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These Days, I’m Living Life on BabyTime

By Katie Allison Granju |

Baby G keeps me on BabyTime

I’ve been meaning to find a few minutes to write this blog post all weekend. Three or four times I’ve sat down to do it.  But each time,  I’ve been interrupted by Baby G;  she’s wet or hungry, or her starting-to-erupt teeth are bothering her. Sometimes she just wants me to pick her up and play with her for a few minutes, or she’s not willing to nap in her bassinet and instead wants to be snuggled up in my arms for the rest of her afternoon sleep.  Whatever G needs or wants at any given moment preempts whatever task I was considering undertaking.

In other words, I’m living on BabyTime.

BabyTime is a bit like an alternate universe into which new mothers fall for the first year or so after a new baby arrives. Everything slows down; things that used to take ten minutes take an hour.  Trying to leave the house  for a shopping excursion or work or church means packing and repacking the diaper bag, and then putting everything on hold to undress the baby and change a diaper, then offer a feeding, just as you were about to get out the door.  The idea of uninterrupted time to clean the house, shave your legs or finish a freelance project are things of the past.

Baby G is my fifth child – and my last. I’ve experienced BabyTime after each of my babies arrived, but it took me a while to figure out how to relax and go with it.  I sometimes used to find it very frustrating to feel like nothing was getting done, or like entire weekends disappeared into a haze of baby-holding.  But now that I understand that this period of slowed-down time actually goes more quickly than I ever could have imagined, I have surrendered to BabyTime, and I’m enjoying every second of it.  Every other element of my life too often moves at the speed of frantic. But BabyTime doesn’t know frantic.

My house is messy (understatement).  Freelance projects remain undone. I have Christmas shopping that’s past due, and there is a giant pile of unfolded laundry sitting on my back porch.  But G will only be five months old for a few more weeks.

BabyTime may move more slowly than other times of our lives, but it also only comes around once (per baby).  I try to remember that when I look at the giant tufts of dog hair floating around my living room.

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About Katie Allison Granju

katie-allison-granju

Katie Allison Granju

Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing. Katie also enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large Victorian house. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie Allison's latest posts →

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9 thoughts on “These Days, I’m Living Life on BabyTime

  1. Michelle says:

    Perhaps Baby Time is nature’s way of forcing parents to slow down and enjoy their children more during the short time they are babies.

  2. Keritha says:

    It’s to drag us out of our grown-up selfishness, the importance of our so-important agendas, our deadlines, our plans. Everything stops and slows and it’s all for the baby now. If we don’t get that, everyone suffers, now and later. Hopefully it’s not just new mothers but new fathers who also learn the rhythms of baby time.

  3. Danielle says:

    Thank you for this. I had a hard time enjoying baby time the first time around, and am still having a hard time accepting it the second time around. But, once it’s over, it will never be back again, and I will wish that I enjoyed it more.

  4. Heather F. says:

    So true! I’m experiencing my fourth round of baby time, and I confess that I find it difficult to slow down peacefully. I try to remind myself how quickly it passes. A friend shared this bit of wisdom, which I remind myself of regularly: “The days are long, but the years are short.”

  5. Ellie says:

    Thank you. I’ve been struggling a bit to enjoy this time, with a sometimes demanding 5 year old and a husband who asks, What did you do all day?, Why aren’t you ready yet?, and constantly tells me I need to “multitask”. Your post and the comments are refreshing–reminding me that it is OK, normal, good to slow down and share this wonderful time with my baby, who is already almost 11 months old!

  6. Kata says:

    May I add toddler time? I didn’t enjoy the baby time organization difficulties at all, I did feel very frustrated. But now that my boy is a toddler… yes, I find it way easier to leave all chores undone and sit down and build trainstation with him or draw a snail for the 20th time. :) I want to enjoy this age as he’ll soon turn into a teenager and there will be much less lovely spent minutes with only me and my son. ;-)

  7. Tiffany Rodgers says:

    It was hard with the 1st and 2nd baby but somehow knowing that this 3rd one will be my last, it has gotten so much easier to enjoy. My 3rd just turned 1 and so it is almost gone aalready and just knowing that when it is totally gone I will never have that again is terribly hard. I find myself holding him as often as possible, smelling his head while he is snoozing (which by the way is the most wonderful smell ever) or just daydreaming about him. The husband and I have have even talked about having another although we both know that is just not doable. Finances are already so tight and the economy is terrible, I wonder everyday if I will have a job to come in to since they have been laying people off again. I don’t want to take anything away from the 3 that are already here and a few years from now we will be too old to have another one. So I say enjoy as long as possible.

  8. tnzed says:

    My 12 week old also has a hard time napping in her crib, so we often have to hold her for naps. She is my third and last baby and I have to remind myself to enjoy these snuggles, especially as I go back to work in 4 weeks. Before I know it, she’ll be snoozing in bed like a champ, eating real food and we’ll be chasing her around the house. Baby Time is borrowed time, that’s for sure.

  9. Tara says:

    I remember how naive I was while pregnant with my 1st child and considering my maternity leave options. Work from home?! Joy oh joy! Yeah, notsomuch. That was the most insane 4 weeks of my life. Subsequent maternity leaves did not include any work from home transition. Baby Time is a powerful thing and there’s no use fighting it.

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