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13 ‘Should Dos’ I Don’t Have Time for Now That I’m a Mom

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Before I had a baby, I always thought I was busy — with work, family, friends, random bits of paperwork, doctor’s appointments… whatever. Now that I’m a mom, I realize that my former understanding of busyness was nothing. And suddenly a lot of things I did as “extras” are no longer part of my reality. I used to go above and beyond to be a good, upstanding member of society. Having a baby didn’t turn me into a bad or inconsiderate person, but I’m honestly just busy, physically and emotionally, all the time now. Too busy, at least, to worry about these 13 things I used to care so much about. Maybe someday when my daughter starts school I’ll become a decent human being again — until then, I’m too busy trying to raise one.

1. Send hand-written thank-you notes. Yeah, I appreciate each souvenir tee or educational toy my daughter receives, but we don’t have time to sit down and pen lengthy notes these days. Now, I’m a big fan of the text-photo thank-you.

2. Respond to every text and e-mail I receive. Only the most important stuff makes my to-do list, and a gossipy text is typically not at the top.

3. Attend every event that our friends host. Between the cost of a babysitter and the desire to spend time as a family, my hubby and I can be counted on to send a gift, but not always to show up. 

4. Let other people out of the elevator first. Trust me, I really wish we could, but if my baby is screaming in the stroller, it’s better for everyone if I rush past you to get us out stat.

5. Wear makeup every day. It might seem narcissistic to assume that others would be negatively affected by my bare face — until you see me in the checkout line at Target looking like a scene from a horror movie. 

6. Pick up around the house before company comes over. Yeah, sorry, that’s over.

7. Do heaps of laundry. I still do it, but my husband and I are typically rooting around a Pile of Scary in our bedroom for hoodies or jeans, because my main focus is keeping our daughter’s area — and wardrobe — clean and ready.

8. Have long conversations with strangers. Yep, I was the girl who let every checkout clerk and wife of my husband’s friend tell me detailed stories or seek advice. Not trying to be cold, but I don’t have that kind of time (or energy) anymore. 

9. Clean up our table in restaurants. A quick swipe with some wipes and a massive tip is as good as I can muster once my daughter has a meltdown at the end of the meal. It’s better with us gone — I promise!

10. Leave voicemail messages. If I don’t get you, consider the missed call a message that I need a call back later. Talking to thin air is just not an option when I have a tiny person at my feet, smearing peanut butter on the kitchen floor. 

11. Allow my husband to pick the TV show. Sorry, honey, I’m happy to negotiate the volume, but if I need “Bachelor in Paradise” with a side of wine tonight, that’s what I’m getting. 

12. Craft birthday gifts and pick-me-up cards for friends. I’m still known to shove some nail polish or hand-me-downs in a box and ship them out, but gone are the days when I had hours to toil around on DIY projects for anyone other than my daughter.

13. Sleep eight hours a night. Totally made me a decent person, when I had the time to do it. Unfortunately for anyone who crosses my path these days, I’m going on five at best, so I apologize in advance for my non sequiturs and frequent yawns. 

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Photo: Getty