There are moments for which a mother will slow time. She’ll commit these to memory for the all too certain future when her children will no longer depend on her as they do today. In these moments, it is almost as if there were only you and your baby, though you might be in a crowded room; you are for once not juggling several tasks in your all too active mind, and are concentrating solely on caring for and loving your little one. These moments differ from one mother to the next, but are obvious to even the most casual of observers.
For many, as it is with me, these moments represent the times that are spent breastfeeding our young children. From birth there were several precious times a day that I had to stop and sit awhile, in silence with my feeding baby. In these moments I could memorise the curves of my baby’s face, the increasing prevalence of curly dark hair atop her sweet-smelling head.
Some will look back on their child’s infancy and remember the bedtime routine – of their baby emerging clean and soft from the bath, and of little bodies slowly growing heavy in rocking arms, as they doze off to sleep. Lullabies surely play softly in the back of such mothers’ minds whenever they speak of their child.
Mariela's husband and children. Image: supplied.
I never expected that for some, their most valued time could be during their baby’s nappy changes.
You’ll see these mothers in the parents’ rooms at shopping centres, their prams heavily laden with grocery bags, parked behind changing tables. Folded at the hips, they’ll converse happily with their child, their faces hovering over widespread gummy grins. Sometimes the process is interrupted by clapping and dancing hands, moving in time to an impromptu performance of a melodic nursery rhyme. Every nappy change is leisurely spent, used as an opportunity to bond with whom they most adore.
I’d see these interactions and not completely comprehend them - nappy-changing was always a necessary evil to me, one that I would fast-forward through, rather than linger and cherish. From the very first nappy, in post-delivery rooms at the hospital, I’ve always shirked from the task, delegating whenever possible to my all-too willing husband. Like most stories about parenthood, I’d always been made to believe the reality was worse than it really was.
Then the day came when my daughter stopped breastfeeding, and the precious minutes when I didn’t have to share her with the rest of the world were over.
"I never expected that for some, their most valued time could be during their baby’s nappy changes." Image: supplied.
Bath and bedtime being the cherished routines of her full-time working father, I decided to elevate the importance of change time, as I’d observed many other mothers do countless times before. Though at first sceptical, I am so thankful I did. Standing side by side with my daughter, we are never face-to-face, eye-to-eye; nappy change time allows us that intimate interaction, in a way no other time of the day does. On days when I am distracted or hurried, and my daughter doesn’t get the best of my attention, I can still count on nappy change time to talk, to sing, to connect.
My daughter’s world is rapidly expanding, and within it, the distance between her and me seemingly ever greater, as slight in reality it might actually be. It is a comfort that though she no longer needs me to feed, and is slowly outgrowing her bed time routine, we still have change time for which time slows.
What moments do you cherish?
Change times can be special. And because Huggies Nappy Pants are super absorbent and are designed with Motionflex to move with your baby, they feel like a comforting hug.