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.