Having kids taught me how to say no to things I didn't really want to do 9 months ago

Having kids taught me how to say no to things I didn't really want to do

One thing becomes very apparent when you become a parent - how precious time is.

Before having children I was happy to take on every task put my way.

Extra hours at work, being an unpaid extra in a student film, attending every function I was invited to and saying yes to every favour asked of me.

I come from a generation of young people eager to please and convinced we need to be constantly active.

The average millennial has an Instagram account filled with photos of work, gym, cooking classes, volunteer work and lots of social snaps.

I used to associate activity with productivity and often felt guilty if I took a day off to just slouch because it felt like I should be doing something. Having children has changed my mind on this.

Once children came into the picture my time became a lot more precious.

Suddenly I didn't care about keeping up the appearance of being able to do it all or please everyone, my children became the top priority.

For years I took on projects and social obligations that I didn't really want to be a part of but I felt like I had to. When I suddenly had a lot less free time on my hands it gave me the freedom to turn down the things I didn't really want to do without feeling guilty.

In a strange way, becoming a parent made me feel more independent, not less.

stay at home moms

It also helped me to choose real friends over the fair weather ones because I simply no longer had time to entertain the latter.

I think sometimes people think having young children is a chore because of how much time they occupy.

There was probably a point in my life when I felt the same but when they come into your life you simply want to be with them.

OK yes, it is lovely to have some downtime and a night off every now and then but in general, I love hanging with them.

There's only a brief period when my children are going to be little and I want to take in as many trips to the playground and Sunday morning snuggles that I can.

If that means I have to cut my list down from 100 'to-dos' to five then that's exactly what I'm going to do.