Finding Time in the Couch Cushions

New moms often ask me how I have time to do the things I love, and the truth is:

I don’t.

I know the old adage. We’ve all been given the same 24 hours in a day.

But I’m confident I’ve squeezed 28 hours out of them on occasion. At other times, I throw angry fists into the air, convinced that ancient gods have stolen time from my days as a cruel joke.

Mornings are frantic and hurried.

Snacks packed and out the door with workout gear or school bags.

My mind is an ongoing checklist: a minefield for anxiety.

Buy diapers. Check.

Pay preschool tuition. Check.

Extra change of clothes in case the play date involves sprinklers or catastrophe. Check.

Put the baby in the car. OH NO! THE BABY!

The list becomes resentment. And then the resentment is a proud badge to pin on my motherhood vest.

Be a martyr. Check.

Be the kind of wife I would hate to be married to. Check.

In my imagination, I’m the best version of myself. All laid back and easy. Artsy with an edge. World traveller extraordinaire. The mom that has well-mannered kids that are tucked in in all the right places.

But that girl is stuck in the back of the house folding laundry, and I rarely ask her to come out and play. I don’t allow myself permission to be fully me until everything else is done, and I’m struggling to accept the truth that in this motherhood thing, the work is never really done. There will always be puzzles to put together, socks to match, and floors to sweep and toys to fish out from behind the couch. There will always be hiding kids that I’m supposed to seek or homework that I’m supposed to check.

So finding time to be me is going to have to be intentional. It’s going to have to appear frequently on the scrolling mental list. And I can’t expect great chunks of time to magically appear.

Periodically throughout the day, my youngest boy finds his way to me, blanket in hand, climbs up into my lap, and pops that thumb in his mouth. The time rarely lasts more than two or three minutes, but it’s a reprieve from the rambunctious, and he needs it to reset.

I often wonder if I couldn’t find someone’s lap somewhere to crawl in to.


We need those moments. Time we take to reset, line up our priorities, and give it another go.

So where do I find the time?

I find it in the same places I find missing keys or lost socks or loose change. In the couch cushions or the car seats or the tiny space between the crib and the wall. I find it in the crevices of space that separate the big stuff. Morning commutes. Nap times. Those glorious couple of hours between their bedtime and mine.

When I was growing up, we had a rule that whatever spare change we found lying around the house, we got to keep. In retrospect, it was probably brilliant parenting that tricked us into scouring the yucky nooks and crannies for treasure, but the principle still holds true.

The time I find is mine. Guarded with high fences and vicious dogs.

So, if I politely decline an invitation or occasionally boycott technology, don’t take it personal. Congratulate me and pour yourself a glass of bubbly in my honor. I’ve found some time in the small places and claimed it as my own.

Start digging around in your days. Scrape the precious minutes off of the mundane and gather it up to make something brilliant.

And whatever you do, don’t throw any of it away.

How do you find time in the midst of motherhood to “be” you?

Jody hid in the hills of Missouri until her husband, Caleb, rescued her and made her a Mrs . . . at least that’s the story he tells. A mere four years in and they’ve added a brilliant, big-hearted boy, Jude(2010) and an equally endearing, Oliver(2013) to their family. Still pretty amazed at the fact that she grew too tiny humans when she can’t even keep a rubber tree plant alive, Jody recently stopped traveling with a ministry conference team to stay at home and rough and tumble around with her boys. She loves Jesus, coffee, and big sunglasses, and keeps her inner gypsy alive by traveling whenever she gets the chance.


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