photo: Back to the Future

If you are a new mom (or about to become a mom…or thinking of becoming a mom) I’m going to let you in on a little secret…Children have the power to alter the space-time continuum It’s a fact. Maybe not a scientific fact, but I know other moms out there will totally back me up on this!

For example, feel free to drop from your vocabulary the phrase “We’ll be there in 15 minutes.” No, you won’t.  Once you have kids, you will never again be anywhere in 15 minutes…ever!  It will take you 15 minutes just to get out the door.  Why? Because you will pack up your diaper bag only to realize your baby decided to fill his/her diaper right as you’re walking out the door, thus necessitating the further unpacking of said diaper bag to change them before you leave.  Then you will get your child into the car, strap them into their car seat, and realize you have to run back into the house because you forgot their pacifier (or sippy cup, blanket, favorite toy, your keys, your sanity) …you get the idea.

When they’re older, it will take them 15 minutes just to put on their shoes.  Trust me on this.  Not the actual action of putting on their shoes. That takes two seconds.  It’s more the process of getting them to put on their shoes. “Put your shoes on, it’s time to go”…fifteen minutes later one of them will have one shoe on, while their sibling runs around the house with the other shoe, taunting them.  It will be awesome.

Another way I’ve discovered that time is forever altered after having kids is when SHOPPING!  What used to take you 20 minutes, will now take you two hours.  Once you have kids, you will never again be able to “run into the store real quick” to pick up “just a few things”.  The majority of your time in the store will be spent corralling your kids, deflecting unnecessary items from being tossed in your cart, and constantly rechecking your list to make sure you’re not forgetting something because you’re attention will be focused on making sure you leave the store with the same children you came in with.  This is the reason most moms consider a trip to Target by themselves to be the equivalent of a tropical vacation.


Watching movies is another example of this time altering phenomenon.  It will now take you four hours to watch a two hour movie.  (Or two hours to watch a one hour show…you get the idea.)  Why? If you are sitting down to enjoy a show by yourself, the moment your butt hits the couch will always be the exact same moment your baby decides to wake up, or your toddler needs a snack…always.  If you are trying to enjoy a movie with your kids (which always seems like a good idea, but never is) it will take twice as long as it should because of the need to pause the movie to get snacks, take potty breaks, clean up the popcorn they decided to throw at each other, and deal with the general chaos that will erupt when trying to get children to sit still for two (four) hours.

On the flip side of my space-time continuum theory is a baby’s ability to make time stretch.  If you are lucky enough (like me) to be blessed with a colicky infant, you will constantly be reminded of this when you are up at night trying to get them to go back to sleep.  Sleep deprived, half awake, and barely able to make out the numbers on the clock…you will be positive that you must have been rocking your child for at least three hours when in fact it has only been five minutes.

One final thought on this uncanny super power that children possess.  Although you may have to adjust your way of thinking about time once you have kids, every moment is worth it!!