Moms have busy, nonstop lives. Mamas are Jacks-of-all-trades; they're drivers, chefs, caregivers, launderers, housekeepers, and homework tutors, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. A mother's day is limited to a mere twenty-four hours, and she's got a lot of stuff to fit into that window.
Which means time management is of the utmost importance to a mom. Mothers need to weed out and pare down the unessentials in order to fit all of the mandatory tasks into their days. As much as they would love to have time to do certain things, reality often makes those things entirely unavailable to a mommy — without her making herself stressed beyond belief, that is.
So, it's maybe not a bad idea for moms to give up entirely on certain expectations and activities that just slow them down, right? Not give up, exactly, but just... forget about. For example, making sure the baseboards in the house are clean. Who has time for that nonsense? The only people who probably care about clean baseboards are judgmental people who find joy in criticizing others, and who wants to please them, anyway? Isn't it more fun to make the judge-y ones prickly with a c'est la vie attitude?
It's time for mothers to reclaim their time. In honor of that notion, here are twenty things that moms shouldn't do for more than fifteen minutes per day.
20 Clean The House
I know it sounds crazy, but come on. We moms have put in our time. We do everything, so maybe we should let up on the cleaning just a little. Not completely, but let's narrow it down to a small fifteen-minute window. We can set a timer like we're on a Price is Right game, and run through the house, straightening and picking up.
There should totally be game music playing when this happens, by the way.
Whatever doesn't get done in that quarter-hour reverts to hubby and/or kiddos, or sits until the next day's fifteen minutes.
What could possibly go wrong?
19 Chauffeur The Kiddos
Carpooling is a patience tester. Toss your kids in the backseat, then add in one or two additional kids that belong to someone else. Lock the doors, close the windows, and let the fun begin.
Kid conversation, kid music, kid smells; ahhh...let it all waft over you, mom. That is some pungent stuff.
But what if...the ride ended after fifteen? Just imagine it. Your two kiddos are arguing, the neighbor's kid is singing loudly to T-Swift, and you just BAM. "It has been 15 minutes. Please exit the car and find your way to where you need to be."
I mean, we like our kids so this particular scenario won't happen, but it sure is fun to think about, right?
18 Pamper Themselves
"I'm going to go take a nap for fifteen minutes; nobody bother me." Has any mom in the history of momming ever uttered these words and successfully emerged with fifteen uninterrupted minutes of sleep?
I propose that we quit trying for more than fifteen "me" minutes. I mean, really, we know we're not going to get it, so why get our hopes up and deal with the frustration of being rudely awakened after four minutes by the tiny sprite who just wanted to see what your eyelashes looked like while you slept? We set ourselves up for disappointment the minute we cross the fourteen-minute mark.
Keep it under fifteen, ladies, for the greater good.
17 Do Their Hair
Sure, you can set an alarm, get up before the kids and make your blowout fantastical. But why? I mean, on special occasions, sure. But on an average, ordinary day, here is the story of mom hair.
Hair looks good at beginning of the day. Toddler tugs on it when playing, so it's a little askew. Then the baby gets a little bit of applesauce in the underside when mom is feeding her, so it's a little askew and mildly crunchy.
Mom's hair is probably going to be pulled back in a hair tie before lunch, so it might behoove her to sleep in a little later and forego any styling that exceeds the 15-minute increment.
16 Talk To The Perfect Mom
We all know one of these. Whether they are a mom from your kiddo's school, one of your friends, or just a neighbor, perfecto moms exist among us.
These are the women who have perfectly-cleaned, perfectly-decorated houses, yet still manage to run five miles a day, make crafts with their kids, dress their children like little fashion plates, cook a bountiful dinner of all-organic fare, then hang out on the deck in the evening like it's all that easy.
Don't waste a minute over fifteen talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Did she remember her gloves? Is he ready for his test? Are my thighs ever going to look like they did before that last kid again? How much sugar is too much really? Did I remember to send in the book order?
It's a mom's lot in life, to worry incessantly. We love those little boogers so much that all we can do is worry about every little thing we can't make right for them. It's exhausting, right?
Try and take a load off. We probably can't cut it down to less than fifteen, but we should.
14 Be Sick
It's like mom-code or something that you cannot be sick for more than fifteen minutes per day. You just can't. I mean, you can feel lousy, sure, but you're not allowed to be down-for-the-count and off-duty from your momming.
Better take your daily vitamin and drink a little OJ, because the common cold is not about to get you a day off from your mom-jobbing. How many moms have been hurling-in-a-bucket sick, yet their kid manages to wriggle in the room to ask if she knows where their shin guards are.
Buck up, ma. Fifteen or bust.
13 Compare Their Houses To Other Moms' Houses
Take the fifteen. It's okay. Take the full fifteen, and let your heart covet thy neighbor's clean, well-kept house for a few. Because we all do it. Classic grass-is-always-greener story.
But take comfort in the fact that for their house to look that great, they're failing in other areas. Is that mom caught up on her episodes of Fancy Nancy? Probably not. Did she spend an hour helping her kiddo make a blanket fort in the living room? Unlikely.
You do you, mom, and don't worry about the neighbor's house. At least not for more than fifteen minutes a day.
12 Watch TV
As tempting as it might be to relax in front of the tube after the kids are in bed, moms should attempt to...
NOPE. Can't do it. Mama, if you've taken care of your little munchkins all day, you watch the heck out of that TV. You deserve to decompress in the form of mindless, ultra-relaxing entertainment.
You sprawl on that sofa, grab a blanket, guzzle your favorite beverage, and do some serious binging. For as long as you want. Maybe even eat chips directly from the bag, the way you would never allow the kiddos to do.
11 Lecture The Children
There are days, as a mom, and there are days with a capital D. Sometimes it feels like all you do - for the entire day - is scold and lecture your kids. In your defense, they started it, right?
But it's probably not good for moms or kids when it goes on that way all day. Let's try (try is the key word here) to limit our lectures and extend our education. Raise our discussion and conversation time, and lower our yelling/scolding time.
Of course, this is just an idea. Sometimes the little peanuts make it difficult to stick with a plan and might-just require extensive lecturing. #goals
10 Obsess Over Their Kids' Schoolwork
This one is tough. It's so hard not to want to get in there and do things to ensure your kids are keeping up on their assignments, quizzes, and tests. Because with modern technology, we can log into their schedules and see the grades for everything, almost in real-time.
We need to back up, though. Fifteen minutes is ample time to talk to your child about school, worry, look up their grades and communicate with their school. Any more than that, and you risk taking the responsibility away from them.
You won't always be there to do it for them, mom, so you've got to take a few steps back. You can do it.
9 Roll Their Eyes
I'll admit - I'm a blatant over-roller. I roll my eyes so often that if my mother's warnings had been fact-based, my eyes would've been stuck in my head thousands of times over the years.
It doesn't have to be that way. Snark doesn't have to be the go-to reaction, right? I mean, yeah, it's my go-to reaction, but perhaps it shouldn't be. If we make an effort and rise up against our inner-snarkitude, limiting the rolling of the eyes to 15 minutes per day, perhaps it will give us a better overall outlook.
(I'm rolling my eyes at this idea.)
This is just like the taking of the nap. Moms shouldn't bathe for more than fifteen minutes per day, mainly because their children won't allow them to, anyway.
The minute that tub is full of bubbles and music is playing from mom's phone, you know there will be knocking on the door and random shouts of Mom! You can cast them out, shouting back to the little ones that you need another minute, but they've just spoiled the vibe.
Might as well blow out the candles and get on with the night. Fifteen minutes is the max possible time for baths.
7 Look For Kids' Misplaced Items
This is an endless job. If kids are masters of any domain, it is the domain of misplaced everything. Where's my phone, have you seen my wallet, I think my comb is missing; the loss within a kid's lifetime is immense.
I'm guilty of falling for it every time, dropping whatever I'm doing to shimmy beside their bed to try and see if their action figure is hiding underneath.
However, they will lean on us for our mad-searching skills forever if we do not pass the torch. I do not want to be looking for my son's missing shoe when he's thirty, so I'm going to try to limit my help to fifteen minutes a day.
6 Watch The Kardashians
I have nothing against this band of rich sisters; really, I don't. But watching this for more than fifteen minutes a day could be harmful to a mother's emotional health.
Because they are always - always - stylish. When they're hanging with their babies around the house, being stay-at-home mama's, they look like the makeup artist has already swept in to ensure their gorgeousness. It's unfair to the rest of us, right?
And their days are wildly different than ours. I've yet to see them fetching a fruit snack for the toddler while carrying the baby and talking on the phone to the refrigerator repairman that they can't afford.
Don't do it, ladies. Avert your eyes.
I know there are some moms who actually like to cook, and God bless; they can cook for as much time as they'd like. Go ahead, rockstars.
But for the rest of us, I say we take a stand. Fifteen minutes or less, or the meal doesn't happen. And I'm not talking about cook time; obviously, a meatloaf or lasagna has to bake for a good hour. But the prep-time; the prep-time should be under fifteen.
We deserve it, right? Our foremothers slaved over their stoves so we wouldn't have to. Let's make them proud.
4 Be Rational
Moms shouldn't spend more than fifteen minutes a day being concerned with how rational they are. Because you know what? Our jobs are the antithesis of anything rational. We revel in nonsensicalities. This morning I had to negotiate with a toddler who was all curled up in the fetal position.
What was wrong, you ask?
I looked at her when she was talking to me. That, and she couldn't find purple pants. (We don't own purple pants.) So you see, rationality is not that important in the mom life.
Fifteen minutes is a pretty high number, actually.
3 Attempt Cool
First of all, if you're cool, you shouldn't have to try, right? So NO TIME is required for coolness, if you're still cool.
But deep down, we all kind of want to be the "cool" mom. We want to be the mom that all the little kiddos think is just a little less mommish than the rest. Marginally human.
So go ahead and try, if that's what you want. Crank your Post Malone, wear your shredded jeans and overuse words like "throwing shade" and "it's Gucci." (Side note: those are no longer cool.) Give it your best shot.
But for no more than fifteen minutes per day.
2 Think About Romance
Okay - that sounds harsh. Of course, moms should think about romance. We all should, right? But the harsh reality is that a house with kiddos is not conducive to romance.
How do you consider romance when there is a 2-year-old sitting on a potty chair in the middle of the living room, making a very disconcerting noise? And romance does not pop into your head when you're cleaning spit-up off the side of your neck.
Think about it, but don't dwell for more than fifteen minutes. Any more than that equates to longing, and we don't even want to go there.
1 Read A Book
This, my friends, is sarcasm. OF COURSE, moms should read for more than fifteen minutes a day. Who doesn't need escapism more than a mother? A mini brain vacation to somewhere else where different, exciting things are happening.
It's tough to find the time, but if you're determined, you can make it happen. I've read in the Starbucks drive-thru, in the carpool lane, at baseball practice; it's all about how bad you want it, right?
I think a better goal is to only not read 15 minutes out of your day. Come on, moms - let's go for this one.
Sources: Pinterest, YouTube, USA Today, NY Daily News, 9Now, Hallmark Channel, abc.com.