Friday, April 25, 2008

Mother Time

We sleep and wake at odd times: our tiredness, we discover, has many layers.
-Tony Cohan, On Mexican Time.

Lately I have been feeling like every day is at least two days long. And in that space of time, I am not quite sure what happens. I don’t even know how it happens. It’s as though time is actually dissolving before my grasping hands. I wish I could momentarily step out of the earth’s gravitational pull and somehow slip through the gap of a day: An entire 24 hours devoted to my renewal and to the tying up of loose ends. Unfortunately, life does not give time outs, and I am deep in the midst of a space I like to call *“Mother Time.”

The idea of “Mother Time” came to me when I started reading the virtual book club’s pick of the month: On Mexican Time, by Tony Cohan. I was immediately struck by the title and, as I delved deeper into the story, I could sense the peace and calm Cohan was trying to convey in his “sufficiency of days.” Having spent time in Mexico, and other like-minded places, I do understand this way of experiencing time on a superficial level: I enjoy it, I strive to be that groovy, but still I am a westerner…with a puritan work ethic…steeped in an ideology of production…set in the “having it all” mindset.

I have to say, however, I am beginning to cave. I hate to admit this, even to myself, but I am really tired. And besides that, I am very NERVOUS because compared with a lot of other women; I don’t think my plate is even that full. I am not a single mom and I’m not a working mother.

But still I feel like the work never ends. All the gardening, house cleaning, dog walking, baby swinging, cooking, dishes, entertaining, trying to exercise, maybe look nice, buy some new glasses because your baby broke your very last one and now your drinking coffee out of a shot glass from your college days oh OH and then try to find time to write because it clears your mind but there is no time by the time you try and then sleep beckons and oh yeah maybe I should try to seduce or be seduced but my mind is so cluttered because I haven’t had time to write and sort my thoughts and by now I have a serious writers cramp and my swirling thoughts collide in the air above my head creating such a cacophony I wonder if I might be making less sense than Babou’s first attempts at communication which makes me wonder if it was only coffee I put in that shot glass or maybe I should be using something stronger.

And that’s when I realized I am in “Mother Time.” That it is ok. The rules I once applied to myself no longer work or even really make sense. The rhythm of my day is not an agenda as much as a tango between loosely held goals and the needs of my family. The one goal and agenda I am holding firmly onto is that I will not lose myself in the fray. This is what I have come to call “Mother Time.”

My name is Jo, I am in Mother Time. Please don’t break my shot glass.


sophia katrina said...

Oh no! you need new fancy glasses STAT. fancy latte ones!

Domestically Challenged said...

Hola Jo!

my twin! - I underlined that quote on Friday night! I loved it!
We nipped down to Devon yesterday (without children) I was so tired I fell asleep in the car (roof down, wind blasting us, but still fell asleep)!
Wouldn't it be lovely to be continental and have a siesta everyday?

Good idea to delay the tortillas....Yo, what do you think?

Also think you're right about escaping - you can make your own idyll almost anywhere.


Jo said...

That is too funny! It is a really good quote! I think, in the spirit of Mexican Time that we should have another month to read? I love the idea of siestas too!

Anonymous said...

Mother Time is very real, regardless of where you are on the parenting spectrum (SAHM a little one, mother of elementary school children, mother of older children). It will get easier, I promise.

Melissa said...

Mother Time is so different than the rest of the planet--and it changes as the children grow...I sometimes envy new mothers because the "time" they live in is so different than mine now, it's a slower pace, but mind-numbing too. Toddler time is another story altogether. Now I'm in "School age Mother Time" and it suits me pretty well so far.

Life As I Know It said...

Oh, I am right there with you. I love the idea of "mother time".
I have become much better at creating some space within the day for me. Even if it's 5 minutes of eating my breakfast without getting up from the table to fetch something for the kids.
It's such a challenge. Trying to balance everything without losing yourself in the process.

Anonymous said...

SO great to read what I have been thinking, but couldn't quite put words to. Mother Time is definitely real, and I am living it right now as I type frantically here while the children downstairs beckon me with cries and moans for attention.

We must make our haven where and when we can. It's a wonderful idea that it can indeed be anywhere.

And, thank you for your wonderful comment. I love that you connected with that, and that you are in the same place. The onset of spring is definitely helping! :)

Anonymous said...

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