Timing is everything.

Elke Tweens & Teens

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When my sons were little, the world was in slow motion. Sometimes it was in blissed out dripping in honey gooey slowness. Other days were just flat out relentlessly long, tiring, painful, humbling, boring. But the common denominator was the speed, or lack of. Endless days. It took forever to get to lunch.

But somehow the birthdays came mighty fast. One. Five. Nine.

Now time is again the theme, only we are on warp speed. Weeks fly by. There are days when I only see the boys as we zoom to gymnastics or parkour. Or wrestle through the we-have-homework-dinner-showers-tooth-brushing-bed all happening in a 45 minute window. I never get enough of them.

And my life is busier then ever. I tend to fill all available minutes with ideas, meetings, emails and more. My tendency is to bite off more than I could ever chew and somehow choke it down anyway. I walk my kids into their classrooms in the mornings, say “Hi” to the teachers, maybe read a story or chapter, say goodbye and then sprint for all I am worth across the parking lot and into my whirlwind of a day. I do my best to stop from 3-8 so that I can be the after school, snack, activities, eat, bed. Then I hop back on the work train. I am a total insomniac. I work hard to keep my monkey mind in check. I work hard to rest. Which in and of itself is dichotomy I abhor.

So today was a treat. A perfect gift wrapped up in a wad of snot. My boys both have colds and slight fevers. They were sick enough not to go to school, but not so sick that they needed to sleep all day. We, for just a moment of a day, went back in time to before they were in school and we sort of wandered through every day. Making lunch was a three person job. We dug out the old craft supplies that have not seen the light of day in far too long. We boiled water on the stove until the windows fogged and we blocked out even the view. The world was just us, in our home. Nothing else.

When my days were like this everyday, I wished so hard for more freedom, speed and action. Now I have that. So much of it that I can't even rest anymore. I resisted what was perhaps the most magical time of my life. The slow. The repetitiveness. The simple. The smallness.

I didn't know how perfect it was. Or how fast it would go. Or how much I would <em>ache, absolutely ache</em> to get it back.

If you are there, in that mundane, suspended time moment, hear this: The next time you pick up those toys. Blow that nose. Wipe that bottom. Answer “Why?”. Walk slow. Read that book again. Hold me. Mama. Can you come with me? Plleeeeease? Uh-oh. Whatever, whatever the task is that you think you can't take anymore, the next time you do it, think of me and let go. Sing Twinkle Twinkle again. Again. Again. Because believe it or not, someday you won't. Ever. Again.


Perhaps the saying should be changed to this…TIME is everything.

About the Author


Elke Govertsen is a entrepreneur and founder of Mamalode. She has been featured in Real Simple, Forbes, Where Women Create, Ad Tech, and listed as one of Origin Magazine's "Top 100 Creatives." She has been a speaker at The Girls Lounge, Adweek, C2Montreal, HATCH, TEDx and (her favorite) in classrooms. She speaks on a variety of topics from entrepreneurship to overcoming obstacles. She loves consulting in the areas of community design, storytelling and brand building. Her special skills include extreme bootstrapping, overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities. Of the many things she has learned by doing Mamalode, her ability to work with absolute chaos/kids/mess just might be the best. She is learning that slowing down creates more impact.

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