – the answer is you. And yes other people may need to as well – but you are the one who has to instigate the change.
Why people run late
They don’t allow enough time – yes obvious I know. But have you timed how long it takes you or your children to eat breakfast, clean their teeth, put their coats and shoes on, strap them into the car, drop them off at the childminder – and so on.
Most Mums haven’t – they just guess how long it should take, which is not the same thing at all.
You have the “I will just do one more thing” syndrome. This maybe send that email, answer that telephone call….. – And the result that just do one more thing makes you late.
Perhaps you are too optimistic about how much you can pack into a day? Is that the reason you are running late? This is very common problem when people lead busy lives, they try to do too much in too little time. And then constantly end up chasing their tails and not allowing enough time to do anything properly, which then leads to another guilt attack.
However long it takes on an average day you need to add 10% to the amount of time you have properly calculated, for the unexpected incidents which will arise, whether they are within your control or totally outside your control.
And if that means you need to reschedule stuff – because you haven’t allowed enough time reschedule it. Quite often doing less is actually more enjoyable.
Do you plan ahead enough? Planning ahead may seem like a time wasting exercise – but just try it. Ten minutes doing things in the evening may save you half an hour the following morning.
There are always going to be times when you are running late – that is the way life goes. But by allowing realistic time frames for your day to day activities will make for a far more relaxed family life – and sets a good example for your children too.