what my newborn taught me about time

There have been many times in the past few weeks where I have intended to come and write here. But then Percy cried, or clouds threatened and the washing needed to be brought in, or I finally got a chance to pour the boiled water into the tea cup after two failed attempts.

Mothering three children is just as busy as I thought it would be. The washing pile is confronting and the dishes are monotonous. Every day there is an unsettled baby, squabbling siblings and a long list of chores that beg for my attention. Whilst I once harboured a strong fear about this, now that I’m here I see it as just a necessary part of the story.

Percy, like all newborns, is a time-consuming being; small and needy, he is both helpless and intriguing. With his cry or his gaze, he pulls me into his vicinity and holds me there; I inevitably melt. Such is the bond between mother and baby. He is six weeks old now and whilst it has gone fast, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything. I have purposely savoured it; a lesson learned from past experience.

What I didn’t expect from Percy’s arrival, is the strong desire to sit and cuddle him without needing to document and share the moment. There have been countless times over the past few weeks where I have been breastfeeding and simultaneously scrolling on my phone. And yet there’s been an underlying sense that I was missing out on my own mothering experience whilst checking up on the life of others’. Now that autumn has arrived with a vengeance, I’ve claimed my official breastfeeding posy on the couch and I watch the flames of the fire whilst feeding Percy, who is contently wrapped in layers of wool. I want to be here, in the warmth and the connection, instead of placing a phone in the middle. And I want Percy to see my face whilst he feeds instead of averting his gaze to a small black apple icon.

So that’s where I am, in the mushy goodness of mothering, not really phased whether I document every moment or not. And truth be told, it’s taken a category 2 cyclone and its accompanying 36 hour storm to provide the space to sit here and write; fireside, with a woollen-clad babe in my arms.

The newborn pace is slow and this time ’round I’ve opted to go with it instead of hurrying it along.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Steph @ this brown wren

    I could not agree more lovely lady! The phone has been out away and in savouring that beautiful gulping sound. And life with three is grand isn't it. Much love and light xxx

  • Malayka

    Such a beautiful post. I'm hoping I;m going to feel the same way when our second one arrives. I was so preoccupied with trying to keep a tidy house (especially when visitors came) and resuming my 'normal' life that I really feel I missed out on all the best newborn bits.I am going to do everything in my power not to let that happen again!

  • Lilian L

    Wise words. The blogs will always be there to catch up on but babies grow in the blink of an eye. I swear with each child the months fly by…possibly because there are so many other needs to tend to and it's no longer just the single baby.

  • tRiSh

    I've had the same feelings: giving your complete time and attention to your or my baby will really make us bond better, of that I'm sure! I now only check the time on my phone to have an approximate idea of when she's eating, but I don't try to see what I've missed in the life of others. I do take a few pictures though. 😉

  • Mother Down Under

    I have felt the same way this time. I can't really remember how I felt with C…and I had him before I found Instagram and blogs anyway. But I have really felt the urge to pause every bit of life except nurturing and savouring my baby. I think it helps that I have such a delightful baby and I feel no need to escape her or motherhood.
    Enjoy these days.

  • mon_and_mia

    I know I have missed so much because I have felt the need to photograph every moment and check up on everyone elses moments in blog, Facebook & Instagram land. The last 60 hours with no power was tough in the beginning but has brought me back into the moment-I have really enjoyed being a mum these past few days as frustrating as it's been!

  • Mama Ash Grove

    my daughter is now 2.5 weeks old… you've perfectly described what life has been like for us the past weeks!

  • therambleco

    My babies at the moment are essays, rather than little people, but I still got so much comfort from your post. Within the last couple of days I've realised how important it is to let oneself just be present in a moment – the next step in the day always seems so much easier when I've been able to clear my mind of everyone else's activities (even though I find them so inspiring!). xx

  • Christie R

    I could have written this exact same post. Lovely to rest in this precious time with you. x

  • Lissa Snapp

    Very sweet Jodi! I definitely hurried my little ones first months along. He was my first and I was honestly in complete shock but learned so much and next time around I hope to slow down and savor the small moments more. Thanks for this post and the reminder to stay present in our own lives as it is so easy to look at others and zone out but rather there are plenty of other ways to zone out and relax which do not involve a phone. So thanks for the reminder and as always a beautiful batch of photos! Warm wishes! – Lissa

  • Jodi

    When I had my first baby, other moms gave me quick tips on how best to use a device while breastfeeding. But I've never been able to do it – those moments with a babe on my breast, taking perfect comfort in my flesh and milk and warmth, listening to him gulp and sigh and gulp and sigh – I can't tune that out. I want to dive deeper into those moments when that little head with its soft fuzz is cradled in my arm and we are, for a moment, each other's whole.

  • Vicki Doak

    Perfect. The very thing I hope sits comfortably with me when baby no. 3 arrives in June. I want there to be nothing more important than connecting with this baby and existing wholly in the slow times of those early days.

  • Cécile

    The first picture is just amazing and soon sweet… I melt…

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