How to Waste an Hour: A Mother’s Guide

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By a strange twist of fate and a rare alignment of the sun and stars on the unicorn new year, I have an hour to myself.

I regularly dream of this moment.

In the small hours of the morning when I’m rocking Little O back to sleep after a random spell of night-waking, I imagine the many wondrous things I could achieve with just a small amount of time to myself.

How productive could I be, how groomed might I look if I just had some free time?

When this extraordinary occasion arises, the reality doesn’t necessarily always match the hype.

Here’s how it actually goes:

Sleep? 

A little voice in my head screams ‘sleep woman, sleep!’. However I generally conclude that an hour is not enough time to wind down, read a few pages of my boring send-me-to-sleep novel and have enough time to get through a full sleep cycle. I would need to set an alarm and I can’t bear that. I rely on Little O to wake me each morning, the sound of babbling is actually quite nice compared to the alternative of my nerve-jangling ‘laser’ sound effect iphone alarm.

I waste a good 10 minutes of my hour of freedom deciding not to sleep.

Chores? 

I constantly glance around my living room and wish I had time to tidy up the piles of tat that accumulate everywhere and to put away the small plastic toys that seem to attract the soles of my feet.

But, why would I want to spend ‘me’ time on chores? I could spend the time tidying, only for Little O to commando-crawl through the living room afterwards, dragging everything she can find along with her. It’s a futile exercise. It’s fine that I’ve lost one flip-flop and keep finding plastic ball-pool balls in inappropriate places. I’m ok with shape sorter bricks scattered on the sofa, it adds a dash of colour to the room.

I waste a further 10 minutes staring at the aforementioned messy living room from the comfort of the sofa and decide not to do any chores.

TV? 

I’m so far out of touch with today’s TV that I don’t know where to begin with selecting suitable daytime viewing material. If it’s not ‘In the Night Garden’ or ‘Postman Pat’ then it’s basically alien to me.

Of course, one-hour episodes of decent dramas are reserved for evening viewing with Mr O. Thats how we roll these days.

After flicking through hundreds of channels, none grab my attention and I’ve allowed another 10 minutes to slip through my fingers.

Grooming?

Well, DIY grooming always seems a great idea but when it comes to it… ah no.

There’s an excellent salon near to where I live, with very reasonable prices. My own manicuring skills leave me looking like I’ve been finger-painting therefore it would be easier and safer all round not to spend my precious hour making myself look worse.

No appointments available at short notice, but I have a nice chat on the telephone with the receptionist. It’s nice to have an adult conversation.

There’s nothing left to do except….

Facebook?

Spending precious time looking at photos of people I don’t know, who people I’ve not seen for 15 years have ‘liked’. Yes.

Getting distracted by photos of other people’s weddings, babies and exotic holidays. Yes.

Accidentally buying more baby tat for Little O, to add to the mess in our living room? Of course! We have to keep up with the Next Big Thing

After 55 minutes, I realize I have yet again frittered away a free hour. I spend the final few minutes messaging my mum-friends to arrange a play date and a coffee, safe in the knowledge that it’s always more fun frittering time away together.

Next time I have a spare hour, I’ll definitely be more productive. I might even track down that missing flip-flop.

Stopping at two
A Cornish Mum

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23 thoughts on “How to Waste an Hour: A Mother’s Guide

  1. I love this! I do all of the above and then, of course, resort to social media with a hot cuppa (a luxury in itself!). Thanks for also reminding me I ned to book a hair appointment! #twinklytuesday

  2. This is so spot on! I’m currently having an hour (actually, almost 2) to myself as my son naps and more often than not what I end up doing is pretty much what you’ve described. I sit. And I think. Think some more. Zone out a bit. Remember I was trying to think of things to do or what I could be/should be doing. Then some more zoning out. Then I mention to someone that the baby is napping and I have all this free time and then as if by magic: the baby’s awake! Ahhh this parenting gig…haha! #TwinklyTuesday

  3. Brilliant! This is my life! I keep saying I’m going to leave Facebook but I know I never will. How else would I arrange my toddler’s social life, find out what lovely places people I hardly know have visited, see my friends dog do something cute and learn what my second cousin had for her dinner?!

    Next time I’ve got an hour I’ll definitely do something productive… :-/

    #twinklytuesday

  4. This is so my downfall too and then I reach the end of the day cursing myself for both achieving nothing new and not having given myself any TLC either!! We must get better at me time! #twinklytuesday

  5. Haha! I’m the biggest procrastinator I know — although having the twins has made me a LOT better with time management!! It’s amazing how much more I can get done these days!! That said, I can still happily waste an hour on Pinterest or Instagram!! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with us xx #TwinklyTuesday

  6. This is great. I used to spend loads of time longing for time only to discover that I had totally unrealistic expectations of what I could do in that time. When my boys were younger in my mind an hour of time would leave me feeling rested, energised and ready to go. It never did. I have to say though that I wasn’t into social media then (I am now) and I more often then not fell into bed. Great post. you really made me smile. Thankyou. Kirsten. I will share this on my FB page The Guilt Free Guide To Motherhood

  7. The thought of an hour to myself makes me feel giddy. I had one of these rare moments yesterday but I was so pooped I sat down on the sofa with a cuppa and vegetated…for a full hour. Bliss! Thanks for sharing. x #PicknMix

  8. Haha now this is quite funny but so true. Since I have been dealing with separation anxiety with Amelia she doesn’t like a sleep in the afternoon! NOOOO. But for the first time in forever she she is sleeping, in the afternoon and I have a spare half an hour!!! What to do with myself 🙂 Thank you for this…#binkylinky

  9. Haha, yes! This is exactly the same for me. With three children of five and under, I find myself longing for me-time but when I get it, I have no idea what to do and usually faff about not doing much at all and wondering where the time has gone. I’ve noticed most men never seem to have this problem! #binkylinky

  10. haha so true! By the time I’v fart arsed around on my phone the whole time has actually gone! I need to throw it to one side and go and do something!! xx Good luck next time xx #binkylinky

  11. Ha ha this is so true 🙂 That elusive free hour is so fast spent on something so frivolous and useless 😀 But hey, sometimes just relaxing and not doing anything is the best thing and most helpful thing to do 🙂 #binkylinky

  12. I totally do this too. What ends up happening is I spend far too much time browsing Zara, adding things to my basket, by which point my me hour vanishes, children start shouting and the buy button never gets pressed. Then I spend the next me hour adding it all again and getting upset that they’re out of stock of the printed leggings. gah! devastating 😉
    #sundaystars

  13. I love this post! So much of it rings true with me – I waste so much of my time and then find that I have been thoroughly unproductive when I have so much to do!
    Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars

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