What I can do with 10 minutes

Oh my goodness! You just don’t know the meaning of time until you have a child.

Oh my goodness! You just don’t know the meaning of time until you have a child...or perhaps one of those incredibly-demanding jobs that sees you working 17 hours out of every 24.

It’s non-stop. Non-stop, I tell you.

Don’t have kids? Then take my word for it. Have kids? What are you doing reading this when you could be doing something productive? That dishwasher won’t empty itself, as you well know.

I used to happily while away whole afternoons, even whole weekends, doing not much of anything.

Those days are long gone, although I promise you I am not yet one of those annoying people who tell you that, after you have kids, you’ll wonder what you did with all your time. I remember all right. Not much!

Nowadays, I can do in 10 minutes what would have taken me days of procrastination to get round to and then about an hour to complete. Cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom? A 10-minute job! Hanging up the washing? Two minutes, if that. Which means enough time left over to clean the bathroom.

I can - nay, I have to! - drink a coffee in 60 seconds or less. I can change the sheets on my son’s bed even more quickly - unless he’s helping me; then it’s anything up to half an hour.

You child-free folk barely notice 10 minutes passing, I’m sure. Perhaps the ad breaks on the TV remind you, but we parent folk, we break our whole day up into 10-minute segments. Ask me the time when I’m not wearing a watch and I’ll easily tell you to the nearest five minutes. It’s my new biorhythm.

So, next time you need something done, get a parent to do it. Perhaps not your own, though; they’ve had a lifetime of 10-minute chores.