I was thinking this week as I left work that what I think I have lost, in being a parent, is that sense of time. I walked past a student sitting in a comfy chair reading a book and drinking a coffee and I thought about how I never really appreciated the idea of having time when I had it, when there are no competing demands and time is something to be filled.
I wish I'd appreciated the glut of time when I had it. Now each unit of time must be accounted for - just enough time to have a bath before I need to feed the baby. Just enough time to zip the hoover around the crumbs she's made. Just enough time to swig a drink before making lunch before facilitating a nap before heading to playgroup before fitting in emails before putting the washing on before thinking about dinner before ringing my mum before grabbing a cheeky cuddle with my husband.
My favourite line ever from a play is from Waiting for Godot.
Vladimir: That passed the time.
Estragon: It would have passed in any case.
Vladimir: Yes, but not so rapidly.
It's been nearly a year since our daughter was born and each moment, even the most difficult ones, have been magical, enough to almost turn athiest me into an agnostic. But where the time has gone, I cannot say. It has passed far more rapidly than it used to.