Minutes: Maximizing the Hours

Someone described these early days in motherhood: “The days go by slow, but the weeks go by fast.”

This is incredibly true.

There are moments that seem to stretch and I feel like I’m drowning in slow motion. And then, all of a sudden, it’s Wednesday and I’m doing laundry…again. Didn’t I JUST wash those diapers? And a million onesies? They’ve just discovered their fingers and hands, and then, all of a sudden, they’re grabbing their feet and trying to suck on their toes. They’re screaming during the dreaded tummy time and then, all of a sudden, I’m folding laundry and look away for a few minutes and D has rolled himself halfway across the living room (the room is small so it’s not that far of a distance, but still…).

Time is slipping through my fingers, and the moments that I do have to myself when I’m not gritting my teeth or just watching them in awe and adoration as they blow raspberries at me (although not at 3 am, which is when A loves to show off), I try to maximize for myself. Back in the day (I guess, 5 months ago), I could and would take my time and be almost leisurely about everything, whether figuring out what to make in the kitchen for a snack or going through my Google Reader and catching up on blogs. I’d sit with a book for hours until I finished it in one sitting or take a delicious nap curled up in bed, maybe waking up and then falling back asleep for a few more minutes. I’d spend more than a minute and a half brushing my teeth, and let myself take long, luxurious showers, like a cleansing baptism every morning.

Now, as soon as the babies close their eyes for their early morning nap, I take a quick doze on the dog-couch (I’ve become adept at falling asleep quickly and deeply on Ellis’ throne during the day). Or I read a few pages on the Kindle. Or I jump on Facebook. Or I try to eek out a few sentences for a blog post. Or I glug some coffee and scarf a handful of Goldfish crackers and a spoonful of Nutella. The key for me to keep my sanity with this huge change has been to:

SET THE BAR LOW.

Or as another good friend has reminded me – focus on survival…Just day-to-day survival, and make the most of what I can when I can. It’s actually a great skill in a way. So, I try to savor those few pages, or the few sentences, or the few bites, or the few status updates…the few minutes, even if they are quick and short. I don’t have time to be bitter or grumpy (though I really still am a lot of the time for which I feel entitled to blame sleep deprivation), so I’m thankful I have any space and time at all. And the other key, kind of one of the mantras that keep’s me going:

IT’S JUST A PHASE.

I hope. I guess only time will tell…

4 thoughts on “Minutes: Maximizing the Hours

  • July 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm
    Permalink

    What a poignant and accurate description of motherhood. Hang in there Mihee! It’s awesome that you recognize how fleeting these precious moments are and can appreciate the little nuances and gestures that your babies make.

    This laundry and exhaustion phase IS a phase and it will pass. You will get over feeling completely exhausted all the time–next, you can look forward to just feeling tired ;).

    Reply
  • July 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm
    Permalink

    Those are great mantras, and doubly so for twins I’d imagine. You are doing great, and it really is a phase and it gets different.

    Reply
    • August 22, 2011 at 9:36 am
      Permalink

      Oop sorry for late-reply. Thanks, Susie! So many phases…somehow I know deep down I will miss some of this even though it’s so hard. Weird.

      Reply
  • Pingback: 2012: Stumbling Forward « first day walking

Leave a Reply