Things They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood: It’s a Time Warp

Once you’re a mom, little things that used to only take you a measly second, like making your morning coffee, now take a chunk of time. You can’t complete this simple and most necessary task due to the 2 year old distraction demanding more milk in their cereal repeatedly, even though you have agreed. Your focus is non existent from the exhaustion of 3 nights in a row of only 2 hours sleep. You decide your sanity can only be saved by deliberately taking 5 minutes to pee because it’s the only quiet time you’ll have today. Minutes turn into hours as they just melt off the clock.

Getting out of the house is like being on a game show. You’re a winner if you were able to get out of the house without leaving a must-have item by the door, like the baby’s bottle, or that coffee you went to battle for this morning that really contains your soul. You win the bonus round if you are actually on time to wherever your child’s social calendar takes you today. Everyone who knows me, knows that 10 minutes late is really on time now that I have a toddler and a baby.

There is a good amount of my time that ticks on by just deciding what to do next with the time I have. Should I wash dishes or do laundry? Shop for groceries this morning or afternoon? Drive through for a latte before or after the play date? Why wouldn’t I do both? These are life altering decisions that take serious consideration mamas!

Nursing the bebe can take as little as 15 minutes or up to an hour. If you need to leave the house in 20 minutes, it’s guaranteed to take 30. It was suggested to me with my first baby that she should feed about 5-10 minutes on each side, on average. All of the LOLs! I’ve yet to meet a babe that only wants to nurse for 10 minutes total…

Time becomes the second most coveted commodity, the first being sleep, when you become a mom. Sure, everyone is looking to put more hours into a day and more winks into a night, but moms of the littles are at the mercy of their baby’s schedule, which is really more of a Chinese fire drill. Their so-called schedule doesn’t really reveal itself until they are about 8 months old. That first 8 months of a moms life with the new baby, she is completely incapable of predicting and planning a day, or even an hour. About 3 months old they start to develop somewhat of a consistency in eating and sleeping, but by the time you realize the pattern, the baby goes into the next development stage and your world flips upside down again.

With the second child, even my husband can see the time disappear. There were multiple days while he was on leave, and still now on the weekends, he will comment on the loss of time. It’s helpful when the dads can see and understand the struggle of getting through the day as a mom and homemaker, and for many, a worker bee too. It can take some of the pressure off of us to be the domestic diva we all aspire to when our partners can empathize.

There are key things I will try to do each day that make me feel as if I conquered the world of motherhood. I don’t usually get to do them all in one day, but most days just completing one or two of the special tasks is enough. I try to balance the focus of the tasks so that through the week all areas of my life have been tended to at least once.

I make sure to do one household project. This is something outside the normal clean up. Like sorting through the baby clothes, packing up the 3-6 month, and unpacking the 6-9 month baby clothes. Or cleaning out the fridge and freezer, one of my least favorite kitchen duties. An oil change for the car is a great excuse to sip a coffee and read a magazine. I try to give myself some personal time on top of going to the gym. A mommy date or moms night out, painting my nails, a massage, or getting a blow out. These are all things that make me feel human and pretty each week. And when I look better, I feel better, and I do better. I try to make time for my husband. Cook a nice meal, one that takes a little more than the average effort. Give him a break. Tend to the bedroom.

 I’m with the minis 24/7 but I try to make some special time a few days of the seven. I prioritize some quality mommy & me time with each of the girls. Reading, baking, or an art project. Something that allows all the time around us to stop. They are the only focus of the moment. Due to the attention span of a toddler, the amount of time required is not much, so at this stage it’s totally doable. I let the laundry and dishes sit, put my phone down and be present. Just witness the beauty of my children. After all, that is why I’m home. To relish in the time they are little. I’d hate to get lost in the time warp and pressure of housekeeping to one day turn around and they are BIG. Too big to want to snuggle, or sing and dance and be silly. Too big to need their mommy to kiss their boo boo.  Too late to show them that they are the only thing that matters. That even my precious caffeinated elixir can wait if they need their Mommy.