Ever since my oldest started kindergarten about six weeks ago, I feel like between the hours of eight and two I am on somewhat of a “motherhood rewind.” I’m taken back to what it was like to have a toddler (and a baby) with no older sibling around. I remember thinking months ago that I couldn’t even remember what it was like to have one. Now it’s this weird trade off where I get to be in both worlds at once.
These days, after 7:45 am, it’s just the three of us. Me, a toddler and a baby. We usually go to the gym, the grocery store, the car wash, or some other simple errand. Then it’s usually home to play for a little bit before it’s time for lunch and then it’s nap time. The first day I got naps timed perfectly and when I sat down on the couch with two hours to myself, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. Don’t worry, I know what to do now and some days I literally schedule my two hour block of time. The house is quieter, the play is more simple. I am also back to having an audience when I shower or use the bathroom, so there is that.
Once 3 pm hits, it’s back to the way it is supposed to be. The noise gets louder, the energy level increases. There are fewer children at my feet because they are off with their playmates. My lap is more crowded when we read stories and my attention is pulled in three ways instead of two. Play is more complex, imagination more apparent. There are more discussions about how to resolve kindergarten conflicts, more pressing questions about the world in which we live.
In a way this unique perspective has improved my mothering. Between the hours of eight and two, I try to be more present because I know that way too soon, there will be only one home with me and then no one home with me. In the other hours, I am more present because the hours of eight and two reminds me how quickly they grow up.
Too quickly, motherhood rewind will become motherhood fast forward.