How Having a Baby Actually Gave Me More Time

Mother Kissing Baby

How many times have you heard yourself say, “I’d love to do that but I just don’t have time”? I said it more times that I can count. I lived it. In fact my belief that I didn’t have time in my life for anything extra was so strong, that I actually started filling up my life with crap that wasn’t important just so I could maintain this ‘story’.

But, I didn’t realize that I was doing it. I wanted to have more time for exercise, reading, leisure and my business but it just seemed too hard to get started. Instead I was spending hours shopping online, playing games on my phone and watching TV “to relax” rather than choosing activities that would nurture my soul or grow my business.

While I was pregnant I ‘busied’ myself with collecting everything that we would need for the new addition and made excuses about lacking time to get out of going to yoga class or lap swimming and then I suffered through essential household tasks like cleaning and laundry because they felt like a waste of time.

Then I gave birth to my daughter and due to feeding complications I was on a rigid schedule for pumping my breast milk. My time was suddenly ALL GONE.  For 12 weeks I did nothing but sleep, eat, care for my little one and get on the pump.

Talk about not knowing what you’ve got til it’s gone!

I thought about all the free time I’d had access to before having a baby and how little I’d achieved and I was determined to use my precious free time for something meaningful.

As I started to develop a routine, get more sleep and find more pockets of available time I asked myself “What do I want to achieve?” and “What values do I want to nurture? Health? Business? Friendships?” and rarely did I receive the answer “I want to watch TV or scroll through shopping websites”. My answers were more like “The baby’s asleep, time to roll out the yoga mat” or “Ring your bestie, it’s been too long!”

I found that I intuitively knew what I needed to do in order to feed my spirit once I stopped wasting time on things that didn’t actually matter to me. Now I occasionally indulge in web surfing, games or TV but I know when to switch off so that I can focus on the things that are important and meaningful.

My free time is now a treasured resource and I no longer feel the need to be ‘busy’, I simply check in with what I feel to be important and meaningful.

What are your biggest “time wasters”?

48 thoughts on “How Having a Baby Actually Gave Me More Time”

  1. I’m a single dad, and although I see a few of your points, I think a child greatly takes time. It may be time well spent, but I now have much less time for some of the things I used to do.

  2. I don’t think the point of her article Dan was to say children don’t take your time away. I think the point she was trying to make is that her time available is spent on more valuable meaningful things. Great article thank you!

  3. Lovely read. I totally agree with Naomi, and to respond to Dan’s comment, I have found that involving my 4 year old son in some of the things I do, gives me more time, and helps me to monitor his development cycles. I get to learn more about the things he likes to do and he gets to see things I like to do as well. I try to coach him on the things he’s not yet good at and funnily enough, he does the same. Who says a child can’t teach a thing or two, as a matter of fact, they are the best teachers, just not the way we are conditioned to perceive their lectures. My take is simple, give your child a chance to participate in some of your daily activities. Choose wisely on what task or activity to assign to your child. Make sure its not too difficult or too complicated or else they’ll simply loose interest, monitor their progress and guide them wherever necessary. And simply watch your time begin to grow.

    1. Thanks Biyi,
      I love hearing stories from men about the way that they parent their children. You’ve offered some great advice here too. My daughter is only 20 months and so there’s plenty of things that she can’t do with me just yet but I plan to start as soon as she’s ready. Things like blogging, seeing clients or writing my book unfortunately cannot involve her so I do these things when she’s asleep or with family. Thanks for reading and commenting, NAOMI

  4. So true, Naomi. Our lives are made up of time. How you spend your time is how you spend your life! (I read that somewhere — that quote’s not mine). :)

  5. Free time ! There is a question of choice. A child takes us busy! The hole life . I agree with Biyi : “” give your child a chance to participate in some of your daily activities “”. It’s funny, it’s about learning new things, it’s about ” being ‘together””, it”s about trust that the child need to have on parents and in itself. Nothing is more important that spending time with own child. I think that a life with a child requires sacrifice of a part of the ‘”own desires” for accomplishments with him. This is THE CHOICE. And it is therefore so important in life that child is a wanted and loved one.
    Because we do everything in the name of love. He gives us the power we need.
    Child reshapes our daily activities, we find other friends, we have other needs, and with some discipline, we find time for those joys that complete our life and person.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Rodica. I certainly agree that having a child requires some level of sacrifice and discipline! Of course they are also an incredible source of love and joy. x

  6. Loved the article…….first ever positive article I have read on kids bearing….otherwise I have always seen people complaining and explaining,that how messy they get while taking care of their kids…n i feel pity for them……household chores,child bearing all these are part of life,but not the purpose of life….many examples are there where women become so successful by managing both the personal and the professional ground!!!!!!!

  7. Funny thing about babies and how much time they take up…they take up almost as much as when they become teenagers and you’re carpooling them everywhere, going to parent teacher conferences, etc. The act of putting someone else’s needs ahead of your immediate gratification can be one of the most life affirming things we do.

    And yes, it’s a great way to clear out the stuff that isn’t that important.

    Great piece, Naomi!

  8. Great content. Thanks for sharing! My biggest time waster is spending too much time researching way too many websites on a specific topic, and getting overwhelmed by info overload.

  9. This is a great article and truly describes how I felt after my twins were born, and since (they’re now 3 years old). I can’t believe how much time I wasted before I had kids – and how I just had no idea that’s what I was doing! Now, as soon as the boys go to bed I start work on my business – I hardly ever watch evening TV. And instead of thinking I’ve got 20 minutes to myself – I can’t do anything meaningful in that short time – I nip off and write a few hundred words of a blog post or my book. Definitely far more focused on what I need to do these days.
    Thanks – will share this on my Facebook page as it’s relevant to my readers too. 

    1. Wow Soozi, you are amazing! I’m so glad that you resonated with this post. I admire parents of twins – I can’t even imagine the logistics of having 2 the same age! I loved reading your story. Thanks for sharing. Where can I find you on Facebook?

  10. This article = me. I was exactly the same; constantly putting things off, behind on deadlines, always whinging that I was “just too busy”. Then, I had my little boy and had no time at all to myself. I sat back after about 8 weeks and thought “what on earth did I do for all those years with absolutely no responsibilities?” and it scared me. My little man is now 2 years old and in that 2 years I have finished a novel, am half way through an English degree, started saving for a house deposit and got into the physical shape I always wanted to. I would have never probably ever realised how precious time was and the stupid excuses I made if it wasn’t for my little boy’s arrival. So I completely wholeheartedly “feel” this article. Great piece.

    1. Wow Lia, what an inspiration! It’s great to connect with others that have had the same experience as me. I can’t believe how much I can achieve now that my time is limited. By the sounds of it, you’re kicking butt!

  11. Free time, so elusive. Naomi, you do make a point when you say it all comes down to conscious choice.

    Breaking the tendency to get caught up in the TV watching and obsessive Facebooking rampage doesn’t just happen on it’s own. It takes some re-prioritization.

    Well written, Naomi!

  12. Great article and very timely. I have a 18 month old son who seems to avoid nap time like the plague! I feel like the day goes by so fast with him and at the end of it I always feel like I didn’t accomplish anything on my to-do list. I do agree in that I definitely took my free time for granted before I had my son. But the key which is easier said then done, is for me to change my mindset from thinking I need to be busy, busy, busy and do everything in one day to really focusing on activities that are important to me that really move the needle.

    1. Getting through a long day with your son is an accomplishment in itself (especially without a day sleep!). Try focusing on one thing at a time to get done that is really meaningful/nourishing for you and drop the pressure to do everything else until that one thing is complete. You’re doing a great job there mama! x

  13. Great post Naomi. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have a 1.5 year old and just this past year I realized how to say no to things I normally would have said yes to just to stay busy and ‘working’. With my son, I wanted that to change, to be able to spend more time with him while still allocating the time to spend on my passion projects or interests. It’s just finding creative ways to fit it in. We all have the same amount of time, it’s just how we choose to spend it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for commenting Eric. Isn’t is great how children encourage us to align with our values? I was curious about your business so I’ve signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for reading! x

  14. You bring me waaaay back! My girls are now 12 and 15… hoping the license and car will bring a whole new level of free time! Time flies!

  15. Naomi~ Thank you! I really enjoyed this piece. What resonated was how powerful the choice is to shift our thinking to be more inline with what nourishes us from the inside out. Your post was an invitation to take inventory of the times when I feel like I am relaxing and ask if I really am.

  16. Ooooh, YES, Naomi! Thanks for sharing this perspective! I’m a single mama of two little girls, and I’ve always made a point of getting the most ‘bang for my buck’ with what time I do have. Now that they’re getting more independent, I’ve found a new form of time robbery in an ongoing health issue. I’ve become consumed with the doctor’s appointments and bloodwork and scans and tests and intuitive healing that I’ve allowed it to put everything else on pause. This article is exactly the reminder I needed right now to take a step back from what’s consuming my time and re-evaluate where I spend it. xo

    1. Wow. Single mothers are mama-warriors! I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been well. I hope that good health finds you soon and that you can find some meaningful ways to spend your precious time. Thanks for commenting. x

  17. Hi Naomi, I find that my biggest time wasters are checking the internet and emails. Time to unsubscribe from some. Thank you for the reminder. Much love to you. XO

  18. wow Naomi….what a great perspective. Isn’t it just like that? For example, I don’t want to tidy the kitchen until the microwave timer is on, then I’m instantly challenged to “see how many dishes I can load until it beeps.”

  19. So true! I reckon I am far more ruthless with my time and energy now that I have a child, and therefore more productive! For me, time wasters are still ‘checking’ emails and getting sucked into scanning facebook.

  20. What a GREAT reminder to focus my time on the things that are important and actually MATTER to me! Thank you for sharing your story, Naomi! This is very inspiring and timely for me. :)

  21. Whoa, that is the most inspiring and COMFORTING mother’s milk I have ever drunk. All you hear is how hard it is, how it’s going to be terrible. I refuse that! I call in ease and also support and sleep when it’s time for us to have babies. Thanks for the new paradigm opening!

  22. Naomi,
    this is great reminder to STOP buying into the belief that there is not enough time. i like to remind my self, “i have abundant time” when i feel rushed and this allows me to relax and enjoy the journey more.
    with love,
    christel arcucci

  23. Kids bring focus, Naomi, no doubt it!

    Becoming a father was an incredible experience for me. I soon realized that there is no ‘right time’ to become a parent and the experience has greatly enhanced my life as well as my time focus.

    When our son was born I was at a critical stage whilst studying for a degree as a mature student, running my own business and supporting my wife.

    Then, without the luxury of free time, I found myself making decisions more instinctively and more intuitively in all corners of our lives. An unexpected side-effect was gaining a string of straight ‘A’ results for my degree, finishing with a first!

    Life has become richer as every activity now either involves family or work with greater focus. Becoming a parent has increased my ability to become more present and to practice mindfulness. Now, with limited time windows, only the important stuff gets addressed outside of family time.

    That doesn’t mean it is any less challenging. The challenges have just changed.

    Time once wasted online has been reduced, with the freedom of having less time to ponder over less important decisions and activities. Consequently, activities are mindfully chosen and decisions are made quicker. I’ve got better results in business and learning activities. Life is definitely richer.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Rob. I loved reading your story. I feel like in many ways, having less time is a blessing so that I choose to spend it mindfully and wisely. x

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