Theory of Mom-Time

Einstein proved that time is relative. It passes differently in different circumstances; there is no absolute when it comes to time. Yet, we as humans have to try and control it. We try to tame it as if it were a wild beast, assigning it arbitrary names whenever an arbitrary increment of time passes. Why is a minute 60 seconds? An hour 60 minutes? A year on Earth is a lot shorter than one on Pluto. In fact, had I been born a Plutonian, I would be just over a tenth of an Earth year old-- just over a month.

Time is crazy. It's something I am currently obsessing over because it is 3:15 AM and I have yet to sleep. Watching the hours slowly pass by is torture, and I can't help being mad that some human tried to make sense of this concept, created the concept of an hour, and then another human declared that 8 of these units is the appropriate and most beneficial amount of sleep to ensure maximum restoration. And at night, no less. (That sentence makes complete sense in my sleep-deprived head, too.) Why can't we humans just let well enough alone?

Anyway, there's only one thing that I think Einstein forgot. Or didn't realize. I might win the Nobel Prize for this discovery, yall.

"Mom-Time" is absolute. It's a thing. It is absolutely unpredictable and unreliable.

Okay, so maybe that means "Mom-Time" is still relative... but this kind of relativity has nothing to do with energy, mass, or speed of light.

You see, "Mom-Time" is like taking a trip to Wonderland-- sometimes you eat a tiny pastry and hours shrink into minutes. Or maybe after one nibble of something else, minutes become hours and grow. You never know how long a minute truly is or is going to be depending on any given scenario that involves children. And also, much like the little white rabbit, you will find yourself exasperatingly repeating, "I'm late, I'm late!!" in many of these scenarios.

In "Mom-Time," 5 minutes can become 30. This happens in the, "Hey, kids-- we're leaving in 5 minutes" situation. You say 5 minutes, you mean 5 minutes, yet 30 minutes later you begin loading the car. Your kids strike again, making one minute longer than 60 seconds.

Conversely, 30 minutes can become 5. You can see this occur in the, "Kids, you have 30 minutes before bed" situation. Here, you say 30 minutes, you mean 5 minutes because, bedtime, and in 5 minutes you begin ushering reluctant and hesitant children to brush their teeth, none the wiser of this relative 30 minutes. This scenario sees minutes shrinking-- one minute equals a mere seconds when it comes to bedtime.

Also, sometimes it's too damn hot outside, so the 20 minute outside break turns into a 5 minute frolic. Or sometimes mommy is just really tired and the 10 minutes of being on the tablet quickly turns into 45. My kids have no notion of time... I fully intend on exploiting that fact until they know better. After all, collectively, they have already robbed me in years of sleep. Pay back 😏

I am almost positive that "Mom-Time" is not only relative to the situation, but also relative to the household. So, you can imagine how sticky things get when you try to combine two different "Mom-Times" in, let's say, a play date situation. Remember the "5 minutes" it took your kids to get ready? Well, now you're 25 minutes late to this date. And the other mom? Her "we're leaving in 5 minutes" turned into a "but you just peed what seemed like 20 minutes ago, it was really a couple of hours, and now I need to pull over for an impromptu potty break" which makes her even more late than you.

I can handle lateness, but there's another aspect of "Mom-Time" that all moms dread. It's terrifying. Awkward. Uncomfortable. It's those moments where time just stops. You know the times-- during those late nights when babies are sick and sleepless, in the middle of the grocery store when your child is kicking and beating the ground in the throws of a tantrum, when the newly potty-trained child suddenly has to pee and you're in the car on a highway in the middle of nowhere. Time simply stops. You become frozen in these moments, praying for time to fast-forward so you can be out of whichever terrible scenario you are in.

"Mom-time." The only predictable and reliable thing about it is it's unpredictability and unreliability.

I'm pretty sure if you're a mom that you understand this. Unless you're a Stepford Wife or some kind of amazing fem-bot, you more than likely operate on "Mom-Time."

Be sure to show this post to your friends without children the next time you have to cancel or are late and haggard-looking for your next outing. I have found that those without children have a hard time adjusting to "Mom-Time," so maybe this will add some credibility to your excuse.

Now, where did I put that muffin that makes nap time longer?


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