Parenting and the Concept of Time
Time is such an interesting thing. To my knowledge there is always 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in each of those hours. So how can it be that time appears to slow and speed up during certain moments of your life? Having our son six years ago only amplified this mysterious thing called time.
One of the many things I have learned since becoming a parent and beginning my yoga practice around the same time is that it is possible to have an influence on time. No I’m not able to warp time, but I can choose to be in the moment and see it for what it is. Time is precious and limited. You could look at it as moments. Some of those moments are “I can’t wait for this to be over”, “Please slow down”, “I wish this moment could last forever” and “absent” moments.
The “I can’t wait for this to be over” moments are what I would define as the stressful and unpleasant moments.
Yoga helps me take a step back, breathe and see the positives of the moment. This doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the negative feelings; it just means that I am able to acknowledge the negatives, calm myself, and open myself up to the positives of the situation. Parents are faced with so many frustrating situations. Even at six years of age my son still wakes up most nights calling for me. I could get frustrated and complain about this, but I don’t. I take a few breaths and enjoy that I still get to hold my baby and reality is that it will not be very long before he will quit calling for me to hold him.
The “Please slow down” and the “I wish this moment could last forever” moments could almost be the same, but they do differ.
The “please slow down” moments usually occur when you wake up one morning and realize your baby is starting Kindergarten when it feels like he was just learning to walk a few days ago. It is a realization that time has passed. The “I wish this moment could last forever” moments are precious. They are the moments of pure joy, love and happiness. It could be as simple as sitting on the couch under a blanket with your husband, son and dog watching a movie.
Lastly are the “absent” moments of time, the moments when we are on autopilot and tuned out.
The moment when you pull into work, but you have no real memory of how you drove there. The moment when you finally look up from your Facebook account and realize two hours have passed. These are the moments when we are absent from time.
When you practice yoga, you learn how to be present and that is how I influence time. Yoga helps me to embrace the most routine chores and instead of always tuning out I find joy in what I am doing or use that moment to reflect or think. I also feel that I have a lot more “I wish this moment could last forever” moments. That is because I’ve become better at being present and seeking the joy in everyday moments. I can slow time by being present and aware of each moment. I can speed time up by finding the silver lining and joy in the stressful and unpleasant moments. I am not always able to do this, but practicing yoga helps as a daily reminder to be present and in the moment. Be present, my bad yogis.
Parent friends, how do you manage the passage of time (and your inability to control it)?