“How Do You Have Time For That?”

filed under: Miscellaneous on September 8, 2009

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How did you have time to do that?"

I have hesitated so long in responding because I truly feel that I do not have a mainstream answer.

Being a mom of three, a wife to one, a full time maid, chef, teacher, shoe detective, counselor, and spiritual mentor just doesn't leave a whole lot of room for me to follow through on my ideas and inspiration. 

Occasionally I do get to start a project… and that usually involves lots and lots of support from my husband and grandparents and friends.

So if you see me post a before and after or show some new cookies I have made, it is a safe assumption that I would not have been able to complete it had someone else not stepped in and accepted my daily 'duties'.


About a year ago, after I complained to my hubby for the zilionth time about how I just didn't have enough time to get anything done… his responses led me to do some introspection.

I decided that I needed to make some changes.  I decided that I would not allow myself to say, "I don't have time for that," or "I didn't have time to do that."

Instead of just stopping cold turkey though, I decided to replace it with, "I did not make that a priority."

Now, I know it may not sound like a huge deal, but the first time I did it just happened to involve play time with my son.

I was updating my blog unloading the dishwasher and my son asked me to come into his room and see what he was building.  I would normally say, "In a bit honey.  I don't have time right this second."

But instead I was obliged to say, "I am not making you a priority right now."

It just about killed me.  

Because even though I had originally worded it differently to my children ("I don't have time") and appeased myself in the justification, the end result was the same for them

Verbalizing that I wasn't making something or someone a priority has forced me to be honest with how I spend my time. 



So, the cold, hard truth is, when I choose to fill my time with crafts or baking or planning party's it is most often at the expense of the state of my home and my relationships with others.

That is one of the reasons why I have made the choice to not pursue a cookie business.  I love making them, and I love giving them to friends and family, but I have no desire to make it the priority in my life right now.

I chose to have kids and stay at home with them and home school them and teach them about Jesus. 

THEY are my priority.

When they are older and more self-sufficient and maybe even willing to participate in the process, then I will consider pursuing my dreams.

But for now, in this time, in this place, I am most content watching my family's dreams become realized… and just so grateful that they are willing to take me along for the ride.

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  • Bethany says:

    Good thoughts. I love the way you changed your wording. It makes the statement so powerful. I have been very convicted about my time choices lately. Knowing I only have a few years where Doug and I are the biggest influences in our children’s lives makes it imperative.
    I think I need to go check my priorities now. 🙂

  • carma says:

    Phew!! Now I can stop asking you that question….Loved your response – so rational in your thinking.
    You are still young and will have plenty of time to have your own business once the kids get older – say in their teen years – and do not want you hanging around 😉
    Even then you may discover that you find more joy in doing it for fun, and not as a business. Somethings that can quickly suck the joy out of it!

  • BP says:

    This is such excellent wisdom and advice. I’m so glad you shared that answer b/c I’ve wondered too how you have time for all you do!
    God bless you,

  • Kristin says:

    Wow! What an awesome post! So glad you are choosing to be there for your children– really BE there! Because it is a choice. It would be easy to choose differently, but you have chosen to lay down your life to follow Him and He will bless you for it!

  • Julie in WA says:

    BRAVO Amanda!
    I refer to periods in my life as seasons. When my daughter was younger, all my focus was on raising her. My in-laws called me over protective; I called it mothering. Many said I was too involved; I called it priority. My husband wanted more of me; I said ‘have patience; this is a season of life’. I put off my desires to ensure a nurturing, well-grounded, Christ-filled environment for my daughter.
    Now she is 13, and we have moved into the next season in my life. I am able to spend a lot more time with things I am passionate about: quilting, studying history, playing piano, connecting more fully with my husband.
    I look forwards to the next season, when I can give of myself to more volunteer work and teaching opportunities.
    I believe all people have choices to make; not all make wise choices and they complain about the lives they live. I follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and live according to the Bible, making choices that bring honor and glory to God. And I am content…fulfilled…enriched…broadened…blessed.

  • Heidi says:


  • Amanda Rettke says:

    Amen Julie!!  VERY well said.  I couldnt agree more!
    God bless-

  • Laura says:

    Nicely said…life is all about how we prioritize it. Before I had kids my house was (almost always) perfectly cleaned, laundry done and dishes washed. Now (even though it still bothers me that there is dust, dirty dishes and clothes laying everywhere) that’s just my house right now. Why? Because my kids are my number one priority and I would rather be outside running around with them or laying in bed reading with them. It did take me awhile to get my priorities where they are but after realizing how fast the first year then second year have flown by I just realized I NEVER want to look back and say “I wish I would have spent more time with my kids” or “I wish I would have stopped what I was doing and played when Alexa asked me to” Now I am usually up late at night cleaning, doing dishes, blogging 🙂 and losing lots of sleep, but I know my children know that they are my first priority, not my computer or the house.

  • Janis says:

    Beautiful post….and I loved Julie’s response as well. It gave me hope that our family is “normal”. That there will be time for other priorities later but our first one now is our little ones. The time is short with them and so every moment must be treasured.
    God bless

  • Bethany says:

    Hey, come check out my blog to pick up your award.

  • Meghan says:

    LOL..I found your blog through Bethany too! I just added you to my reader!
    I love your thoughts about “not making something a priority” versus “not having time”.
    Wow. Talk about conviction. I wish I could take back all of the times I said “in a minute” and “not right now” to my kids!!

  • Kim says:

    I love this post. It really puts things into perspective. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kim @ A Fist Full Of Dandelions says:

    I love this post. It really puts things into perspective. Thanks for sharing.

  • rebecca says:

    Sorry my friend…don’t have a clue what you are talking about! 🙁 🙁 🙁 If someone wrote something to you that wasn’t nice I PROMISE you it wasn’t from me. I just got home from a day out with my hubby and I just now got online….
    I’m totally in the dark as to what you are referring to…

  • He & Me + 3 says:

    Awesome post. Wow that comment about priority really puts it into perspective. Thanks!

  • He & Me + 3 says:

    Awesome post. Wow that comment about priority really puts it into perspective. Thanks!

  • Jenny says:

    Your truth is beautiful. That’s a gift.
    I think I did a good job of fooling myself for a while that I’m wasn’t sacrificing anything by “doing it all.”
    I used to work a lot at night, but over the last couple of years I’ve been intentional to not take the computer out before the fam-damily was tucked into bed (including my was-nocturnal-now-asleep-by-10) hubby. I don’t want my kids to associate their childhood memories of me as “mommy and her computer.”
    Sometimes I’m up until 3:00 reading blogs, writing, sewing, laundering, etc. But if I didn’t have that time, I wouldn’t have found you!
    What a dichotomy…what a word! 🙂
    Peace and blessings to you, beautiful Amanda.

  • Kim says:

    BTW, I gave you an award on my blog today!

  • Kim @ A Fist Full Of Dandelions says:

    BTW, I gave you an award on my blog today!

  • tracie says:

    Great entry. Not everyone steps back and realizes that they have their priorities mixed up. Good for you for putting what is important first. Your time will come…you are great at the cookie stuff : )

  • Liz says:

    Thanks for the reminder! Great post!

  • Molly says:

    I think (not ‘think’..I know!) you’re my hero!!!

  • denise says:

    what a wonderful post! and perfect timing for me, too…i’ve been very self-absorbed and not doing well with time management…i like changing the wording to “priority” since that will help me stay focused on what matters most, to me, too…sounds like we have very similar values, i just need to be more diligent in acting on mine…thanks! i may send readers a link to this again…

  • BigMamaCass says:

    That is AWESOME! I am going to do that now too! 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Oh my gosh, how inspiring are you?! I often feel guilty for not spending time with my kids, then thinking I need to have stuff planned for them but don’t have the energy to plan anything. I love how you turned it around to saying ‘you’re just not a priority right now’. OUCH. I guess I tell my kids that way too often. Now, I’m off to MAKE them a priority. Thank you!

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