Guess What? The Late Bird Gets Worms, Too!

It’s 10:00 AM, and I just watched a late bird catch a worm.


I’m in my bathrobe, but it’s my pretty one and I changed out of my pajamas to wear it — mostly because I was stepping into the shower when I realized I hadn’t had a cup of coffee yet this morning, and I have shower-taking standards, namely doing it caffeinated, so I STOPPED EVERYTHING and threw on my robe — which definitely counts as “dressed” due to the changed-out-of-my-pajamas factor.

Look, I’ve heard my whole life that the Early Bird Catches the Worm. And I’m not maligning you early birds. Cross my heart. You early birds are probably great, what with your proactivity and arriving on time and chipper morning greetings and clipboards and whistles and cheery smiles and “you betchas!”

It’s just that I’ve been under the mistaken impression that there’s a scarcity of worms. The Early Bird catches THE worm, people. There’s ONE worm and, man, if you haven’t set your alarm for 5:00 AM (4:45 to be safe), jumped out of your nest in full-tilt flight and gotten a scrawny leg up on those lazy 5:01 birds, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET THE WORM. The worm is going to be LONG GONE. And then your family starves and dies because you suck.

So you’ll pardon my glee, I think, as I stood barefoot on my gritty, sticky kitchen floor, staring bleary-eyed out the back window and a somewhat plump robin stumbled from her nest where her kids were squawking because their brother wasn’t giving them a turn on the Wii like he PROMISED and MOM! TELL HIM IT’S MY TURN! and, with bedhead and morning breath, pulled an enormous worm from the freshly-churned gopher pile right in the middle of the lawn.

That’s when it occurred to me. THERE IS A BOUNTY OF WORMS. Enough worms for the 5:00 crowd and the 10:00 crowd. Enough worms for all of us in the piles of grit and grime and gorgeous and gross. Worms all around!

I am 15 steps behind this morning, and that’s a generous assessment; I’m probably more like 15,000 steps behind, but I’ve lost most of the steps so I’m down to the 15 I can find ’til I unearth more of them. My list of Things To Do reads like an epic novel, I can’t find my damn clipboard anywhere, and the last time I saw my whistle, it was rusty and half buried in the backyard along with my chipper morning greeting.

What’s a mama bird to do? This morning, I choose to believe that there is enough for right now. In this minute. No matter how late I am to the worm party. In my bathrobe. Sans shower. Coffee cup in hand. There is enough. Including me. Enough.


“Robin” photo credit Steve Horder via

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16 responses to “Guess What? The Late Bird Gets Worms, Too!”

  1. Thank you so much for the meaningful post. It was a real breath of freah air. I’ve personally,been feeling inadequate in sooooo many ways as a mom basically since I became a mom. The struggle to do more and be more and be everything to your kids is so much pressure and it doesn’t go away unless I start choosing to not even see it: stopping the competition. The only deal for me is that I feel like such a faker when I try to tell myself “I’m enough”. Does it ever start to feel like truth? Thanks for your hilarious and poetic perspective on life and mommying: it rocks! Stay solid

  2. I totally enjoyed this post. I have to agree with you that there is definitely plenty of worms left for everyone to get their fair share. I am not a morning person at all, but I can hang with the best of them until about 1:30-2AM and still get up at 7AM and go until then again for a few days anyways. 😉

    I loved how you pointed out that our kitchen wasn’t perfect and that your kids aren’t perfect either. That definitely made my day! I see all the time where everyone is suppose to have this perfectly clean home and well organized place, and the kids are suppose to get along and be well mannered. When the reality is there is always laundry that needs done, dishes always need done, and the kids always fight if they are not entertained by something or someone.

  3. Thanks. I wholeheartedly agree. There’s enough for all of us, and we’re all enough too. Plus I got an extra laugh from your post when I realized that when I read it in gmail, Google allows me to add all the times you mentioned as calendar appointments. So I could add 5:01 a.m. to my Google calendar. I could add 4:45 a.m. too. I’m picturing mama bird snoozing all these stupid early bird appointment alarms on her Android phone.

  4. Ok, this is a second comment, which makes me feel greedy, but, there you go.

    I have to add that this is profound thought for me: “THERE IS A BOUNTY OF WORMS.” I think that’s a spiritual truth, something like providence or god’s abundance or the hugely cosmic love of the universe. I feel really grateful and a bit weepy to remember that. I’ve have known, deep down, that there were enough worms, but I forgot, and I got stuck in this desperate chase of being-a-good-mom and just now, reading this and imagining you in your bathroom on your sticky kitchen floor (I have one, too), I’m suddenly seized with this quiet little thought: maybe it will all be ok. Maybe I’m not failing, after all. Oh, cue the ugly cry. 🙂 Thank you Beth.

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! You are my hero. I adore you and this blog. Thank you, thank you.

    I have never been a morning person or an extrovert, and I have recently decided (just this minute) to own that. Fie on the chipper, socially competent “you betchas!” I’m a introverted social misfit night owl adoptive mama and I’m enough.

  6. Loved your post. I am an early bird on to day basis, and a late mouse in life. I see the benefits of both. Have a great day!

  7. The early bird gets the worm and has a longer day, therefore feeling an obligation to get more done in that time. This mama will snuggle with my girls in bed as long as they let me or until my bladder is completely full and refuses to let me snooze. I dont care what the early bird is doing. I care what i am doing and that my kids are happy. Those Mom’s who can get up early and work out and shower before the kids are awake are amazing. I dont want to try to measure up to them. I want to measure up to me.

    Being comfortable in my own skin is something i am learning. I am learning from you!

  8. My dad always told me “The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse always gets the cheese.”

  9. You make my day, Beth! When I’m tired of not measuring up to all the “pinterest” moms (and of course no offense, it’s great if you can do it, but I just can’t) I come here for some cheering up.

  10. Okay, here’s my question: how do you define “early” or “late” for parents, since most of us parents work 24 hours a day? As each day blends into the next, who says the 2 am feeding or the 3:30 a.m. vomit is early or late? Very subjective, I think.

    And who says the worm is the tastiest breakfast, anyway? Totally overrated!

  11. As someone who hates mornings, is perennially late and feels like she’s failing her 7 month old by not being able to *be *everything (you know, thinking up age appropriate games, feeding her 3 meals, not watching more TV whilst she plays on the floor) this is balm to my soul. I think I’m nearly through your entire back catalogue (or whatever you call old blog posts) and you’ve given me so many laughs and encouragement, although I do feel kinda like a stalker in that I feel as though I know your family better than some of my relations! Anyway, ramble over, just a big thanks and hug from a York, England new mum 🙂
    Deborah xXx

  12. I’m sorry I didn’t let you know this sooner. I discovered late morning worms when my second child quit waking up at 5 am. In fact, before then .. I may have been out of bed at 5 am with her but I was hardly awake enough to be finding worms.

    Thankfully her younger siblings never awake so early or so gleefully!

    LOVED this … keep sharing, you make my day!

  13. I had to be at work at 4:30 this morning and came home to my son napping at 11. Needless to say, I climbed back in bed. It’s nice to know there are plenty of worms because I’m sleeping in tomorrow!

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