Five impossible five minute jobs once you’re a mum

Five impossible five minute jobs once you’re a mum

Last week I celebrated a major achievement.  No, we haven’t finally moved house. I haven’t managed to get my fussy toddler to eat broccoli, and I certainly haven’t climbed Kilimanjaro (although it often feels like it come bedtime). Nope, my friends, I managed to ‘pop out’ to the post office with my 24m and six month old.

*bows to rapturous applause*

‘How did she do it?’ I hear you cry.


A week’s worth of preparation 

It turns out, sending birthday presents requires almost a week of pre-planning when you’ve got two kids.

Day 1: I had to abandon my first attempt when I realised I’d left the wrapping paper in G’s room during nap time. Rustling around in cupboards and sleeping toddlers do not mix. Instead, I wrapped presents that evening once the kids were in bed.

Day 2: I forgot I’d booked an online shop so we had to stay in. Otherwise I’d have had to cancel the slot, and ‘popping out’ to the post office would have become popping out for formula and nappies, too – i.e. not popping out.

Day 3: This is the day the presents SHOULD have arrived if only I’d managed to do everything on Day 1. Mission abandoned as G wouldn’t nap at her usual time, and I wouldn’t dare wake her once she’d finally settled.

Day 4: The Popping Out Angels were on my side. Parcels were wrapped and waiting in bags in the car (put there two nights previously). Toddler and baby (miraculously) napped at the same time and woke up at 3pm. I managed to give R his bottle and by 3.30 we were ready to go. Yey, let’s do this!


Our flat is sandwiched between two primary schools. Which meant we’d never be able to get down the street without G picking up a few choice swear words and me losing a wing mirror (again). 

So, I had 15 minutes to kill. Knowing that starting a new activity would make it nigh on impossible to convince G to leave, I did what any other experienced parent would do. I gave her a really healthy snack packet of Pom Bears. Ahhh the bribes you resort to as parents.

Completing the mission

The coast was finally clear, so we made our way down the 42 stairs from our flat to the car. This typically involves me carrying R in a sling on my front, a rucksack of baby crap on my back and balancing G on my hip. Now you see why every day is like climbing Kilimanjaro (we soooooo need to move!)

I managed to wrestle the kids into the car, by-passing the neighbour’s cat, which could have fatally scuppered our ‘pop out’ attempt, and off we drove.

Of course the sod’s law of parking meant there were no spaces outside the post office, so I had to park around the corner and get out the buggy for R (I’m still not at ease holding G’s hand when R’s in the sling on the high street), then off we marched dawdled, stopping outside M&S for five minutes to say hello to a dog.

We finally made it!

I’ve never been to the post office without G being strapped into a buggy, so I knew I had to make it as fun as possible to  stop her pulling everything off the shelves keep her entertained while I packed and labelled up three parcels. You know those gushing mums who exaggerate how fun everything is? That was me. “Ohhh look G, this is where we put the address so the postman knows where to send it to. Do YOU want to help mummy…? Ohhh look at how well you’re helping mummy….”

Thankfully the post office was empty for once and G enjoyed putting the gifts in the envelopes. And taking them all back out. And in. And out.  Then she liked scribbling on the envelopes with my pen, as I tried to prise it out of her hand with a half crazed ‘this-is-about-to-go-t*ts-up-but-I’ll-pretend-I’m-in-control’ smile on my face.

Finally, we made it to the counter and G wanted to be lifted up to see the man. She’s not the shy, retiring type, put it that way. The lovely man behind the glass kept G amused as she proceeded to pass him all the strips from the peel and seal envelopes that she’d swiped off the floor and into her little handbag earlier (the one she now insists on carrying EVERYWHERE). I’d better keep a close eye on that one in the shops.

five-minute-jobs-that-are-impossibleQuit while you’re ahead

Parcels were successfully despatched, G was pretty well in check and, at this point, any novice mum might have easily been fooled into thinking she could pop into M&S for some milk on her way back to the car.


G wanted to sit in the trolley, then wanted to be down. Then screamed when I wouldn’t let her out. This was when I realised she was probably getting hungry. What a difference ten minutes makes. The sweet little old ladies who normally coo over my kids in their double buggy were suddenly nowhere to be seen. I dumped the milk and made a beeline for the car.

Disaster zone

When we got home, I realised it was 5.30 (yes, that’s two hours since we’d left the house. How is that even possible???) and there were dirty dishes and piles of laundry everywhere, thanks to my eagerness to get out. I heated up an emergency toddler meal which G wolfed down refused to eat, as usual.

Then suddenly (early!), in walked papa, to find both toddler and baby kicking off and the flat looking like a bomb site. You know those images from the 1950s where the wife greets her husband at the door with a G&T, a home-cooked meal and an oasis of calm? Well, that wasn’t this (it never is).

“What do you mean you just popped out to the post office?”

I couldn’t even explain how or why it took that long. It just did.  All I know is that I need to start thinking of sending my Christmas presents now, mid November, if I’ve got any hope of getting them there on time.

What are the five minute jobs you now find impossible since becoming a parent? 


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday     Diary of an imperfect mum     Hot Pink Wellingtons    One Messy Mama


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  6. February 16, 2017 / 02:13

    Every time I managed to cross the threshold of our front door with the buggy felt like a mini-triumph. I’m sure I heard trumpets once.

  7. November 25, 2016 / 21:52

    Haha I know how you feel! Missions are hard when you have two under two, unless you’re really really lucky that is! #MarvMondays
    Amie recently posted…But You’re So little?!My Profile

    • topfivemum
      December 22, 2016 / 23:26

      Really really lucky would be having some relatives close by to help me out Amie 🙂

  8. November 24, 2016 / 11:53

    Omg this is hilarious! I only have one child and my day often goes like this – I wait around all day for him to nap and then doesn’t and my day is wasted (when will I learn my baby doesn’t nap!!) and then on the days I am actually prepared and ready to go – he’s fallen asleep!!!! #MarvMondays

    • topfivemum
      December 22, 2016 / 23:27

      Tell me about it! My whole day revolves around the lure of The Nap Time LOL

  9. November 21, 2016 / 20:34

    Sounds like my life! I can’t remember last time anything took just 5 minutes. Getting out the house is like mission impossible. My seems to daydream whenever we need to do something! My son usually decides to fill his nappy just when I think we’re ready to go out! The joys.
    Helen @talking_mums recently posted…7 Reasons why you should read to your childrenMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:39

      haha oh yes, I can totally relate to the nappy change just when everyone’s got their shoes and coats on LOL

  10. November 21, 2016 / 19:38

    Oh bless you!! This did make me chuckle. I promise it gets easier. I remember the days well. Mine is now four and we manage just fine with little trips so there is light at the end of the tunnel. It just takes a while to get there. #marvmondays
    Jaki recently posted…10 Songs That Make Me HappyMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:40

      YES! This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. Thanks Jaki xx

  11. November 21, 2016 / 19:37

    LOL! This is my week. Every week. And I only have one 15 month old.
    Loved reading this.

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:41

      I actually found 15 months the hardest Catherine. I think it was at around that time when I was already 6 months pregnant with my second that I thought ‘OMG what are we doing??’ LOL

  12. November 21, 2016 / 18:53

    This post is so relatable, and I may have chuckled a fair bit too. I only have the once child to contend with, but even then things take a lot longer than anticipated, especially now that we are largely buggy-less! I just tend to give myself one ‘main’ thing a day and if I get more than that done, well, go me! Haha!
    Jade @ Captured By Jade recently posted…Individual Photo | 054My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:43

      Hey, a victory is a victory Jade. Managed to post that letter? Let’s celebrate! LOL

  13. November 21, 2016 / 18:50

    Kids don’t like to make things easy for you do they?! Even mine, at six, can still make five minute jobs last five hours! #MarvMondays

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:44

      I don’t know how they do it, Kat. It feels like I’m trying to get out the door, but some mysterious force is throwing ten punch bags towards me to dodge LOL

  14. November 20, 2016 / 23:01

    Any errands are impossible when you have kids! Popping to the post office usually ends in a whinging child because you won’t buy them one of the crappy toys on offer, I even struggled dropping stuff off at the charity shop last week because she wanted things! #Sharingthebloglove

  15. November 19, 2016 / 20:03

    I LOVE your infographic! How true are those! Popping out ANYWHERE is a nightmare! Good on you for trying. No wonder we stay in PJ’s all day.. its just easier!! Thanks for linking up! #globalblogging
    One Messy Mama recently posted…Global Blogging #5My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:45

      Thanks lovely. PJs sound like the way forward to me!

  16. November 18, 2016 / 21:15

    I could have written this myself! Nothing is simple is it! #sharingthebloglove

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:45

      welcome to the club Chloe xx

  17. November 18, 2016 / 14:12

    Oh bless you! Its the main lesson I have learnt since becoming a parent! Thinking I will just nip and do this or pop that in while I’m thinking about it, just doesn’t happen. All those times, pre-Mia, that I would aimlessly wander around Tesco deciding what we fancied for dinner that night or remembering to get some bread on the way home from work, now I have to plan everything to military precision and god forbid I forget to do something! I don’t know how you do it with 2, I struggle with Mia! 🙂

    Becca Farrelly recently posted…Nim’s Fruit Crisps ReviewMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:47

      So true Becca! Some days I have to abandon a whole meal idea just because I can’t get to the shop for one item (and that’s when the shop is only 100m away from wherever we are!) Oh, the nostalgia of dawdling around Tesco… 🙂

  18. November 18, 2016 / 11:40

    This is The Truth About Parenting! I’ve realised that I am that over enthusiastic mum, gushing about mundane tasks being ‘so fun’, but you do what you’ve got to do to get through (I also find Pom Bears to be a very effective bribe!) I hate having to get in the car – very grateful we live a ten minute walk from town, it saves so much hassle with getting everyone in the car, then trying to park, then out of the car again… ! Thanks for joining us again at #SharingtheBLogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…#SharingtheBlogLove #21My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:48

      Oh yes the car is a nightmare. Pom Bear bribes normally required to get the toddler in there too LOL

  19. November 18, 2016 / 07:52

    This made me smile. You can scrap the phrase ‘I will just pop’ out of your volcabulary when you have children. It just doesn’t happen, everything is a mission and takes forever!!! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove X

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:48

      welcome to the club Laura xx

  20. November 18, 2016 / 00:24

    This had me smiling all the way through. Even though mine are now 5 & 8 I still remember those days when I tried to just ‘pop’ out. Looking back I’m like what was I even thinking. And like you said getting you and two kids out of the house means other things don’t get done because it takes so long!! #Sharingthebloglove

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:49

      It’s good to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel though Jo. And coming from someone so organised, just knowing you got through those early days is good enough for me! xx

  21. Laura Legge
    November 17, 2016 / 23:36

    I will ensure the girls wear their jumpers with extra pride knowing the stress you went through to get them to us! They’re lovely btw!! Xx

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:50

      yes, they’d better bloody well wear them missus. Send photos! xx

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:50

      glad it brightened up your day Kimberley

  22. November 17, 2016 / 21:51

    I am definitely the mum who gushes on about everything to the kids when we’re out just to try and keep them silent (because they can’t get a word in). It doesn’t work, but still I persist. So much so I now just inanely chatter on to myself when out and about alone – why does no one warn you of these things??

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:51

      haha – one day we’ll be walking down the street talking to ourselves Barn Mummy

  23. November 17, 2016 / 13:36

    Definitely popping in the shower, oh and nipping for a wee!

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:52

      I know! How is it possible that they can miss you for just a few seconds?

  24. November 17, 2016 / 13:35

    Anything that involves going to a place without parking near by – total disaster. Especially if there is a baby involved in the scenario. I wish they had delivery post services, wouldn’t that be fabulous?! Thank you for sharing your post with us at #BloggerClubUK xx
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Blogger Club UK 44My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:52

      sounds like the perfect new business venture Becky!

  25. November 17, 2016 / 11:45

    I salute you in your heroic effort and the fact that you have actually got some Christmas presents send already!! Massive well done! Popping out does get easier as they get older but still requires lots of planning! Thanks for linking up with us. #bigpinklink
    Louise Pink Pear Bear recently posted…Big Pink Link Numero 40!My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:54

      Glad to know there’s hope for me yet Louise!

  26. November 17, 2016 / 11:29

    Haha, I love it! This really made me laugh. Long gone are the days of popping out for me too. I like I though cos it means I can just send my husband to go and do all the crappy jobs like go to the shops and post office.

    We also live in a flat, I applaud you for doing it with two children! Doesn’t matter how often I clean and tidy up, it just always looks like a bomb has hit it. *sobs*


    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:55

      Tell me about it Nicola! I especially love my new ‘rug’ – made up of 8 brightly coloured foam mats. I think it may be a real statement feature when it comes to selling the place LOL

  27. November 17, 2016 / 09:47

    This is hilarious, and so true. With a 18 month old and a 3 year old, even heading over to someone else’s house is like moving house with the amount of stuff I have to haul with me! lol!! #SharingtheBlogLove
    Gina recently posted…WIN £100 VOUCHER TO SPEND AT WHITTARD | Skint MommaMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 22:56

      It’s so true! I liken myself to Buckaroo most days.

  28. November 16, 2016 / 21:53

    So funny! Nothing takes 5 mins anymore, and friends expect me to always be running late nowadays. Always good to keep striving for 5 minutes though, ever the optimist! #BloggerClubUK

  29. November 16, 2016 / 20:41

    Lol, yes I can definitely relate to this. There’s no “popping out” anywhere these days – quadrupling the time and adding five minutes sounds pretty accurate to me. That said, it is a little easier now that the girls are a bit older – I still find that jobs that should take five minutes take quite a lot longer though because of all the interruptions that happen while I’m trying to do them! #bloggerclubuk

  30. November 16, 2016 / 15:13

    Oh my goodness you so need to move! Well done for accomplishing this! People always wonder why I am so slack and getting things like this done… They have no idea! I have often had to wait for Hubby to get home to actually cook dinner due to clinging children! If only they could understand I could solve their problems quicker if they would LEAVE ME ALONE! Oh the washing…. Don’t get me started on the washing! Very funny read my lovely! I hope you are all well and your back hasn’t completely broken from all the stairs.
    Kirsty – Winnettes recently posted…Hubbys Burger RelishMy Profile

  31. November 15, 2016 / 21:54

    I am looking forward to adding some in this list from April next year1

  32. November 15, 2016 / 17:49

    This had me laughing! Great read! I agree with all of your above mentioned “5 minute jobs” I would add popping the laundry on, nipping for out with rubbish, getting ready in the morning… oh the list is endless! xx

  33. November 15, 2016 / 16:43

    Congrats on getting out of the house to the post office with your 2 kids! #globalblogging

  34. November 15, 2016 / 07:57

    You’re great at telling a story! I am already one of those gushing mums who exaggerate how fun everything is and Lilly is only 7 months old! Glad the mission was accomplished eventually! #GlobalBlogging #BigPinkLink (although, let’s be honest, I was coming to read this anyway :))
    Lucy recently posted…5 tips for taking your baby to workMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 23:51

      ohh, thanks so much Lucy! Gushing is a fine art skill I’ve come to realise. Hone it now 🙂

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