To put it simply, I’m really busy.
I always thought I was busy, even while I was lounging around watching TV box sets for four hours straight during my university career (note: not at all related to my studies).
Now that I’m a mama, I know I’m busy. I’m busy from the minute I get up in the morning until the moment I collapse at night.
Usually in bed, but I’m not always so lucky.
My time is precious these days. I have a three year old constantly demanding attention, lots of articles to write, a blog to update, a husband, friends and a myriad of other duties that keep me busy.
I can multitask, of course, I’m a mama.
I’m usually doing at least a couple of jobs at once, but I find there still aren’t enough hours in the day.
But if I’m being perfectly honest: I let quite a lot of things slide. I have to, for my sanity. And I’m ok with that. I have no interest in ‘having it all’, I just want to be happy. For me, that means prioritising. If there are only 24 hours in my waking day (did I mention my child never sleeps?), then I can only fit so much in. I’m going to make sure it’s the stuff I really want to do. I don’t want to waste my time doing things that don’t make me happy or improve my life in some way.
So, here is a list of (just) 10 of the things I don’t have time for now that I’m a mother:
#1: Pinterest Crafts
I love Pinterest. A lot. I love looking at the photographs of beautiful interiors and amazing crafts, and pinning them to my board entitled ‘Things I Don’t Have Time To Do’.
The kids activities on Pinterest are amazing. There are homemade organic paint recipes, personalised candles and handkerchiefs embroidered with your child’s artwork. They are amazing, and I wish I had time for them. But I just don’t. I’m pretty sure the average Pinterest kids craft activity takes approximately 17 hours to set up and about 13 minutes to complete. I just do not have the time for that. Even though the photo coasters would look amazing in my (not at all Pinterest worthy) living room.
I really feel like I just don’t have any time to think anymore. My three year old is very noisy, and this drowns out any internal monologue that might be buried away deep in my diminishing brain.
By the time she falls asleep, I am too exhausted for thoughts. Usually all I can manage is ‘Need wine.” I don’t have the time to contemplate the world’s problems, or even really process what has happened during my day.
#3: Plucking My Eyebrows
Ach, my eyebrows. Or should I say eyebrow? Plucking eyebrows is a time costly hobby, and one that I rarely manage to find the time for these days.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that I just don’t really look at myself very hard in the mirror these days (why take the risk?), and so lose track of just how much of my face has become eyebrow. It’s only really when I’m heading out for a special occasion (i.e. almost never) that I realise just how bad the eyebrow has become.
#4: Organising My Photos
I have so many photos. I must have taken thousands upon thousands since my daughter was born. They are all of her, obviously. I rarely feature on any of them, something which I’m already starting to regret. I save all of my photographs online. In one folder.
The only way I can explain this is that I must have a deep underlying hate for myself, because that folder holds thousands of uncategorised images. Had I just organised them from day one, it would have been fine. But I didn’t, and now the folder is overflowing and I would have to dedicate at least two days of my life to sorting it out. And, really, where am I supposed to find two days from? So I don’t. I just continue to add to the problem.
Ironing, seriously, what even is that? I’m kidding of course. Ironing is something people with too much time do, I know that. Who really needs all of their clothes to be perfectly flat? They only get creased as soon as you sit down anyway. I guess this wouldn’t be too much of a problem, seeing as I rarely get chance to sit down.
I remember my mum ironing every Sunday evening when I was a kid. It would take her the whole evening. Until, that is, she got wise and announced we had to start ironing our own clothes. This is when I adopted my time saving stance on ironing – not doing it. I will iron the occasional dress or skirt, but other than that, we are a creased family. And proud of it.
#6: Bento Boxes
You know those posts that go viral, showing the 365 days worth of amazing bento boxes some amazing parent made for their kid? Those make me want to vom. Food is food. It’s what gives us energy, keeps us healthy and fills our tummies. We should eat food because we’re hungry, not because somebody painstakingly carved it into the dinosaur fight scene from Jurassic World for us.
I don’t have the time to cut cartoon characters out of bread. I’m not going to sit down and work out fruit and vegetables to look cute. My cookie cutters are for cookies only. Sorry, kid.
#7: People I Don’t Like
Since having my daughter, I’ve come to realise that life is short. Unless you’re stuck in one of those whiny days, then life is painfully long. But mostly it’s short. I don’t have that much free time to spend with my friends as it is, so I want to make sure that I prioritise the people I love spending time with. And that means deprioritising (aka, getting rid of) the people I don’t.
I’m sorry, people I don’t like, but my socialising hours are too precious to waste listening to you moan or show off about something I don’t care about. This might sound harsh, but it frees me up to spend more time with the people I love. And that’s what life should be about really, isn’t it?
#8: Handmade Gifts
Without doubt, my absolute favourite gifts to receive are those that have been a labour of love. When my daughter was born, she was lucky enough to receive a number of homemade blankets, clothes and toys. Those gifts are my favourite, because they remind me that she is cared about and loved by the people we love. Homemade gifts are special because they are about time, not money, and to me time is the valuable of the two.
That said, I just don’t have time to make handmade gifts. Sorry. Maybe in another fifteen years I’ll suddenly take up all manner of crafts and be sending out homemade perfection for every birthday, but until then, it’s store bought crap for everyone in my life.
Oh, lie ins. They’re truly the greatest thing in the world, aren’t they? Well, they were. Now I just don’t have time for them. I either get dragged up early by an apparently starving three year old or my alarm sounds because it’s time to get up and start work. I just don’t have time for lie ins anymore.
#10: Baby Books
This a word of warning to any new mamas out there. I didn’t fill in my daughter’s baby book, to be honest, I just couldn’t find the time. When you’re in the midst of those baby days, there just isn’t a spare minute to be had. Never mind, you think, I’ll never forget any of this so will write it down later. I thought that. I figured I could write everything down when I had more time, because how could I forget anything about my beautiful newborn? And yet, I did.
Three years down the line I can remember next to nothing about that first year. And so the baby book stays empty, glaring at me from the bookshelf, judging me as a mother.
If you do one thing after reading this post, make sure it’s filling in a few pages of that baby book.
If you liked this article, check out BellyBelly’s article 10 Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself As A New Mother.