Being a new mom and working woman meant that I learnt to rush through the day, but my daughter soon taught me how to slow down and truly enjoy my leisure.
Donning the hat of a Mom has brought about umpteen changes to me and to my lifestyle. Of all the things that have changed, mostly for the better, the one that amazes me the most is the way I have mastered the art of accomplishing tasks at lightning speed.
There was a time when I used to relish my meals, taking my own sweet time. I would also be astonished to see a few of my friends cook up a dish rapidly. There was also a time when I would visit the spa regularly to relax and rejuvenate, and would spend hours chatting with close friends without having to worry about the ticking of the clock.
And then, then motherhood happened and time started flying like a rocket. Through rushed meals and easy cooking that can be done in a jiffy, through quick showers and hastily tying up the hair in a messy bun, through having short conversations with friends and completing my writing assignments in record thirty minutes, I could see life just zooming past me.
Whenever I read those beautifully composed, poignant viral poems and articles on social media, asking mommies to slow down, I would genuinely wonder how such a thing was possible. My mind would get infused with questions such as, “How do I slow down, when even a loo break becomes a luxury? How do I slow down, when the day passes in the blink of an eye? And at the end of the day, I exclaim, really, it’s over?”
The more I tried to hold on to time, the more I found myself getting dragged along with its momentum. When the pace seemed to be accelerating each day, the only choice was to surrender to it. Before I could even discern it, a year had passed.
Then came the big milestone, the one that all parents look forward to with bated breath – my daughter started walking! It was a delight to witness those cute little feet take baby steps. The adorable penguin walk would make my heart melt and also make me laugh. She wanted to walk all around, everywhere and found pleasure in practising her newly acquired skill.
We began our walks to the park together. On the first day, the moment we were out, her tiny fingers curled around my palm and I realized that my daughter was in no hurry to reach the park, even though she loves being there. She wanted to enjoy the moment, explore the surroundings and I followed her lead. As we strolled ahead at leisure, I felt a deep sense of tranquillity and joy. It was not the first time we were sharing a special moment, but it was the first time in months when I felt like time had stopped. I began to excitedly look forward to these daily walks with her, when we would just talk, walk, ponder, laugh and soak it up. My mind felt absolutely free from any other thoughts at that point in time and all of me would be there, in that moment.
Today my daughter is seventeen months old and this is my most cherished time of the day. This is when I unwind and life seems to be at a standstill. I know this is not going to last forever. Tomorrow she will enter a new phase of life with new interests, friends and discoveries accompanied by a shift in priorities. But I am sure she will continue to find her own ways for reminding me that it’s important to pause now and then, here and there.
The beautiful irony of motherhood is that the one who makes it emotionally and physically draining is also the one who makes it a blissful and divine experience; the one who makes you feel exhausted is also the one who makes you feel refreshed and invigorated; the one who can sometimes frustrate you is also the one who can make your day like no other; the one who makes your life chaotic and action-packed is also the one who teaches you to slow down and savour the moments.
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