Somehow, I have an 18 month old. I basically have no idea how that happened, and yet I have been here the whole time. The concept, operation, and perception of time have me quite baffled as I consider these past couple years of my life in particular. Crossing into this threshold of motherhood momentum is a bit like falling through a portal in which time becomes warped. First the seemingly ceaseless waiting game abruptly morphs into a race against the clock to tie up loose ends before baby’s arrival, and is immediately chased by a halt of time and space—the magically tender and s l o w first weeks with baby. Time certainly seems to behave in its own offbeat way.
Motherhood has a unique pace, continually shifting in velocity. It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing tempo. Developmental leaps for baby are both extraordinarily fast and yet sometimes hard to detect from one day to the next, until suddenly a more obvious shift has occurred. Tummy time becomes scooting, becomes crawling, becomes standing, becomes stumbles, becomes full blown running.
And even though the steps form and quicken, they remain, for now, choppy and clunky (and interestingly often reflective of the way in which I feel I walk the path of motherhood). While in many contexts I now chase my 18 month old, the hustle to do the basics of getting out the door on time continues. Like time, we are fast, we are slow—we are unpredictable. I don’t recommend trailing us holding hands on sidewalks if you need to arrive somewhere with any urgency.
Motherhood Momentum and Time
Be it fast or slow, we are essentially captive to time. And even the way we use our language to talk about time is indicative of a complicated relationship to it (stealing time, race against time, in the nick of time, behind the times, time flies). Motherhood has a way of hurling emphasis at most things, and the relationship to time is certainly not exempt. Maybe we could consider this unpredictable pace MOMentum. See what I did there?
The usual milestones bring about reflection, which has been the case with this most recent transition to 18 months. These markers of time are great opportunities to take time and make space to pause. The further into this journey I go, the more I feel the urge (yes, time after time), to remind myself, whatever the current tempo, to haste less and be present. Intentional slowness is not historically a pace I have embraced. But when I set a mindful intention to welcome each rate, I find I can be more present to capture the fleeting moments. And to find delight in delay.
Could you could use an opportunity to pause and take a time-in? Consider joining me for our weekly practice of Active Recovery Yoga at Pittsburgh Fitness Project. The practice takes place on Sundays at 10am. Hope to see you some time soon!
STEFANIE ZITO: 500 Hour YogaWorks Certified Yoga Instructor