How many times a day do you say this? I hear this countless times every day, from friends, co-workers, and strangers. Sure, sometimes it is true, but how often is it really true? I won’t pretend I don’t say it myself, because I absolutely do. Do you ever get the urge to ask people who say this to you, “What are you doing WITH your time?” I know I want to ask. Hell, I know I should be asking myself the very same question! I think we all know the answer. It is usually “something more important” or “something better/more fun/less work/etc.” Hmmm…..so instead of saying “I don’t have time”, shouldn’t we be saying “I would rather do something else”? It is simply a matter of priorities. I could be folding laundry right now, but I would rather write this blog post. That is my priority. Too often, saying we don’t have time is just an easy way of saying no and having a “good” excuse to do so.
I realized how bad this was for me when one day last week, I picked up my girls early from school. We had arranged a play date with the neighbors across the street. While the girls were playing with the neighbors, I had planned on getting a few things done around the house and making supper. Littlest decided she didn’t want to go play with the neighbors. She wanted to stay and play with her mom. Repeatedly, Littlest asked me to color with her, play My Little Ponies, play Zhu Zhu pets, and play Chutes and Ladders. Each time, she was met with “I don’t have time right now.” I tried to explain to her what I was actually doing (making supper, laundry, etc) but I still felt terrible! All this little girl wanted was to play with her mommy and I was not giving that to her. Someday I would be kicking myself for missing those precious moments. I vowed then and there to really review my priorities with my time and maximize it when I can.
Fast forward to this week. Last night, instead of making dinner, I had my hubby cook while I sat with my girls and looked through an old photo album of mine. They loved seeing pictures of me as a little girl. Then we did some of my old high school cheers in the living room and read a book together. It was great focusing on the kids for a change, instead of letting my husband get all the time to do it. We even left the dishes in the sink, opting to do our bath and bed routine as a family instead of just one parent doing all the work. We played, laughed, made a mess (which we cleaned up after the kidlets went to bed), and enjoyed being a family.
Today I was scheduled for a later start at work. So yesterday, I decided to keep Littlest home from daycare this morning for some Mommy/Littlest time. Last night, I asked her what she wanted to do and she started giving me a list of activities. I promised her we would do as many as we could before I had to go to work. Littlest ran down the hallway shouting “Tomorrow. Is. The. Best. Day. EVER!!!!” Hubby and I were just giggling about how happy she was for our day.
So this morning, I got up early, so I could be showered and ready for my day and focus on Littlest. After we got Biggest on the school bus, we went home and had breakfast together. Then Littlest rode her big girl bike around the block, while I walked one of our dogs alongside. We came back and played half a game of Chutes and Ladders (the short attention span of a three year old….) and swept the floor together. We headed upstairs and she served a pretend lunch to me and Rapunzel. We had cupcakes and ice cream. It was the most delicious fake lunch ever. Then we snuggled up on my bed and watched Strawberry Shortcake together (actually, she watched and I took a twenty minute catnap). When we were done watching her show, she decided she was ready to head to school for the day.
I hope Littlest enjoyed her morning as much as I did. Did I get anything done this morning that I “should” have? Not really. No dusting was done. No laundry was folded. No dishes were put away. But I spent put those things aside and spent time with my baby girl. That was more important. The past two days have had some great reminders about how I am prioritizing my time. Next time the phrase, “I don’t have time” escapes my lips, I will really think about what I am saying and what I really mean.
Now to figure out when to get the other stuff done……