How Time Changes When you Have Kids

How time changes when you have kidsTime is an unstoppable force. It cannot be altered, changed or manipulated. A second will always be a second. A minute will always be a minute. Nothing will ever change that.

Yet this unchanging force somehow seems to change when you have kids. Okay, so maybe time doesn’t change. However our perception and experience of time certainly seems to.

When you have kids, it feels like the fast-forward button gets pushed in your life. I have two theories as to why this is:

Theory 1

Kids do an incredible amount of growing in the first 18 years of their life. In their infancy that growth is mostly physical. Each month they are adding 10% or more to their weight. Imagine if you gained ten percent of your current weight in a month. You’d double your current weight in less than a year!

As toddlers, they develop new skills and abilities everyday. Learn new words; master the ability to move around in their environment. The changes don’t stop coming. The physical, mental, and emotional growth during this period is staggering.

With that much change happening in such a short period of time, it is no wonder that time seems to speed up. Every week marks a new milestone. With every milestone you traverse, time seems to go that much faster.

Theory 2

The other factor is that life gets a lot more hectic when you have children. I used to work in a restaurant and time seemed to change there too. During the lunch or dinner rush, time flew by. It was chaotic and everyone was running around trying to keep up with the influx of customers. However, when the flow of patrons stopped, time seemed to slow down.

Having children in your house is just as (okay, more) chaotic. It leads to the illusion that time is moving faster. School seems to have a compounding effect on both the chaos and the speed with which time elapses. Once you add in after school activities, you’re suddenly rocketing through life.

Conclusion

My point in all of this is that time is precious and it becomes even more precious when you have kids. It should be treated as such. It is a non-renewable resource that methodically ticks away. Value the time that you have. Value the time you have with people most of all.

With kids it is easy to wish time away. “I can’t wait until we’re done changing diapers.” Or “I can’t wait until they can brush their own teeth.” I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past.

My goal moving forward is to appreciate the stage my kids are at right now. I want to enjoy this moment and not wish it away; even the things that can feel like a hassle.

They’ll be a point in the future that they are grown up and I won’t get to interact with them on a daily basis. I don’t want to wish them closer to that moment. I want to enjoy them until that moment. Then find a new way of enjoying them when they achieve independence.

Time is moving fast enough. Appreciate the moment you are in. Be sure that what you choose to add to your life is adding value and not just chaos. For chaos is an amplifier of time and the enemy of appreciation.

9 Comments

  1. Well said! Oftentimes I find myself wishing for the next stage in life. This was a great reminder to stop and enjoy the moments we have now. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Chris. I think it’s hard not to look ahead and looking ahead can certainly be of value. The challenge is not allowing ourselves to live in the future, but instead to focus on enjoying today. Appreciate you stopping by.

  2. As I read this while my toddler is taking his nap with his head resting in my lap… I appreciate this article. I was never one to say, “I can’t wait until he does xxx,” or “I can’t wait until he stops xxx.” I learned when he was first born to enjoy every moment… The good and the annoying! Lol. Because time surely seems to fly once you have kids. And like you said, one day they will grow older and the daily interactions won’t be the same, but I do hope that the foundation I’m currently building will help with that.

  3. Great post. Our kids are 17, 14, 12 and 11, and it just keeps going faster. We homeschool so I am with them all day, but I still wish time would slow down. They grow up so fast.

    1. I can’t believe our kids are in grade school already. In a blink of an eye they’ll be in high school. It boggles my mind. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  4. More than washing bottles or changing diapers, I MOST hated when parents would tell me “just wait until…” in response to every single development. It drive me bananas, why can’t I just enjoy(?) the stage we’re having now?

    When JuggerBaby was born, I realized that my habit of planning ahead had threatened to become a habit of wishing time away, and that’s the most precious resource we have, isn’t it?

    1. Absolutely! It can be hard to strike the balance between being planful and living in the moment. As a natural planner myself I had to find a way to enjoy today while ensuring I was prepared for tomorrow.

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