Ain’t No Mum Got Time For That! The 20 Things We All Put Off Doing


Let’s face it, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. All mums have an endless ‘to-do’ list. And it doesn’t even include those jobs that we’re always putting off, or saving for when we have time. Ha!

You know the ones. Those mundane tasks that spring to mind at 2am. The ones that you swear to do before the holidays end or the in-laws arrive (eeeeeek), but are most likely doomed to hang around like a bad smell from a forgotten school lunch box for another year.

At least it’s nice to know that you’re not alone. So we’ve put together a list of 20 things that we all put off doing to make you feel better about your own ridiculously long never-gonna-happen list!

1. Putting away laundry

Do you have a spare room, or is it in fact just a place to hide the clean laundry when friends drop in? It’s washed, so really what more can be expected of you? And tackling Mount Foldamore is such a thankless task. You know you’ll only be repaid with odd socks and more dirty washing.

2. Filing, filing and more filing

Despite the fact you’re pretty sure you’ve gone paperless on every account you have (or at least the ones you can remember the login details to), there is always a pile of ‘important’ papers waiting to be filed. And by important we mean things being kept ‘just in case’, like that receipt for those shoes you’ve already worn twenty times.

3. Pairing socks

This will never, ever work. There’s alway at least one odd sock, or more frustratingly two totally unpairable ones – like one trainer sock and one with knee-high stripes. And then there’s the issue of all the odd socks you can’t chuck out in case you find its partner, which of course you won’t until you’ve chucked it out!

things we put off doing - sorting socks

4. Returning library books

*Fines, fines, fines, fines, fines* (sing it to the tune of Rhianna’s Work). Seriously, even with those terse reminder emails, it is impossible to remember to locate and return all of the kids’ library books on time.

5. Cleaning out the fridge

What even was that green furry thing that has become lodged at the back? Possibly cucumber or maybe even cheese? Who knows, because between doing the weekly shop and the kids eating it in the first two days so that you have to start all over again, you will never find the back of the fridge, let alone the time to clean it out.

6. The dreaded third drawer

Admit it, everyone has a third drawer or even a cupboard. Remember that Friends episode where OCD Monica has a whole cupboard of chaos? Well that’s what the third drawer is. It’s usually full of batteries, random screws, the spare part for the dishwasher and kids’ artwork (even though they’re now teenagers). It’s best just to ram the thing shut before everything springs out and you actually drown in the clutter.

7. Writing a will

Let’s face it, playing ‘Who gets the kids if we die?’ isn’t the most light-hearted dinner conversation. It’s often one that generally gets prioritised somewhere below arguing about taking the bins out and worming the cat, but if it’s weighing on your mind, State Trustees can give you a hand. Their DIY will kits are easy to follow and you can fill them out from the comfort of your couch when the kids are in bed – no solicitor or legal appointments needed! They take the stress and fuss out of creating a will, so that you can finally tick that job off the list.

DIY will kit

9. Putting away outgrown clothes

Ah, the endless kids clothes! You have great intentions of vacuum-packing and labelling by size order ready for their younger siblings to grow into, a-la Pinterest. But let’s face it, by the time you get around to it, it’ll be time to unpack them again anyway.

9. The Vinnie’s run

If you’re not driving around with a bag of clothes in the car to take to the charity shop, are you even a mum? For ultimate mum points, it should have been in the boot for at least 12 months, as much to irritate your partner as anything else.

10. Worming the pets

Despite the handy reminder labels (which, incidentally, are in the third drawer), the due date will always pass you by. If only they could tell you that they wanted a gross tablet covered in peanut butter forced down their throats, while they act possessed, this one would be much easier.

jobs we put off - worming the pets

11. Tax

Enough said really. We’re pretty sure not even accountants do their tax on time. But isn’t it a great feeling to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, panicking about the tax man hunting you down? You wouldn’t want to do it on time and miss out on that.

12. Printing photos

You can never have too many photos of your baby, they said. And now you have 8 million baby photos, your phone is full and not a single one is printed and in a frame – just to add to the Mummy guilt.

13. Organising the linen cupboard

Towels literally jump out at you and you can only ever find single sheets when you want a queen and vice versa. Thanks for all the great organisation hacks, people of the internet, but I’d rather run full-force at my linen cupboard, in a rugby-tackle motion and hope the towels i’m holding wedge themselves in there.

14. The underwear drawer,

Despite owning numerous lacy numbers, it’s impossible to throw out those cotton Bridget Jones knickers. Even if every time you put them on you realise the elastic has gone and still throw them back in the drawer for next time.

mum central

15. Weeding

Weeding for people who have time. That’s why gardening is a hobby favoured by retirees. Perhaps you can just wait until the grandparents come for a visit?

16. Cleaning the air con filters

Yes of course the air conditioning would be much more efficient, cheaper, cooler and all-round more wonderful if you cleaned the filters. But that involves perching precariously on a chair or the kitchen worktop because you can’t be bothered (sorry, don’t have time to) go and get a step ladder. And that’s just dangerous, best leave well alone.

17. Dusting of any kind really

Light switches, skirting boards, fans, blinds, unless it’s big ad obvious it’s not happening for at least six months (see until you move out/renovate).

18. Sweeping paths

This is right up there with pairing socks. It is guaranteed that once you have all the leaves and dirt in a nice pile, a huge gust of wind, or your ‘helpful’ child will come and destroy it. You can just tell everyone that you’re going for a rustic vibe as it’s better for the natural ecology (obviously).

things we put off doing

19. Cleaning the car

Having a clean car is such a great feeling and yet it’s so hard to achieve. Add sandy feet, kids toys, old water bottles (approximately 75 of them) and dog hair and it’s a half day job at least. It is also a proven fact that when you finally do it, a neighbour will walk past and say, ‘you can do mine too if you like’. Erm, no!

20. Taking Plastic Bags for Recycling

Nothing like waddling into the supermarket with an exploding and overflowing plastic bag full of bags, embarrassingly cramming them in, when the bin’s already overflowing. You usually have so many that you have to take them in several loads, so now you have a car full of bags too.

While most of these to-dos can be put off – we’re looking at you, dusting – making sure you have an up-to-date will is something parents should all do. State Trustees make it easy with their DIY will kits that take you through creating a legal will, every step of the way, for only $31.95.

choosing guardians for your children

Suitable for uncomplicated, simple wills – so those where child custody isn’t an issue, for example – each downloadable kit also includes a guide to helping parents choose guardians so that you know your children will be looked after if the worst happens. There’s also helpful advice about when you need to update an existing will, so that you’re always prepared for life’s twists and turns. tell-me-more

This is a sponsored article for State Trustees.
Avatar of Sarah Long

Originally from the UK, but now very much at home on the sunny NSW Central Coast, Sarah is mum to 18-month-old Freddy. When she's not writing, you'll find her at the beach, chasing Freddy at high speed, or drinking tea and eating cake whilst thinking about going to the gym.

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