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I’ll be the first to admit it; I’m new to the mom game – a novice for sure. My son just turned one, so in the grand scheme of parenthood I’ve been in the game for about a nanosecond. I remember thinking, often aloud, that I never had enough time. Ha!

stressed woman at desk

This past year has taught me that there really is never enough time. If I could tell my pre-baby self what I know now! While pregnant, I remember crafting “perfect plans” of what my new life would look like once I was a mom. Returning to work, making sure to have quality family time, working out; the list of needs and wants were pretty long.

>> Read more: My Perfectly Imperfect Birth Plan

When I did go back to work I spent at least the first few months, if not more, counting down the hours until I could rush home to my baby. As soon as I walked into the door it felt like there was a countdown for how much time I could spend with my son until it was bedtime. I became a crazy person, passing up chances to go out with friends or even to go to the gym because it was cutting into that precious time. My pre-mom self never said no to any social engagement. I knew that I would have to return to work full-time – there was no way around it – but this could not be the new normal in my life.

My typical day was something along the lines of wake and rush to get ready, leave for work, stare at the clock at least a full hour before leaving, get home as fast as possible, play/feed/get baby ready for bed, put baby to bed, clean up, prep for the next day, make dinner, do dishes, hang with my husband for a minute and then fall into bed only to do it all over the next day. Rush, rush, rush. I savored and hated, all at once, the times I would have to get up in the middle of the night for a feeding because it was just a little more time with my baby. Things could not continue with this new hustle.

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>> Read more: This is Our Life With a Newborn

After wrestling with this, I realized that I needed to ease up a little bit. I could go to a yoga class with a friend after my son went to bed, take a little extra time on the weekend while he was napping to prep meals for the week, do some crunches and pushups with my husband during commercials when we watched a TV show in the evening; those were all simple fixes. Most importantly, I needed to be present and give myself a bit of a break.

Some days go pretty smoothly with plenty of play time, good healthy meals and a decent bedtime for all of us. There are other days where take-out is ordered and the house is ransacked from the day’s activities, but the reality is that is how life is for our family right now. If I have learned anything in my nanosecond of parenthood, it’s that time speeds up even more than imaginable, so be present in the here and now because time is fleeting.