12 Things Only a Parent Could Do in (Roughly) 12 Minutes

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

I always swore that my kids would watch very little TV and that I would never use it as a babysitter.

Then I had a second kid.

My first didn’t watch any TV until she was older than 18 months (OK, maybe a few glimpses while Daddy watched football) and even then it was very sparingly and only short 12-minute shows while I sat with her. Then I had a second kid and I quickly realized I needed some extra help on occasion so I could actually you know … get dressed. TV has been a lifesaver without which I might never be able to use the bathroom in peace.

Because TV helps me get so much done some days, I was curious what other parents find themselves able to do during a single kids TV show. So I took a poll of readers, friends, and even just moms I struck up conversations with at the park to find out what awesomeness they’ve accomplished in roughly 12 minutes or less. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Complete our entire hair and makeup routine

“Thanks to Daniel Tiger, I now have my morning hair and makeup routine down to a 12-minute science.” — Lauren

2. Indulge in a little “afternoon delight”

“My husband and I have been known to fit in a little afternoon delight during a quick kids show. Sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.” — Emily

3. Get the kids completely dressed

“Dressing my kids in the morning is a bit of a nightmare, so now I just turn on an episode of Doc McStuffins and get them dressed in a flash. Dressing kids while they’re distracted is basically my greatest parenting hack ever.” — Catherine

4. Make dinner

“Making dinner with kids around is a nightmare I face every single day of my life, but I’ve become pretty adept at throwing together some simple dinners in the amount of time if takes my daughter to watch an episode of Olivia.” — Nicole

5. Rearranged the living room furniture

“I have legit rearranged my living room to minimize toddler destruction all during an episode of Super Why! Lol.” — Brooke

6. Work out

“I used to work out for at least an hour 5-6 times a week. Now, I’m lucky if I work out ONCE a week for 5-6 minutes. I’ve learned to cram in mini workouts while my kids watch a quick show. I figure 12 short minutes a day is better than nothing, right?” — Kate

7. Organize a junk drawer

“The other day I cleaned out my Hoarders-esque junk drawer during an episode of Caillou. At least that whiny brat is good for something.” — Laura

8. Clean out your closet

“I purged my entire closet and packed the donations into my car last week while my three kids watched a TV show. God bless television.” — Andrea

9. Put together last-minute gifts (by hand)

“I have fully made a birthday present out of spare stuff in my craft closet and wrapped it while my son watched a TV show. This is what happens when you forget about a birthday party you’re supposed to be at in 20 minutes.”  — Michelle

10. Meal plan for the week

“Mickey Mouse is basically my best friend, because he allows me to meal plan and make a grocery list every week without my child climbing all over me.” — Sara

11. Clean out the fridge

“I used to think the Cat in the Hat was super annoying until I was able to clean out my refrigerator while he blabbed on one day. Now we’re cool.” — Ellen

12. A full at-home manicure

“I’ve learned how to give myself a full manicure (including a top coat and base coat) during one PBS kids show on my phone. The trick is using ice water in between coats to speed up the dry time.” — Chelsea

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