As a busy person I spend a lot of my time mimicking a blue arsed fly, therefore shortcuts and time savers are very helpful. Here are some of the Time Savers that I have undertaken from time to time in order to get on with my pointless rushing around. Sometimes these Time Savers hurt and to be honest they have reduced my dignity little, but hey, if it saves time in this crazy, fast-paced world we’re in then it’s worth it, right?
Disclaimer: The following Time Savers are not tips, if you wish to employ any of them then you do so at your own risk of pain and public humiliation – I can only be responsible for my own stupid actions. In the immortal words of children’s television and channel five hosts “don’t do this at home folks”.
Time Saver no.1: Quick toe job
When Dan and I head out for a rare evening on the town, unlike the other times when we leave the house, (subtle cough) we are often rushing about and late. This is mostly due to a combination of underestimating how stubborn our children are at bedtimes whenever we want to go out and too much wine whilst getting ready (I drink because it gives me the added courage to look in the mirror for longer than I usually would whilst applying the extra “going out make-up” I feel I need. As an added bonus I feel less likely to scream at my children whilst I have a glass of wine in my hand, I think it’s because I’m a really good parent). So, to ensure I have enough time to trowel on the foundation and scream at my kids I cut corners on the bits I see as unnecessary extras – like painting my toenails. I therefore only ever paint the toenails that are on display i.e. if I’m wearing peep-toe heels and only the big toe and the one next to it are on display, they’ll be the only two that get the special treatment. That’s a time saver of 6 toes! That’s like, loads of minutes saved, like, I think, 5 to 8 minutes or something crazy like that! That’s so much time! I mean I could have sex or several poos in that time! Come people, it’s a no brainer!
P.S. Please note the “or” in the one but last sentence above, it’s very important, if not noted terrible rumours could spread.
P.P.S I never wear sandals or flip flops.
Time “Shaver” no.2
Like many of us I have very little time to get ready in the morning, so I often forget to shave my legs in the shower. I seem to only remember my lack of grooming when I put on my cropped jeans/trousers, look in the mirror and see two anaemic hedgehogs wrapped around my ankles. What normally follows is a call to the RSPCA, they in turn ask me “have you forgotten to shave your legs again Mrs Wildered?”, I then remember that the hedgehogs are actually my ever so hairy ankles. Once I’ve apologised to the RSPCA and listened to the same lecture about time wasting and how the lack of funding and resources in the charity sector means it isn’t equipped to support the likes of me blah de blah de blah etc. the children are trying to kill each other, are mostly naked, unwashed, un-fed and horrible and we have to be out of the door in less than half an hour. There’s no time for another shower (to lather up and shave the hedgehogs) and I rarely have any other clean clothing, so what do I do? I stay dressed and dry shave the anaemic hedgehogs off whilst still wearing the blasted cropped trousers, that’s what I do! I then slap as much moisturiser as I can onto the scrapped area and step out to face the day with two brats and burning, itching ankles. Ta da!
Time Saver no.3: The rustic look
Ironing clothes: I don’t iron any clothes, only the children’s uniforms and Dan’s work shirts get the once over and Dan does that, so I can honestly say I save loads of time on ironing by not doing it. If food can be rustic by looking a mess on the plate, then why the hell can’t I? Look rustic by wearing crumpled clothing that is, I don’t intend to lye on plate.
Time Saver no.4: Shove it where the sun don’t shine
When we have friends over Dan and I tidy up, naturally – nobody wants to have dinner in a recycling tip. To ensure we have enough time to get the children settled and cook the barely edible food we’ve promised our guests, we take short cuts on the tidying up. Therefore “tidying up” becomes “Operation Shove”. Dan and I will literally shove all the mess into any hidden space, cupboard, draws or orifice we can find, it’s much quicker than doing things properly. The only down side to this approach is that one can stumble across little surprises for days after a night of “shoving”. For example, a week after a particularly panicky “Operation Shove” (Christmas) I had lost a shoe and found a mouldy banana skin in the shoe cupboard, it turns out I got muddled between the bin and the shoe cupboard but didn’t realise my mistake until I found the banana skin festering in one of my trainers. On the evening of the same ‘panic shoving’, whilst my guests were mingling I had to inconspicuously remove a packet of tampons from the fridge into the neighbouring utility room, and continuing in the spirit of “Operation Shove” I threw them in the washing machine and quickly returned before anyone noticed. Of course I got drunk, forgot about them and the next day washed them with my towels. Upon reflection, although a huge time saver “Operations Shove” only really comes into its own if I’m not panicking too much and I stay sober before people arrive.
Time saver no.5: Once upon a time… the end.
Paraphrasing the children’s bedtime stories is not a time saver I am immensely proud of, but it does work on the nights when I’m completely pooped and I need to go to bed as soon as the kids are down. I leave out chunks of the stories and paraphrase the plot here and there to hurry it along so I can get to sleep. At the moment Edi can’t read so I can whizz through drawn out story lines such as Peppa Pig, Dear Zoo, various ‘who or what is behind the flap’ books, count the fluffy kittens in the basket and other epics. Unfortunately, Ben’s reading is improving rapidly so picture books are a bummer because he can read the print at the same pace I read aloud, so I have to read the whole bloody thing. But when we’re reading a longer narrative with smaller print, like Roald Dahl, he can’t keep up with my pace of reading aloud so I paraphrase with ease. Hey presto, I’m in bed before 9pm. This Time Saver is a gem, as long as you don’t get busted. Which you will. Because one day your kids will learn to read.