The Way Time Is Right Now


It has been a long time since I have felt this busy. 

In the early days of motherhood, hours stretched beyond measure. Those days felt long and hollow, with no distractions save for an inconsolable infant and an occasional half-understood non-English conversation with the supermarket cashier. I dreamed up projects to fill the time: walks to the park; trips to Starbucks; the requirement that the floor be mopped twice weekly; a visit to the playcentre for a baby who could not yet sit up; a voyage across town to a specific cheese shop. These were necessary to give some scaffolding the daytime.

Now, I wake with a mind full of tasks, checkboxes spill into my notebook before I’m even out of my pyjamas. I wake and up pour bowls of Cheerios, and then it’s three o'clock and I’m not sure were the day has even gone. I drink a coffee, wonder what to make for dinner, and then suddenly it is bedtime.

There was a brief moment when Hugo was an infant when my range shrunk, my were ambitions were low, and my most important priorities were something about dozing next to my baby in the bright afternoon sun.

But then, the children grow and the hours grow scarce.

My schedule is filling up with photo shoots, and I am beyond thankful. (By the way, if you are in Jakarta and want to book something with me, I’m extending my super discounted prices just a little bit longer. Get in touch.) I’ve got new projects on the horizon, trips in the book, and a stream of visitors coming our way. And I am so glad for this.

I’m still learning, though, how to be a working person, with obligations and commitments while also being a mother who is engaged with, responsible for, and connected to her children at all moments. I suspect that this is an impossible task. (The real answer, probably, is I can not be two things in one moment.) 

I know how to be a full-time working person. And I know how to be a full-time mother. Dividing myself is just a bit trickier. I’m working out the equations, trying to balance my time. What is the acceptable ratio of soul-filling working hours to heart-filling mothering hours? And what about time for the gym, or maybe an occasional TV show after the kids are in bed? And when do I work on all those other myriad projects that live in my mind?

I'm still scribbling out the sums.

I might never get it quite right, at least not while the children are so small. I’m working it out. Meanwhile, I’m getting okay with the remains of an eight-week old manicure chipped on my fingernails. That’s just the way time is right now.

But I do wish the days were longer. I wish I had more time to come here and write out the rhythm of our days, the tell stories about life, and remember the dappled light under the frangipani tree.