I think most people learn to tell time in early elementary school. I mean, I guess time is a useful tool in life, but as a mother I have come to see it as only a source for anxiety and stress. To further explain my stance I’ve come up with a few examples of instances when I would rather just not know the time. I realize by ignoring the clock this does not mean that time goes away, but ignorance can be bliss right?! Here are some situations in which I would prefer there be no watch on my wrist, clock on the wall, or timer in the car!
School Mornings. The alarm goes off, someone’s hit snooze, or maybe we forgot to set the alarm. Now we are rushing to get dressed and eat breakfast. I’m barking orders about homework, folders, putting shoes on, brushing hair, why can’t we wake up on time, putting shoes on, where is your backpack, brush your teeth…wait no time for teeth…yes you have cavities that need filling so YES brush your teeth, putting shoes on, HOW ARE YOUR SHOES NOT ON YET?! See where my mind goes? So yeah. No clock in this situation means yes we might be a little late, but if I don’t know the time, late might be better than the anxiety frenzied rush.
Night Feedings. Nursing a baby is such a sweet brief time in the life of a child. Although in the middle of the night, the time does not feel brief. In fact it can feel like an eternity. Sometimes they need extra cuddles, sometimes they don’t feel well, sometimes they need the nutrition, and sometimes yeah they are just using you as a pacifier. No matter the reason, when the cries start it’s best if I don’t check my clock. Then I can’t look up and think “You’ve been eating for over an hour, how can you not be full? How can you still be awake at this hour? If you finish nursing now I can get ____ hours of sleep now,” If I don’t focus on the clock and I focus on my baby or trying to sleep while they dream feed, I tend to have a better attitude about these late night REM cycle interruptions.
Road trips. “Are we there yet?” is the infamous questions that is uttered numerous times on a road trip. And even though it usually comes from the kids in the backseat, I think the adults can be honest and say they are asking this question in their heads too! I know about how many hours it SHOULD take to get to my parents house in Tennessee from OKC. But throw in potty breaks, snack breaks, car sick puke fests on the side of the interstate, not to mention traffic jams, I get less cranky in the car if I don’t keep telling myself “We should be there by now.” And if I don’t look at the clock when we leave or look at it on each stop to potty (Seriously? Again? You JUST went?!), then I can be happily oblivious to the time table we are inevitably not going to make.
Dr. Appointments. We’ve all been there. Our child has their annual well child visit and is perfectly healthy. But all the other kids visiting the doctor today are not. If I don’t look at the time then I don’t have to calculate how many germs my child is breathing in by running around that bacteria infested office in the hour that my doctor is late for our appointment time. I know emergencies occur and in the event it were my child that needed the extra attention, I wouldn’t want to be ignored, so instead we’ll just pack extra toys and books, eat another snack, watch another toon on the smart phone and not grit our teeth in frustration because what clock? what’s late? what’s an appointment time?
If you’ve made it to the end of this post you might be thinking “Hmmm she sounds like she just needs to drink a glass of wine and chill.” Valid point. Maybe the cure to these problem is just stress less or take some prescription meds, but in the event I can ignore a clock or somehow just make time disappear…that would be lovely. Until then…wine, xanax, yoga, prayer, perspective…these will have to do. But not all at once. Ain’t nobody got time for that!