50 Things a Mother Needs to do in the Next 20 Minutes
50 Things a Mother Needs to do in the Next 20 Minutes

50 Things a Mother Needs to do in the Next 20 Minutes


This Mother’s Day feels like a special milestone for me. In just a few months, the first of my children will venture out into the world. So, in honor of our moms and to commemorate my last Mother’s Day with a full nest, my articles this month are all about motherhood.

One weekend when my kids were small, I ran across a list that suggested fifty things to do before your next birthday. I saw the title and laughed.

I laughed because I knew that I probably wouldn’t do any of this list of fifty things in the next year. The list included things like having a picnic in the mountains AND at the beach, doing something extreme (like skydiving), growing your own food, and seeing a Broadway show. None of these things is likely to happen this year.

But I could think of at least fifty things that a mother of small children generally needs to do within the next twenty minutes. Eat your heart out, you skydiving, Broadway-loving, mountain picnickers! Praise the Lord for mothers.

1. Investigate the odor that seems to be following your child.

2. Distribute snacks.

3. Clean up spilled snacks.

4. Redistribute snacks.

5. Put the TV on Disney.

6. Kiss a boo boo.

7. Fish an object out of the toilet.

8. Sing the ABCs.

9. Feed a dog/cat/mouse/fish/ hamster/hermit crab.

10. Search for an escaped hamster.

11. Rewash the load of laundry that you forgot was in the washer.

12. Hold a child on one hip, sometimes a child on each hip.

13. Sing “Let It Go.”

14. Listen to an original knockknock joke.

15. Make lists.

16. Make convincing arguments for using the potty.

17. Bribe a child.

18. Take a picture of a child doing something cute.

19. Remove a Cheerio from a nostril.

20. Try to get kids to share a toy.

21. Text your mother or a friend and ask her if something your child is doing is normal.

22. Take away a toy that kids won’t share.

23. Consider what’s for dinner.

24. Thank God for dishwashers.

25. Respond to a text from a friend asking if something her child is doing is normal.

26. Wipe a rear end.

27. Give a speech about the importance of eating something other than candy.

28. Investigate more strange odors.

29. Wipe a nose.

30. Watch the trick when someone says, “Watch this, mama!”

31. Comfort the child who got kicked in the head during the trick.

32. Change a diaper.

33. Add up in your head how much money you’ve spent on diapers over the years.

34. Field a question about what happens when we die.

35. Hand out juice boxes.

36. Brush your teeth.

37. Consider whether gummy snacks could pass as a serving of fruit.

38. Search for a lost blankey/paci/ lovey.

39. Struggle to figure out how to put a Lego something together.

40. Attempt to explain to a toddler why she can’t be a dog.

41. Allow Play-doh.

42. Consider dusting something.

43. Google “how to get permanent marker off skin.”

44. Tickle children.

45. Regret allowing Play-doh.

46. Wish for a cleaning fairy.

47. Assure a child that everyone spills sometimes.

48. Answer questions about the life cycle of butterflies.

49. Say odd things like, “Stop hitting your sister with that waffle.”

50. Find some caffeine, because it’s not even 7 a.m. yet.