The Time Warp of Motherhood

By July 10, 2011Get Inspired

I have no idea how it happened. But, somehow, the beautiful girl in this photo was a baby in my arms just minutes ago. I held her close and stared for hours at every detail of her face, those clenched little fists and her wispy head of hair. Me, clueless about what to do with an infant, shocked the doctors were actually letting us take her home.

By ourselves.

Yet, we’ve managed to keep her alive for 9 years and here I sit staring at her beautiful face and sun drenched hair. Now my fists are the ones clenched, knowing that at 9 she’s halfway to college. It makes me cling tight to today….and tomorrow…and the days to come.

So, I’ll play Monopoly 12 times in a row and read Boxcar Children books until I go cross-eyed. I’ll remind the kids not to run in the house. Again. I’ll lose my patience and then gain even more. I’ll stay up late doing school projects, watching movies and writing in journals. I’ll search for lost library books, brush doll hair and trip over shoes.

And I’ll drink in every moment, because 9 years goes by in a matter of minutes, it seems.

Let’s Chat…

Have you experienced the “time warp” of motherhood yet? How do you remember to cherish each day?

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26 Comments

  • Avatar Aimee says:

    The reality of the “time warp” of motherhood hit me hard this past week as my girl graduated from Grade 8! Here’s a short blog post and the photo in it illustrates the “time warp” very well…

    http://mamaof2greatkids.blogspot.com/2011/06/schools-out-hello-summer.html

    I remember to cherish each day by…
    Fully living each moment.
    Lovingly holding on to every memory.
    For time flows like a relentless river.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Lovely words, Aimee. And the side by side pic in your post is adorable! I need to remember to do one like that when my girl finishes grade school.

      • Avatar Aimee says:

        Yes, I’m so glad I remembered to take that photo on that last day of Grade 8 as it was such a busy day with a flurry of activities.

  • Avatar Faith says:

    Kat, thank you for posting this. It’s a great reminder to me to cherish every moment I have with my baby girl (she’s 9 months). Fifty years from now, I want her to remember me as a loving mom who is always there for her and not running around chasing my tail with endless work that takes me away from her.

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    Please don’t pay attention to the timestamp on this comment as you’ll probably notice I will most likely not maximize my morning tomorrow. We were at a wedding tonight and the girls headed to bed way later than usual. They were the flowergirls for our dear friends of 20+ years. As I was holding my daughter to watch them cut the cake, she said, “Mommy, for my wedding I want a strawberry cake.” I got teary-eyed thinking about the day she will get married!! How’s that for a fast forward time warp? =p Hope you had a great day celebrating your girl!

  • Avatar Erin says:

    Great post & great reminder of how fleeting time is! I’m in the preschool/baby years with my girls. Trying to soak in every moment!!

  • Avatar Nohemi says:

    So true!

  • Avatar Haley says:

    This post made my stomach hurt and my eyes get all misty today because my oldest will start kindergarten in 5 short weeks. I am having a hard time with all of the growing up that is going on in my house this summer. I am drinking it all in.

  • Avatar Bren says:

    My baby girl will be 13 next month! I have been facing this time warp head on lately as it seems she jumped from age 9 to 13. Those years went by very quickly because I became busy with her two younger sisters. I try to hold on to every moment, hope she remembers the many times I sat on the floor and played for hours and I look for chances to stay an active part of her life so she won’t pull away in her teen years.

    I may not always have the energy to write down every detail of our lives, I try to remember the big things, the milestones and hope my children remember the good times, know I always meant well, and forgive me the many times I became frustrated, said harsh things or lost patience.

    I am always praying for our life together to slow down so that I can savor it even more.

  • Avatar Nadene says:

    Oh, how true! It is really so sad when you look ahead, but actually you feel so proud when you watch them becoming independent! I recently thought about this too and wrote a post: Ultimate Goal – Independence. Yes, we must savor every moment!

  • Avatar Reba says:

    It is good to know that the time warp happens everywhere and not just in my house!
    I have found the best way to cherish the moments is to actually prepare ahead of time….which means waking up early and getting myself ready for the day and the chores done before the day starts! Then when I am asked to build legos or read stories I can say “yes!” without feeling like I should be doing something else. It’s not easy to always get up and get it done, but boy is it worth it!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Reba,
      That’s a benefit of getting up early that I don’t think I’d realized before. What a great perspective. Yet another inspiration to obey my alarm clock. Thanks!

    • Avatar Meagan says:

      This is a great motivator to get things done early in the day! Thanks for sharing, Reba.

  • Avatar Stacy says:

    My oldest is 9 too (10 in a few weeks). I feel exactly the same way. It has gone so incredibly fast I can hardly believe it.

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    Our fourth child was just born three weeks ago. Our oldest just turned six last week. And yes, it seems like yesterday my “biggest big boy” was no bigger than his “littlest little sister.” With this one, I don’t try to accomplish as much. I spend more time snuggling her, rocking her, and just holding her because I know sometime all too soon she won’t fit in the crook of my arm.

  • Avatar Gina says:

    I have a 4 and a 5 year old. To drink it all in sometimes I just stand and watch them…taking a mental picture and think about how thankful I am for them. Then I jump in have fun!

  • Avatar Heather says:

    Once again you verbalized my thoughts exactly. My eldest wants to only take shower now…not baths. He told me when he turns six he is going to start calling me “mom” (is that legal?…must be some rule that one must call his mother, “mommy” until he is out of a car booster seat…i’ll get texas legislation on that one). Then it hit me that the amount of time I have been married (12 years) is the amount of time until he goes to college.
    I have a nephew who just turned 18 and it hits me every time we are together….sooooo fast. they grow up sooooo fast. okay now i’m crying at panera.

  • This post was just beautiful!

    My little guy is 5 now, and it seems like the past half-a-decade has flown by, despite the sometimes l – o – n – g afternoons (my least patient hours are 3 – 5 pm). I’m loving this age so much and wish I could freeze him in time. 5 is precious.

    Happy Birthday to your little girl!

  • Avatar Meagan says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this last night. Our oldest is 11 and most likely will be out of the house in the next 7 years. Our youngest is 7 so I know just how quickly 7 years goes by! Honestly, I don’t feel like I have made the most of these years with my three children, scurrying around trying to get this and that done and giving the kids the leftovers of my time. It’s not always like that, but more often than it should. My husband reminded me this weekend that what we are about right now is being parents. That is our number one priority. There will be plenty of time to do whatever I want when they are out on their own, which as we all know will come sooner than we would like.

    Thanks for this great reminder, Kat!

  • Avatar Ann says:

    All I can say is SAVOR each moment. Ask God for daily perspective to embrace the beauty and wonder of each day. I have raised 5 – my 3 sons are “launched” – one still in college, and my only girl is home for 40 more days before we say goodbye to her at college. It is such a joy to see her so ready to fly and truly God has so prepared her for this new stage – but my heart aches to see this chapter over. Fortunately, my “baby” is a strong teen/man, football player/tender hearted warrior who we get to enjoy for 3 more years at home. But to go from the craziness and fullness to a house of 5 kids – to a much quieter home should prove to be quite a transition for us all. Hug your babies, toddlers having tantrums, school kids with attitudes and teens who seem to be pulling away…their time to launch will come in a “blink!”

  • Oh my, what a lovely post!

    I shared a similar sentiment in a recent post Seasons in Parenting: http://heartandhaven.com/2011/05/13/seasons-in-parenting/

  • Avatar May says:

    I have a bit of a different perspective as an older mom. My daughter just turned 20, which she reminded me, is a year older than my mom was when she had me! How strange to look at this young woman and remember the infant, toddler, little girl, tween, teen & terror and see what my own mom must have seen in me as I grew up. There were wonderful times & there were terrible times, but the sweetest thing of all is to have her still want to come home & snuggle up with me to watch a movie. This is what I prayed for when I was pregnant with her, what I held on to when she inevitably pulled away during various periods of her life. This is what helps me keep perspective with my 16 year-old son who is starting to pull away, but still isn’t too big to kiss his mama good-night. They grow & they go, but that’s the design. Hopefully, the relationship we nurture as they grow deepens even as the set off on their own & when they come back we can once again share in their joys & challenges, and savor what we helped make possible by loving them through it all.

  • Avatar Jennifer says:

    Well my little girl is only 4 1/2, but a few weeks ago she went camping with her grammy and cousins. By the end of the week when I went to pick her up she looked taller and acted more mature. I’m not going to lie, my heart started to hurt a little. I decided that I really needed to start focusing more on being in the moment with my kids. It’s really hard for me to stop stressing about little things like whether or not the house is picked up and so on. But, I am doing my best to just enjoy my kids and involve them in my daily routine of chores stopping to play with them, love on them, read with them, or just blow bubbles in the back yard!

  • Avatar Katie says:

    My little one just had her first birthday 3 weeks ago, and I can’t believe how fast this year went by. The Nester (thenester.com) wrote a blog recently where she talked about us only having 18 summers with our kids before they’re “grown.” I’m glad I read that when my little girl is so young so hopefully I can be mindful to treasure the time I have with her.

  • Avatar Annie says:

    I am experiencing that time-warp. What a great way to sum it up! My oldest will be 5 in October. 5?!? Truly? I just can’t believe it.

    I’m always so thankful for your posts. The reminders are gentle yet obvious. I need to be attentive and more “there” with my children. Instead of being with them in body but not in mind.