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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Filling holes

Posted May 25, 2014

If you're a mom, you are a familiar with the little holes of time that are hard to fill efficiently. You know what I'm talking about.

For example, you drop off at school at 8:20 a.m. and you're driving a field trip at 10 a.m., but you don't have enough time to go home and come back. Depending on where you are, and what time it is, it may not be realistic to do errands.

I started bringing my computer and going to a coffee shop when I find myself with one of these little holes to fill on a day off in between ferrying my children places and doing errands. It's frustrating when you have a lot to do, and because of timing or location you can't fit it in to one of these holes. It makes me feel very inefficient.

It literally took me five days to do my grocery shopping this past week. One night, I stopped on my way home from work, and no sooner had I pulled in to the parking lot when I realized that my daughter had an appointment and I didn't have time to shop.

I tried again a few days later and just as I was loading my daughter's birthday cake into my cart I got a work-related call and had to go back to my car to find a pad and pen to take notes. The next day, I had an hour to kill near my daughter's school, but I had to go somewhere afterwards, so I couldn't have groceries that need to be refrigerated in my car. I decided to do my non-perishable shopping and get cold food later.

At lunch, my daughter reminded me she needed a treat to share with her dance class. So, I swung by the store again on my way home to get ready for work, but of course didn't have time to do the cold grocery shopping.

I don't want to even think about how much time I've wasted trying to get my grocery shopping done in one trip. Unfortunately, I think the "filling holes" mentality is a product of our activity-driven lives where we feel useless and guilty if we're not doing something productive every single minute.

One of my friends said: "Why don't you just bring a book and read when you have time to kill?" Now, that's an idea I kind of like ...

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • Karen Lambert May 27, 2014
    user avatar

    I keep a small cooler in my trunk for times when I might need to pick up perishable items and not go straight home. Grab a small bag of ice and you are good for a couple of hours.

  • hihuwatlu May 26, 2014

    reading a book, surfing the internet, or listening to music are my favorite time killers. If I feel I really must be productive, then I use the time to catch up on calls I need to make (parents, siblings, etc), balancing my checkbook, paying bills, or making a list of things I need to do to help me prioritize and arrange my to-do list efficiently.

  • Joanne Batjer May 26, 2014
    user avatar

    wish i had these problems.. have lymphoma.. having trouble finding rides to the doctor's office

  • snowl May 26, 2014

    Since you have a laptop to bring with you, why not order your groceries while having a beverage and relaxing?... then swing by the grocery store to have them loaded into your vehicle? There is a solution to every problem...:)