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  • Niamh

Time, Can You Please Slow Down?

Time is a funny thing. When I was small I can remember being in school and waiting, not so patiently, for the annual summer holiday with my family. I’d come home every day giddily exclaiming to my parents, 'oh I wish it was tomorrow, I wish it was tomorrow,’ so that I’d be one day closer to the holidays. ‘You’re wishing your life away girl,’ my mum would laugh. But for some reason, time always seemed to pass more slowly when I was a child. When I wasn’t wishing for it to be tomorrow for whatever thing I was looking forward to, I can remember thinking that I’d be in school for the rest of my life. It was this huge chunk of time that lay before me and I couldn’t really contemplate it ending. It was my whole life. It was my routine. Until one day it was all over and that seemingly endless stretch of time was behind me.

From then on, time has marched faster and faster. It’s like a Japanese Kodo drummer building the beat a little quicker to an ultimate crescendo I’ll have to face one day. I now look at myself in the mirror and I can’t believe I’m a wife and mother with responsibilities and the odd grey hair, when in my head I’m still around 20 with everything ahead of me. And now that I’m a mum, I just want time to slow down. I feel like I’m looking at my baby boy literally growing before my very eyes. He’s seven and a half months now. I mean when did that happen? When did he go from babe in arms drinking only milk and wearing onesies, to a wildling boy who’s grabbing everything in sight and bashing the living shit out of anything he can get his little hands on.

Slow down time!

How did he start babbling gaga and dada (why is it never mama?!) and gobbling up solids with wild abandon?

Slow down time!

Look he’s rolling over by himself! He’s sitting up playing on his own!

Slow down time!

Before I know it, he’ll be one. Slow down time!

Blink and he’ll be walking, then taking, then going to school and I all I want is for time to slow down.

I feel like we had a rough start, me and my baby boy. Those first two months when I was in the grips of post-natal depression, darkness and dread were horrendous. Time then was slow and cruel. Each day was endless and panicked. I remember the Public Health Nurse saying to me ‘oh enjoy this time with him,’ on one of her early visits to me. But I was unable to do that. Instead, I spent each day crippled with fear and completely overwhelmed by motherhood. Ultimately I feel like a lot of that time was robbed from me by that thief called post-natal depression. I’ll never get those days back, but when that terrible fog began to clear, I knew I wanted to make the most of every second I had with my little boy, while he still is a little boy. I feel like I’ve lots time to make up for and I don’t want to waste a second of it.

But time has sped up again.

Right now, I’m my baby boy’s world. His whole body dances when I come into a room and we laugh and giggle and play and my heart literally bursts when I make him smile. Of course, we both have our moments, life is not perfect. He can moan and cry and fight sleep like a maniac, but when I think about him growing up, I know he’ll need me less. I know I won’t be his world for much longer. And the bigger he gets, the less he’s going to need me. Indeed, there’ll be plenty of times when the words ‘I hate you,’ will be thrown at me, or I'll have to make tough choices or teach him about right and wrong and the thoughts of all of that fill me with apprehension.

Of course, I have to let him grow up and become independent and watching him become a confident person with his own passions, friends and life will be fulfilling, I know.

But for now, time please just slow down.

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