One of the many struggles you encounter as a parent in the early days is finding things to do. Figuring out how the hell to fill your days when you don’t have to go to work. Hour upon hour stretches out in front of you with nothing to fill it except 45 minutes of singing ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’ in a rundown old community centre, led by a man who looks as if he’s walked straight out of a Little Britain sketch. Not exactly an action packed day.
Yet somehow, despite these hours of nothingness and your desperation to fill them, you can find yourself sitting at the end of the day worrying about all the things you should have done, but didn’t have the time.
How is it that you had nothing to do, but couldn’t get anything done? Yet somehow, had loads of stuff you should have done, but didn’t? It doesn’t make any sense.
The conundrum increases as time goes on.
As your child grows, you suddenly discover a whole host of things you need to do. Endless doctor’s appointments, health visitors’ visits and baby drop in sessions. It’s a good job you get maternity leave, because how would these things get done otherwise?
Your child continues to grow, and it gets worse. Now you have playgroups and classes to get to, on top of your child’s daily demands to go to the park. Then there are visits to choose childminders, then nurseries, then schools. Once they’re in nursery or school, there are endless meetings, shows, parents’ evenings and all sorts in between. It’s a wonder anyone manages to make it into work when they have children.
All the time, every time you get close to achieving something, someone in your family starts crying, needs feeding or announces they’ve pooed in their pants (hopefully one of the children!) and all your good efforts go right out the window.
And so you enter the great Catch 22 of parenting. You have loads to do, but no time to do it, despite having loads of time to fill with nothing to do. You reach the end of the day and realise you’ve achieved nothing. Then you beat yourself up about it, make a to-do list, fail it the following day, and repeat ad infinitum.
How to deal with this problem? Don’t worry. I’ve created a handy step by step guide to getting stuff done with kids:
- Do anything that HAS to be done, i.e. anything which risks your children ending up in hospital or being taken away if you don’t do it.
- Sod everything else.
- Eat some cake.
There. That’s one thing sorted.