It is a hard fact. I regularly (and somewhat coldly) refer to my children as "leg-irons." Do you know how long it takes to walk to school with two toddlers? Do you know how long it takes to strap them into their car seats? FOREVER. By the time you have strapped one in safe and sound, the other has wriggled herself free and is shouting "I DRIVE!" at the top of their lungs.
Story-telling is a big deal in this house and reading the Peppa Pig book "My Mummy" takes about 30 seconds, but if you get stuck with the Ladybird classic "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" you have basically had it. After a long day it will feel like you're reading War and Peace (I should know, I have read that monster.) And don't bother to skip any sentences and definitely don't hold two pages together when you turn them because THEY'LL KNOW.
Then there is the repetition. This slows you down, especially when trying to instill manners.
"Mummy get me a drink"
"What do you say?"
"Mummy can you get me a drink please."
Repeat this every night FOR MANY YEARS.
Tantrums slow you down. Take tonight for example, Alice had a twenty minute meltdown because I told her she couldn't wear her swimming costume to shower in.
The question "Why?" is likely to be asked about 345 times a day by someone under the age of five. This is especially difficult if you don't know the answer.
It is not only the smaller children who slow you down. The older ones also have the capacity to make life difficult. Questions like "Who invented the German language?" and endless witterings about Minecraft progress means you can never get round to do what it is you wanted to do.
Then you get to thinking about what it is you wanted to do in the first place. I might have needed to clean the floors. I might be writing a dissertation and need to read. I might have work I want to check on, paperwork to fill in.
I find that my role as a mother is slow. It is the nature of the position, everything is slower, because it has to be to allow for the children and their insane ramblings and teeny-tiny life crises that to them are simply MONUMENTAL.
And so, I try and stop. And breathe. I try to take things slowly when I am with them. We'll get there in the end. And for now, we're just trying to enjoy the journey.
Without killing each other in the process.