Before you become a parent people issue you lots of warnings about time. So you figure you have a handle on how parents really spend their time. They warn you that time goes really quickly, and to treasure every minute. You soon learn that time does go really quickly, but some tantrum and poo filled minutes really aren’t to be treasured.  They warn you that you will spend no time sleeping and a lot of time changing nappies.  True on both counts.

But they don’t warn you of the more unexpected ways you might spend your time.  The time you spend repeating the same tasks over and over again to the point you actually begin to question what else you could be doing with your time instead.  Because there are probably at least 99 other things that you can think of that would be better than the current task in hand.


how parents really spend their time


For example I spend way too much time in the mornings telling my kids to get their shoes on. Time that I could actually spend doing my hair rather than rocking another mum bun. But no, instead I spend that time shouting “shoes” so often that even I am bored of the sound of my own voice.


I expected…

Some things are expected to a certain degree.  I expected the amount of laundry to increase with my growing family.  But I did not expect the laundry to take over my life.  We have to have scheduled laundry time in order for us not to disappear under a mountain of clothes.  And there is always a ridiculously large pile of clothes either waiting to be washed, waiting to be ironed or waiting to be out away.  Sometimes all three.


But I didn’t expect…

I spend a ridiculous amount of time every day putting the doors back onto Postman Pat’s van.  How the people of Greendale get any deliveries is beyond me because Pat only seems to make it down the windowsill once before the doors are off and the van comes to me for repair.  Just to spice up my life a bit today I counted how many times I responded to my little dictator waving Pat’s van in my face and shouting “Onnnnnnnn”. Seventeen times I put those bloody doors back on.



So if you are looking to find out what a parent really does with their time, here are some examples of the endless activities we partake in from some fellow bloggers…


How Parents Really Spend Their Time:

Stickers!  I’m always removing stickers from everything. Toy cars, pockets, inside socks, on slippers… everywhere!  Nicola Says  


Saying “Do not to eat the dog food” – it doesn’t matter how many times I move him away he still thinks it’s some kind of delicacy! Mama Wilkos


Telling my boys to stop looking at each others willies! Stacey in The Sticks


Constantly telling my two to stop trying to feed each other cat treats and also to stop feeding the cat their dinner. Bell & Bear


Washing the blue snoopy cup because apparently the other 20 cups we own just aren’t good enough.  Twinderelmo


Peg jigsaw boards. I’m forever putting all those back once the kids are bored of them.  Me, The Man & the Kids


Hoovering up!! How do they produce so many crumbs?? They can be sat there, eating off a plate, at the table, and still manage to get half of it on the floor. I live in constant fear of mice!!!! Five Little Doves


Finding felt tips. I have no idea how many felt tips I have bought over the years, but when it comes to arts and crafts time, I can not find them anywhere!  Yorkshire Wonders


Hunting for hairbands, and socks. Not even matching socks, just ANY socks. Somewhere in my house there is a magical hairband and sock land, one day I will find it… Mummy is a Gadget Geek


how parents really spend their time


Researching answers to questions I can’t answer myself!  Living Life Our Way


Checking my own clothes for food hand prints or anything substance that they may have found and wiped on me.  Nature Mum Blog


Picking up Cheerios, digging Cheerios out of the back of the sofa, hoovering Cheerios out of car seats, stopping my kids eating week old Cheerios that they found under the sofa…basically I just never knew that having two children would involve so many Cheerios! Toby Goes Bananas


‘Look where you’re going… LOOK where you’re going… I SAID LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING!’ *crash -toddler walks into dustbin*. Porridge and Parenting


Taking toys out of their boxes! All those screws, zip ties, plastic screws and wire make a mummy and daddy occupied for a very long time!  Raw Childhood


I spend way too much time putting the utensils back on the little display hooks on my son’s Ikea kitchen and separating the food groups of his play wooden food into the correct crates.  Thrifty Mum


Helping them look for some obscure, plastic, rubbish, toy… knowing fine well you threw it out in the last clear out but you cannot face the inevitable melt down if you admit this. Witty Hoots


Do these sound familiar?  How do you spend your time?


You might also like…

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How do parents really spend their time?  Apart from changing nappies and not sleeping, their are some unexpected things that take up your time as a parent.  Like replacing the doors on Postman Pat's van every 2 minutes!  Read this humorous look at the monotony of parenting.


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Claire Kirby

25 Comments on How Parents Really Spend Their Time

  1. Finding and putting pairs of shoes together, by the front door, so that they are ready to be put on again. And hanging coats up on the radiator so that they can be reached and put on by the little ones (well that’s the intention anyway!)

  2. Totally agree with this! Seriously, I have no ideas why I could sweep food off the floor million times a day.
    Funny how, since having a child, I just have a small dream like that someday there won’t be any Cheerios on my floor to clean up 🙁

  3. Haha – true! We don’t have a Postman Pat van, for me it is the base on the toy shopping trolley, and shoes on dolls. There always reaches a point where i say ‘if you deliberately take that off again, I’m not fixing it’. And then we have a tantrum. Which wastes more time, to be honest! #FridayFrolics

  4. Love this! I am spending most my time removing 1year old from the top of the sofa where she likes to climb and crawl and now quite expertly (clearly I don’t actually remove her often enough) climb over and lower herself down! We have a really high backed sofa, it is really frigging dangerous, just get the F#@K down damn it! Why do they always return to the one thing you just told them NOT to do!?

  5. I so agree with this! I spend my time repeating myself constantly, every single bloody sentence. We’ve hit the ‘huh??’ Stage. Treading on toy cars and secretly trying to put them in the bin with the child noticing and commencing immediate breakdown!

  6. I spend my time wishing I had time. I also spend a ridiculous amount of my existance on this earth putting untouched puzzles back in boxes, picking off rice off the floor and removing wooden toy food from under my pillow. Every night. #fridayfrolics

  7. So true! I do the Lego fire-walk regularly. Hot coals are for light weights! And emptying the vacuum cleaner bag because some vital piece of Lego has been hoovered up because it was left on the floor rather than being put away. #fridayfrolics

  8. This is very funny – the Postman Pat van – ah, yes I’ve been there. It’s now Darth Vader’s head. Tops on pens…I am forever trying to find them to stick them back on, to the right colour – can’t stand it on the few occasions the kids actually bother to put the tops back on, they put them on the wrong colours! When the husband comes back from work and he asks what I’ve been doing, I can never think of anything constructive because I’m so busy putting Darth’s head back on! #FridayFrolics

  9. You are sooo on it. It’s taken me years to check pockets for stray tissues. Often we look like we have light sprinkling of snow on trousers unless i can be bothered to sticky tape it off. jo x #fridayfrolics

  10. So very, very true. I spend most of my life forgetting to check pockets and then having to defluff all the clothes as they are covered in tissue fluff!

  11. Great post!! I spend to much time building lego using super glue once the children are in bed!! I need to learn how to do it in the bath!! There’s still bits that manage to fall off and get stuck in the carpet, ready and waiting for someone to stand on!!


  12. Seriously, where are those rogue tissues coming from? I too am forever trying to control the Cheerio infestation. I am also becoming a real pro at putting together various puzzles. As for the cat treat issue, seems like the remedy is to give the kids cat treats and insist that their dinners belong to the cat. #FridayFrolics

  13. Finding missing parts of toys (a car’s wheel, Woody’s hat); re-building train tracks; fixing lego heads to bodies (my 3.5 year old insists on playing with the minute lego men meant for 7+ years); vacuuming crumbs off the floor and most time-consuming – bedtime!!!
    Fab post again.

  14. I know, laundry! How can there be so much? Have to admit, though, I’ve totally given up on ironing. Husband does his work shirts, and that’s it. I’m too busy retrieving toys that have vanished under the sofa, searching for the *right* coloured beaker and trying to persuade my eldest to do her homework!

  15. I spend too much time separating my children from each other – they argue, whine at each other, push each other – not just at home, it’s everywhere and anywhere! It’s taking over my life!!!

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