By Sonya Whaley, May 14 2016 09:43PM
One of the hardest things about being a Mum is facing up to the fact that you just cannot get as much done as before baby came along.
How do you reconcile that?
We are now 3 months into life with our second born and it's strange to be back in the trenches. Personal ambition is as strong as ever but available time has certainly waned.
I recall my desperation to get my next level FasterEFT therapist certification in place before he arrived. Nothing like an imminent baby on the horizon to feel like a deadline. My sister, I remember, was halfway through coursework required for a Bowen therapist qualification when her firstborn arrived. It must run in the family.
How To Reclaim Your Time
Most parents find that creative or constructive time is compacted down to around one hour in the evening. It's sandwiched between the kids' bath and bedtime and your own (less Flake advert inspired relaxing bath wind down, more collapse in a heap in your bed).
When Virginia Woolf wrote A Room Of One's Own, she certainly knew what she was talking about. A room with a bunch of kids, no matter how angelic, never got any novels written...
Time soon starts to feel short.
And yet it's actually not. There is no shortage of time, we are positively awash with it.
That is what this post is about. To illustrate that time is intrinsically linked to perception and that a shift in perception can change everything.
How We Pace the Past and the Present
Ever notice how an awkward silence can seem to go on forever, but is probably just a few seconds long?
Conversely, how often in your party days did you miss the last train home because you were having so much fun that time sped up?
And yet, objectively, an hour is always made up of 60 minutes and a minute is always 60 seconds.
Since much of this comes down to how we code time within our own minds, perception of time is very malleable under hypnosis and even outside of it. Time can be changed from being seen as a sort of arrow or straight line into something more cyclical, more like a traditional clock face.
Once we realise that most significant achievements are accomplished in a small slice of our time it helps us give up the frustration that comes with ploughing hours into seemingly low value activities like endless changing of nappies.
How many times have you steamed from room to room tidying only to have your beloved little one at your heal quietly leaving a corresponding trail of chaos in your wake?
Yes, the frustration can get to you.
When I was a child I read a story called Sarah's Nest. It was about a colony of ants that Sarah tried to help by leaving out small bowls of honey and water nearby. As the story unfolded, however, we learned that Sarah had unwittingly put the whole colony in crisis. The water overwhelmed the nest. Ants in peril got carried away on floating leaves by the strong current. The honey attracted larger insect life who wanted to eat them. Much of the nest population was wiped out.
The ants may not have had the overview or god-like powers of a taller being such as Sarah, and yet each ant had the intuition to go about their own tasks in a way that benefitted the nest and its survival.
If we can think of those low value tasks such as nappy changing and tidying as an investment, it can help us enjoy the long days until that final hour of me-time comes along in the evening.
They are an opportunity for our most precious and valued relationships and attributes to be nurtured, extended and deepened. An opportunity to create something better.
Think of the clock face, the hands ticking around in their perpetual circle.
The sun rises and sets every day, day after day.
How have you been representing time? How can you better represent it to feel better each day?