Does motherhood make you more productive, or less?


“I spend all day doing the same thing, I don’t seem to ever get ahead?”

“I know it doesn’t look like it, but I swear I’ve been busy all day!”

“I just don’t have enough time to get anything done.”


How many times have you said these things? I know for me personally this often becomes my daily mantra. The chores we do all day everyday as Mama’s are never-ending and it often seems like we never actually achieve anything.


This is really hard to get used to, especially when in our previous lives we ticked off quantifiable tasks every day. Things that made us feel like we were getting somewhere. Now as Mothers we get stuck in the cycle of preparing food, washing up, wiping down, tidying up, playing, washing clothes, hanging clothes, tidying up, playing; rinse and repeat. When we are asked about our day, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what it was that we achieved.


The upside though is this merry-go-round of repetitive tasks also teaches us to be more productive with ‘our time’ when we finally get it. When the kids are sleeping, or when you get that rare hour to yourself, Mothers are the most productive people I know.


We think back to our pre-kid lives and wonder what we used to do with our time? And sometimes we chuckle smugly at our child-free friends who complain at having no time themselves, which sounds patronising but is a fair comprimise to the fact that secretly we’re very jealous of all their ‘do-nothing’ time.


As Mamas we race around cramming every minute with things we’ve been wanting to do for weeks or even months. Even at work, since becoming a mother I am far more productive with hours I have. Whilst I was never a slacker, I definitely spent a fair amount of time chatting ‘around the watercooler’ whereas now, every minute is spent planning and marking so that I don’t have to take as much work home with me.


When we finally start finding time in our lives as Mama’s to fit in time to do our own things, we start feeling that sense of achievement again. I don’t know about you but those small tastes of it has turned me into a bit of a ‘me time’ junkie, always craving my next hit of time where I can tick something off our list that won’t appear again tomorrow.* It gets to the point where we are planning our days in the hope that we’ll find those rare few hours to do the things that make us feel accomplished.


But why is it that we don’t allow ourselves to feel accomplished after our day as Mama’s? Why do we have to be ticking something substantial off to consider our day a success?


If we take a moment to stand back and appreciate all that we really do (regardless of the fact that it will have to be done again tomorrow) –  our days are actually very full of ‘achievements’; happy healthy kids and a welcoming home are the biggest achievements of them all, aren’t they?


*yes I recognise the fact that this makes me sound a little bit like a crazed lunatic but I’m sure there is someone out there who gets me!… *crickets* … anyone?

2 Responses to “Does motherhood make you more productive, or less?

  • I do feel a sense of achievement when C and I have a great day together…but for some reason when our days aren’t so ideal, I don’t get that same sense…it is like I can’t check “be a good mother” off my to do list!

      10 years ago

      Very true. I wish I knew how to not take the crying and whining personally!

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