Being a mother of two children under that age of 5, it’s clear my sense of time has been warped like a fun house mirror. Some moments I feel like I can expand my physical and spiritual being into a delicious infinity–I feel as if I literally live inside each nourishing breath. And then there are the times when…each…passing…minute…feels like its own special hell. As if father time himself is taunting me, like an older brother who refuses to move out of my path.I’ve read that time can be spent, saved, or even killed. That we can make and take time, and time is money. I suppose all the metaphors make it easier to understand abstract concepts such as life, death and time itself.
But the concept of time for a new mother is its own very special thing. This post was inspired by a blog I came across early in my mothering years, that gave me the permission slip I needed to retire my heavy load of mother guilt. The guilt that there are some parts of parenthood that I don’t like, and that in fact, I find just plain exhausting. Glennon Doyle Melton captures it here perfectly with her breakdown of Chronos time–the hard concept of 60 seconds in a minute time, and Kairos time–the magical moments where time stands still and we experience a moment outside of father time’s relentless forward march. You’re in for a treat if you’d like to read her full post here: Don’t Carpe Diem
I’m completely on board with Glennon’s concept of mommy time. Squeezed between the brutal 5am wake ups, daycare drop offs, writing deadlines, business meetings, dinner prep and bedtimes, are my moments of mommy bliss. Watching my son’s face shine with pride as he navigates his bike without training wheels for the first time. Savoring the spark of sweet baby kisses my daughter is so generous with in our ritual morning snuggle. Watching my son, take his sister by the hand and tell her in a reassuring, yet softly high-pitched voice, “It’s okay Fina, I’m your big brother.”
These are my Kairos moments that I collect and store in my heart. These are the moments that allow me to hang tough through the heinous temper tantrums in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner with the whole extended family present to witness my parental shortcomings. The moments when I’m pulling warm, pungent chunks of vomit from my hair at 3am, while I gently rock my little girl back to sleep in her fever haze.
Now that my children are three and five, the parenting highs last way longer than the scary valley’s of despair. But to mother’s of young children, I say, “Go easy on yourself sister!” You not a bad mother if you don’t enjoy every diaper blowout, and you miss leaving the house in your favorite dress without boogers and cheerios stuck to your butt.
Typically a day doesn’t pass without some kind stranger telling me in a grocery line, or on our walk to the park to cherish this time as it passes ever so quickly. And head the advice I do. But GOD am I grateful for my girlfriends that also shoulder the day to day burdens that are saved only for mothers of young children. And God does love me, because I was gifted a serious sense of humor, which is my number one coping skill!
What are your Kairos moments that carry you through your Chronos time? And who doesn’t love a good diaper blowout story–give me your best in the comments below!