Jam on the Door Handle

As a working parent, I can find it fairly frustrating when our kids don’t do what I ask when they’re asked. It leads to unnecessary rushing.  

“We’re leaving shortly. Can you please turn that off, brush your teeth, put on your shoes, grab your coat and get your water ready”, they get asked 30 mins before departure.

“Hang on, two minutes, I just need to finish this…..”, they reply.

Two becomes a bigger number and then we inevitably end up in the same place again and again …searching for shoes, shin pads or whatever else wasn’t put back where it should have been!!

If I’m caught up in my own head, thinking like a victim, I find it hard to accept their childlike ways. I can make the situation worse with some grumpy remarks, and we all lose.

If I’m feeling mellow, I make light of it, have a bit of a laugh with them in a way that mobilises them into action. We all win.

If you’re a parent, read the following poem through that lens – the mellow one.

If you’re not a parent, read it as if you’re the child and see what it brings up for you.

Original (in Irish):

“Bhí subh mhilis
Ar bhaschrann an dorais
Ach mhuch mé an corraí
Ionam a d’éirigh,
Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá
Nuair a bheas an bhaschrann glan,
Agus an lámh bheag
Ar iarraidh.”


“There was jam
On the door handle
But I suppressed the anger
That rose up in me,
Because I thought of the day
When the door handle would be clean
And the little hand

For some of you, there’ll be so much going on in the next few days that it will be easy to get caught up in your own head like I described above. For others, mellow will be the norm. We’re all wired differently.

But if you’re skidding into Christmas on two wheels, closing out work, finishing off shopping, trying to figure out how you’ll prepare to host some family members you may not even want to see, my tip (to myself and you) for the week is…slow down…breathe…be present…and maybe…

Maybe even lick the jam off the door handle!