Today’s post is written by South African Mom Blogger Ellen Pather, who blogs at Musings By Ellen
Ever notice how a woman’s life is governed by cycles and calendars, an intrinsic sense of time?
Once those dreaded monthlies start, it is a veritable anticipation to the next one around the same time the next month if you are lucky. From the moment you discover you are pregnant, it enters a different phase. At first, you count the weeks, and then somewhere it morphs into months.
Your life is now governed by these –your 6-week check-up, then its baby’s’ a vaccine schedule, not to mention those hourly intervals for feeds and on it goes tick-tock, tick-tock…
Before I became a mum, I was never later for anything; in fact, I was always early. I would finish tasks ahead of schedule, my calendar and diary a neat, tidy box ticked off perfunctorily with each accomplishment.
Well, hasn’t that all changed. 11 years and three children later, the clock has truly turned. I have changed, it seems. Marching to a different rhythm that only mothers would understand. Keeping time in seasons and tasks, a verity of multiple mental-tabs open in her ever-active mind, like world-clocks in a busy train station. Her movement and even her language going against the clock of mainstream life.
While others sleep, she is awake. Warming midnight feeds or shushing slowly to sleep this marvellous creation which itself does not conform to any clock. If you are anything like me, you are the one in the aisles as soon as the store opens, while others are stuck in morning traffic tapping into the daily grind.
Living in summer, but shopping for winter, planning your purchases to those 65% sales.
“What time is breakfast?” is now no longer answered by a clipped o’clock but rather shouted down the hallway, “After you brush your teeth!”
Aah, the mysteries of motherhood – I will try my best to delve into a few choice off-the-clock settings:
Which mother has not resorted to this when pushed for a time…?”Moooommmmm, what time is……”
As all mums know this response could mean anything from in-the-next-few-seconds to as-soon-as-I’m –ready. So far, so good, this one works for me.
JUST WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME
This is serious stuff. Usually pulled out in critical moments of severe mishaps that require more stringent discipline than the trusty wooden spoon. Usually, renders the offender to a point of penitence and subdued behaviour until dad can deal with it. Very handy.
Being a mum, life becomes a revolution of one meal to the next, and so we can govern some things by that same clock. This retort is used frequently in my home, especially during weekends and school holidays to ward off relentless requests for sugar and snacks. This injunction is non-negotiable.
This I love. It seems to make its appearance when the rug-rats traipse through the toy-section on an unavoidable excursion to the stores, which I usually try to do alone. Hope springs eternal in their precious hearts, as each, “Mom, did you see that…” is responded with a “Sure, we can look at that for Christmas.” Although bless their souls, this mom does store the offerings in the old memory bank to be hauled out later when looking for stocking-fillers and the like.
And lastly, my personal favourite….
An easy and simple way that fobs off any chance requests of ludicrous pleas into the vast abyss of not-anytime soon. It works.
Although, the rug-rats seem to have cottoned onto some of these, so I shall have to get a bit more creative, soon…..later…
Yes, I’ve definitely changed my use of time. While I have never been one for designer brands, now I no longer muse at expensive timepieces. My mom’s-clock is the best I’ve ever had – priceless and timeless.