Family · Motherhood

About time

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It’s Alex’s birthday. Our speedy, chatty sleep thief is 2 today.

It’s a little overwhelming.

I was just feeding her and watching Downton Abbey on our couch in Wellington. Now she’s talking about her friends at nursery in Edinburgh, and running races with me, and splashing in puddles and climbing on my head at 5am – “Wap op (wake up), mummy!” So much has changed but I still feel like that brand new mum, hooked on a teeny tiny baby.

Time gets away from me.

In those early days, we start by training to raise an infant. By the time the course is complete, she’s a toddler and we’re beginners again.

I try to capture it all – her childhood, my motherhood, our family – as it rushes by. It’s a profound and sacred thing to watch my child grow. But also, there’s playdough in the washing machine and I haven’t brushed my hair.

Time gets away from me.

You ever want what you can’t have? Time’s more precious to me now it seems like I have less of it. It felt infinite before. Everything could wait until tomorrow. I still feel like that some days. But I had one of those reminders recently – the kind that shakes the earth beneath you, when you don’t cross out the day on the calendar because it’s not just another Wednesday – that it isn’t forever, this right-now life.

All this to say, I can do better at respecting my time. I can prioritise and make changes so the good, exciting stuff can happen more often. I can put a little bit of time into the thing I’m built for – to write, to write, to write.

Just write.

When Alex was born, it took a while for me to become – and to accept – this new version of myself. The dual personalities of Rachel and Mummy. And the crucial commodity in all of it has been time. How to make more of it. How to use what I have. How to find the spaces between the parenting and the working to fit in all the rest of the things that make up living. That make a life.

Time gets away from me.

But I can catch up.

Happy birthday, my girl.


If you’re still here, I just wanted to say thank you for sticking around during my unplanned hiatus from Fern & Rose. It means a lot that there are people like you who choose to read what I write. You’re the best!

2 thoughts on “About time

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