Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a reader comment I received on one of my recent posts about motherhood and its challenges:
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
It’s one of the most beautiful truths I’ve ever heard.
And if I think back to those long days with my newborn, when I’d watch the clock, stuck in an endless loop of feed cycles and counting the hours until his dad would be home from work to help me out, it feels even more poignant. Because now we’re happily in our stride the days just fly in. Weeks vanish into months before I can stop to catch a breath.
I often wonder what I did with my time before I became a mother. Whatever it was, I don’t do it now. Why? Because there’s simply no time. These days there’s never enough time, and I wonder if there ever will be again.
You might wonder why I’m yet to write anything about my recent trip to Crete, or why there’s still only been one post on my visit to Menorca. It’s all because when I think I’ve found the time to get blogging, Holiday Baby shouts on me, babbling away and grinning with all six of his new teeth. I go to him. The blog goes on the back-burner and I wait for a new five minute window.
Sometimes I curse myself for the time I wasted before I had my baby; the lie-ins (shouldn’t I have been up early, doing something productive?), the hours spent watching box sets on TV (shouldn’t I have been out and about instead of inside lazing in front of the telly?), the afternoon hours spent napping at the weekend (why was I sleeping my life away?).
I think about then and now, and I ponder how time has changed. You see, my son has been here for ten months and forever, all at once. The clock ticks for no one else. My time is his. All of it. Every single second. And when I remember that, I don’t feel bad for all that time I thought I’d squandered before he came along. Instead I feel grateful; glad for every precious moment I spent doing nothing. It was me time in its truest sense and it was wonderful.
But from time to time, I do still yearn for an hour to myself that would be like countless ones I spent being gloriously selfish before he was born. I’d idly read a magazine, I’d write for more than ten minutes at once, I’d snooze lazily on the bed in the middle of the day (oh beautiful sleep, I miss you). I’d do so many things, just for me.
Except I know I wouldn’t. Because I’d still give each and every moment to my son. Like now, when he sleeps next to me and even though I know that I should close my eyes too, I choose not to. Instead I use the time to gaze at him with my gooey mum eyes. I use it to study every inch of his face; to know the kink of every curl in his hair.
Right now it feels like time really is running out. He’s nearly one already. I’ll be back at work before this month ends and the time I already feel I don’t have will disappear all the more quickly.
For a few more weeks, it’s time to stop wishing there was one more hour in the day. Even if there was, I’d still want more. Wouldn’t we all?