24 things I don’t have time for as a mum (and three things I do)
They say the days are long but the years are short when they are a parent, but what they DON’T say is that despite some days actually being longer than time itself, you never have time for anything.
(Who are they exactly, and why are they always saying these annoying things?)
The myth of the ‘busy mum’ is an advertisers dream; I actually read an article the other day about ‘mothers who are addicted to being busy.’ Who are these people and how is that even a thing?! But despite all my disdain for this concept, it is indeed true that I do never seem to have any time or any hands-free time to get things done, because both of mine are busy juggling life and work and jobs and baby wrangling and toddler grappling and snack fetching all at once.
So I’ll cut to the chase and keep this short; here’s 24 things I don’t have time for (in terms of both physical time and patience). And to balance things out, three things I always do:
- Sleep…just kidding! I always have time for that, it’s just there’s never any time for it
- People who get more sleep than me and moan about it.
- People who say ‘cherish every minute’ when they’re small and you’re so so very tired
- Haircuts. Not because of the childcare juggle or terrible haircut possibility, but the risk that the hairdresser will make small talk and ruin the potential for 60 blissfully uninterrupted minutes of nothingness apart from trying not to stare at your oddly shaped cape face in the mirror
- Parental judgement from all angles. YES Netflix, we are still watching Peppa Pig
- Buffering, especially on Netflix during crucial moments in the Peppa-marathon
- Terrible parenting advice. Especially from TV channels
- Leaving the house, on time
- Replying to texts: I don’t want to reply immediately or I’ll seem too keen. Anything I don’t reply to immediately gets forgotten about since baby brain and months of mega tiredness borrowed my short and long term memory. It’s the eternal bad mum memory mobile catch 22
- Replying to emails: See above, and my inbox
- Small talk
- Me time
- General elections. I’m with Brenda on this one
- Going to bed early. Because the post-bedtime evening time is so deliciously precious it would be a crying shame to waste it. And because there’s always time for ‘one more pointless scroll through the entire internet’ and oh, wait, someone’s awake again
- Life without a washing machine. Ours broke the Thursday before Easter meaning it couldn’t be fixed for four days. Our house resembled a washing wasteland while outside was the perfect mix of sunny and windy, taunting me with the washing-drying potential
- Queueing – I now spend my time in any queue wound up like a spring, waiting for one of my children to get bored or run off. Pleeease go quickly…
- Waiting for things, especially not in queues
- Waiting for TV that’s not on demand. I have about an hour, post-bedtime, to watch one thing before I fall asleep. We’re currently obsessed with Designated Survivor, a Netflix show that’s now cruelly only on once a week. I’m finding this very hard to deal with
- Waiting for children’s TV that’s not on demand. A difficult concept to explain because most of it is and also because I clearly can’t deal with it, see 16
- Ironing. Who has time for that? I have so much time for iron-free school uniform. Mainly because I’m not even 100% sure where the iron is
- Waiting for Victoria Station to have step free access. By the time they install a lift, our pram days will be past us
- Waiting till lunchtime. Is it a second breakfast if you eat at 11.30? Who knows!
- How quickly time goes. Like this. Hold your babies tightly because the years really are short, it is heartbreakingly true.
Things I do have time for as a mum:
- Waiting, child free. I had to go for a routine blood test recently, one that I’d put off for a year but felt obliged to go to after yet another sinisterly threatening letter from the doctors. Somehow, I managed to wrangle this child-free. I got there and was number 98 in a queue with a waiting time of about two hours. OH BRILLIANT I thought huffily, but then…OH WAIT. I sat down and relaxed. I looked at my phone without fear of judgement. I looked again, I stretched out my legs luxuriously. The clock ticked by slowly. It was great
- Hairdressers who don’t talk. I struck gold at my last appointment. I played hairdresser roulette and won. I’m scared to go back now; I’ll clearly never be that lucky again
- Sleep, at any time. Even standing up.