The “I’ll just…”

Mama, can you play with me?
Sure Chanbe, I’ll just put this load of washing on
I’ll just finish these dishes
I’ll just hang this load out
I’ll just pick up these few toys
I’ll just get the veges ready for dinner
I’ll just finish my cup of tea
I’ll just get Quindy something to eat

I’ll just… I seem to say these 2 little words a lot during my day as a mum. All of these things listed have to be done, sure, but it’s the stopping as soon as I’ve completed one thing that I seem to struggle with. If I finish the task at hand, and Chanbe is momentarily distracted, it’s so easy to”just” quickly start the next thing. And so the cycle continues until Chanbe takes matters into his own hands and starts hassling Quindy to get my attention.

I remember hearing or reading somewhere, years before I had children, that if you give a child your immediate attention when they ask (nicely) for it more often than not, they will feel secure in that relationship and not be so in need of that constant attention, whereas the more you delay that attention, the more that seek it out.

I have no idea if that has any merit but it makes a bit of sense. So while I don’t feel that I need to drop everything every single time Chanbe wants me, I am being more aware of his request and weighing up the importance of what I’m doing. More often than not, all he wants are a couple of rounds of hide and seek or a few puzzles and he’s on his way. I know I’m going to miss it when he stops asking me to play, so I’d like to say “yes” more often than “I’ll just” in the future.

(Incidentally, the word “just” is the most commonly mis-Autocorrected  word on my phone. It usually comes up with either Jay or Keady. So ridiculous….)


  1. I can totally relate to this! I realised this morning I told Eli ‘I’ll just…’ repeatedly with a few different tasks before I actually stopped to give him attention. I seemed to keep noticing things I ‘needed’ to do first. It’s an interesting thought that giving immediate attention could make a child feel more secure, so they seek your attention less.

    1. Yes it’s funny how the “I just”‘s build up when you’re on a roll! I have found that so much of parenting is about being aware of such things as we go about our day. It’s hard though!

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