When it comes to being punctual, I have two things working against me. I’m Latina (yes, Latin time is a real thing) and I have eight kids. It’s worth noting (and perhaps also a Hispanic thing) that when it comes to my professional work, I am rarely ever late because work equals money for my family, and I separate that from the rest of my time – which is almost entirely devoted to the care of my big, busy family.
After 18 years of marriage, my husband, Sean’s patience has been trained to come to terms with the fact that a 7pm dinner reservation means we’re lucky if we leave the house by 7:15. Over the years, my more relaxed approach to time has rubbed off on him, though he still cannot understand my near zen-like calm when I am late to the airport.
My Midwestern, Irish-American husband’s first formative experience with Latin time (or as he has come to call it “Campos time” or “Mexican time”) was on our wedding day. I was 45 minutes late to the church. As my family was leaving our house to drive to the church, I realized that my mom did not have a stitch of make up on. The wedding reception was being held in our home and my mother had been up since the wee hours getting everything ready. Wanting everything to be perfect for me, she had been working up until the very last second. I refused to leave the house until the make up artist hired to help me, also did my mom’s make up because I knew she would enjoy the day she helped make happen if she too looked her best. My future in-laws were unhappy, but blessedly, the priest, a close family friend and pastor of a large mainly Hispanic parish, was unfazed. As (Irish) luck would have it, there was a pub next to the church, and the Duffys made good use of the extra time.
My poor kids have accepted that being dropped off late to birthday parties, practices, and yes, school, is just part of the large family package. My good natured, 10 year old son, John Paul, has developed the very sweet and practical habit of giving me 20, 15, 10, and 5 minute warnings before we have to leave for his baseball and hockey practices. I really appreciate his sweet warnings because I’m a super busy mom. It’s not like I am sitting on the couch eating chocolates and watching Bravo (that would be called a vacation in my world). He knows that before baseball practice I am running around the house, nonstop - cooking, cleaning up, ordering someone to empty the dishwasher, breaking up a fight, giving someone a sample spelling test, throwing another load of laundry in the washer, changing a diaper, offering a reward to whoever finds my keys, and putting on a bra and a hat so I can actually leave the house looking presentable.
Over the years I have heard all the psychological analysis which says that habitually tardy people are narcissists and I don't buy it. I’m late because I am always trying to do one more thing for my family before I leave the door. That makes me a mom. An imperfect, tardy, caring, hardworking, happy Latina mom.
Rachel Campos-Duffy is a FOX News Contributor and a mother of eight. Her debut children’s book – inspired by real life events - is a story about a little girl’s adventure inside the US Capitol where she learns lessons about patriotism, courage and her immigrant father’s journey to citizenship. It will be released by Regnery Kids in Spring 2018.