The River: What my baby told me about time by Clare Law

This post is part of the River of Stones guest post series, our mindful writing challenge. Properly notice one thing each day, and write it down. Click here to find out more. 
Today we’re delighted to host Clare Law
Clare writes: In the dark week at the end of the year we celebrated our son’s first birthday. I’ve learnt a lot in the year (plus nine months) that he’s been with us. Things like how to do an unwanted nappy change on a person who seems to have eight arms and four legs. And that Weetabix is best cleared up straight away, because it sets as hard as plaster. Oh, and how to find more tether when I think I’ve reached the end of mine. And how to ask my husband to take over.

Of course, the baby gives back freely and generously. His fresh, magical view of the world is infectious; and there are moments every week when I feel an incredible peaceful joy because I am in the right place doing the right thing. But he’s also taught me something about time.

When I was pregnant, two friends with babies gave me advice (I got lots of advice, but these two bits stand out).

The first said: “You won’t have time for writing your blog when the baby comes.”

The second said: “You’ll make time for anything you really want to do.”

Before the baby, the hours and days stretched out in front of me. I got up before my husband and wrote for three quarters of an hour every single day. I moodled around, watching TV, reading, sewing, swimming, having baths, surfing the web, cuddling my husband and playing video games. Now, not so much.

Everything I need to do to care for myself has to be done again for the baby. Everything I need to do to care for the house and my marriage has to be done around the baby. And even when we are not doing anything, the baby must be amused and kept safe. And sometimes, quite often, when I’d rather be doing something else, he needs my full attention and no-one else will do. (I sent this post in late because he had a few difficult nights and just wanted to be held).

I haven’t missed a single blog post, though.

(As a side note, I haven’t seen the first friend for months – she never has the time. It’s painful to admit, but maybe seeing me is not something she really wants to do.)

I fight – every day – to make time for the things that I really want to do. I fight to remember that “comforting things” are not the same as “things I really want to do”. But most days I win, and I feel good about that.

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Clare Law blogs at Three Beautiful Things, where she focuses on three items that pleased or interested her about the previous day.

Picture: Clare Law River of Stones pic.jpg credit: Paul Viney
Comments & replies

5 thoughts on “The River: What my baby told me about time by Clare Law

  1. rbarenblat

    Much in this post resonates with me! During the first year of Drew’s life, I wrote one poem each week. They were all about motherhood, about me, about him, about what was unfolding through us and in us; and especially during the first six months or so, that was all I managed to write, pretty much. But I wrote a poem every week, and shared it on Velveteen Rabbi, and chronicling the experience in that way helped keep me connected with poetry and with friends and with the blogosphere and with writing and with a sense of myself.

  2. Clare Law

    What a precious collection of memories carefully expressed that must be. Will you share them with him when he’s older?

    I’ve found your blog (nosey me!) and I’m going to drop by and read a few of your first year poems — I’m always keen to see what other mothers of boys have to say.

  3. PoetColette

    The perennial struggle of motherhood. This is what we are built for! You can do it.

    When my kids were really little I wrote down ideas in spiral notebooks, thinking I’d get to them someday. Still haven’t gotten to all of them, but it’s a huge comfort knowing I have their childhood and my creative bursts catalogued from that time.

    Keep keepin’ on!

  4. Barb

    I enjoyed your post, Clare. It brought back memories. Now a Grandmother, I remember the earlier days with my 4 children, seemingly having no time for myself, but always managing small spaces of time to nourish myself in ways that counted to me. There is always a way if we’re determined to find it.

  5. Alison Wormald

    It’s lovely to read this more lengthy account of life with Alex (and Nick too) I am so glad you have kept up yout daily blog and feel your writing has changed and matured beautifully as your life has become fuller and more complex. You always give out so much to us who are reading your blog. I am sure it will come back to you, and already does multiplied.
    Many thanks
    PS I found Writing Our Way Home through your blog,am very much enjoying it and might even write something myself soon!

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