I’ll just do a walk through of my day and how my values steer my actions and that will lay it all out nicely.
So, right now its 3:54am.
When breakfast is done (hopefully it will be sunny again today and we will eat in the front yard in the sun which is warmer than inside often!) I will drop Miss 4 to preschool. She goes 4 days a week now which helps me a great deal and is getting her ready beautifully for Big School next year.
I just had to race off as Master 7 Months stirred and needed a quick dream feed to keep him going until later on. He’s a bit cross as he has picked up conjunctivitis from his sister and doesn’t like not being able to fully open his eyes properly - poor little man. A quick warm salty eye bath followed by a dream feed and he is back to Dream Land again now.
By about 9AM, I have usually spoken to my Office Manager, Leeza - who is just amazing - and worked out who needs paying, what needs doing and if there is anything else I have to get done or be across for the day.
I will sit down and handle emails and social media for a few hours and maybe even get a few more articles written. I always wear my son - either front or back - in my Ergo when I am working. He is teething right now and being the dear little man he is, he wants to be held all the time. Its just easier to wear him and go about my day.
I will chop some firewood and get some lunch - I am always startled and surprised to know it's lunch time. Even having been up at 4AM, my stomach wants lunch at 10AM so I have “Secondsies” (second breakfast of Lord of the Rings ilk) and then at 1PM I always think “Where has the day gone? I got NOTHING done!”
And yes, I think that no matter how much I get done.
I have been awake since 3:23am and I decided to get up 20 minutes ago. My first alarm (I have 5 15 minutes apart) is set to go off in 6 minutes. I really must turn it off so it does not wake the kids or I’ll never get this finished!
I have been lucky this morning in that I cleverly cut enough kindling and firewood to get me going early today so the fire is now almost roaring away and taking the chill off the house. Its currently 0 degrees outside.
I have a cup of hot French Earl Grey tea beside me on my desk and a one litre chocolate, banana and blueberry smoothie chock a block full of superfoods. More on that later.
I will write, edit and post this article along with some photos and then share it around.
By then it will be almost 7AM and the kids will be awake and ready to be put through their “Morning Paces”, as I call it. We will all dive into a hot shower (baby included - so much faster that way) together. Baby comes out first and is dried and wrapped and laid onto the change table. I then get dressed - my clothes are laid out next to him - and then I will get Miss 4 out and dress her. I then I will serve up breakfast whilst doing Miss 4’s hair and baby wearing Master 7 Months.
I have a “Go-To Style” when it comes to dressing. I opt for elegant, timeless pieces and simple designs. I do not wear black during the day; only of an evening. During Winter my “Go-To Style” is skinny jeans, boots (its freezing up here and I can wear thick wool socks under my boots!) a light wool or cashmere long sleeved top under a woolen jumper or blazer. Its very English in style and that’s because we live in an English type of climate.
I finish my “work day” by about 2 or 3pm. Since breastfeeding (yes, Master 7 Months is exclusively breastfed because I gear everything around that - more on that later) I noticed my thinking is very fuzzy in the afternoons. My Office Manager has sent me home repeatedly because I am just not able to think - at all.
So now I rise early, do my thinking first thing and that means I can finish early - without losing productivity or effectiveness.
I will liaise a few final times with my assistant (Roni - just hired her, she works from home in Jamaica) and my Office Manager Leeza to make sure we are all on track then I will start on my chores (washing, watering, tidying up the house etc) and then the preparation for dinner.
I put the children through their “Evening Paces” and then we all head off to bed around 8 - 8:30pm. Sometimes I’ll read (currently its The Complete Tightwad Gazette which is great) and sometimes we watch a movie (last night it was Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang).
So HOW do I do it all? How do I fit so much in? Here are my top 10 tips - the things I do that work for me.
2. I have a “Go-To Style” and I rotate a few outfits that I know work and are easy and look good. I change my top to a “home top” so as not to dirty my good ones and if I go out I slip on a nice cashmere or wool top and a blazer. Its an easy way to look nice.
3. I spend time on my appearance. Its not because I am single again - I did it more when married actually I used to dress for dinner for my husband!. Its because I like to look good. When I look good I feel good and nothing can bring me down - not for long anyway. I have my hair done, I wear earrings, I keep my skin lovely with some amazing products and that is my treat - just for me. I make it a priority because I am a better Mum when I feel taken care of. And I must take care of me.
4. I put myself first. This sounds selfish or does it?! however it is a must for me. I am raising two children alone, building a large company i have 6 staff currently - and counting and going through a divorce.
5. I matter. In fact, I matter most because if I drop then everything else does too - my children, my team; everyone suffers. If I am having a bad day had a few this past week thanks to my unpleasant divorce I simply contact my team, tell them I am offline and go into hiding. I might watch Downton Abbey, I might go out for a cuppa, I might sit on my hammock, I might read. I turn off phones and recharge - out of reach. I make no apologies for this and my team get it. It works - it keeps me going and keeps me grounded. Its a must.
6. I meal plan and slow cook. Enough said. If you’re not doing it yet, get into it. You won’t look back. Check out “Once Upon a Freezer” for inspiration.
7. I budget. We went to New Zealand for 3 weeks this year. It was a house swap - and a very successful one! We are planning another trip later this year. How? I budget. We live off very little - my income is not much more than the poverty line as I invest my salary back into my company and my team - and I budget. I am getting better and better and more ruthless with it now. It feels good. I am in control of my money and it works for me. Finally.
8. I say no. Often. Not to my children - I say yes to them - but to others. I do not go out a lot, I do not socialize a lot and I pick the people I spend my time with VERY carefully these days. A lot of hard learned lessons on that one. If someone leaves me feeling depleted or deflated, I avoid them. Pure and simple. I have too much riding on me and ensuring my spirits remain high is vital to the success of how I live my life and run my business.
9. I don’t have much caffeine. I do NOT drink coffee - at all. I have one cup of tea in the morning and that is it. I am too sensitive to caffeine and it gives me anxiety. I use herbs like Nettle and products like JuicePlus+ to give me the energy I need. Its real energy and I can keep going long after the over-caffeinated have stopped.
10. I keep my diary loose. Sure there are some weeks when I am back to back and it's nuts! I make it a priority though to keep my diary loose and to have ‘free’ time. My creativity and energy and what keep the company and my home running. With every minute scheduled I have no time or head space to be creative and come up with more ideas and solutions. My home life suffers first then the company follows. I say no, I don’t take on too much and my children do not have myriad activities - only one activity per term - right now it's swimming. Dancing will be in the summer. That’s it.
I take time out and go away. Partly because the divorce is so messy and nasty that I need to get away from time to time, partly because I love to travel. I schedule time outs in advance - up to 3 - 6 months ahead. I have stayed in New Zealand and the south coast so far for a total of 6 weeks so far this year. I am heading to Albury later this year and then maybe on another trip in the Spring. I plan it well ahead and make sure my team are ready to go when I leave. I work whilst I am away - its about work life integration for me - so nothing skips a beat however a change IS as good as a holiday and a holiday is even better!
Personally, I do not feel I ‘do it all’ and I often think I could or should be doing more. I am a perfectionist and an over-achiever so I temper that part of my nature my choosing to live simply. I pull back and ask myself
“Do I need this or that? Do I need to be doing this? What purpose does this serve?”
I do my best to not take on anything that does not serve my values or higher purpose. I am getting better at that every day.
Sure I like nice things, I love to travel however we live simply in between. I take my time when shopping (I recently spent 4 hours noting all the prices of items I buy from 4 supermarkets.Aldi is the cheapest for everything except chicken breast so far), scout for bargains and buy second hand everything.
If I invest in something expensive - like a beautiful dress - it's a timeless, classic piece that will be stunning 10 years from now. It's often hand made or Australian made and I look after it. I mend, I sew, I take hand me downs gladly. I know what to look for and I hunt for quality pieces. I don’t buy junk. Its just a waste of money. I look back on the money I’ve wasted over my life and hang my head in shame. I am a reformed spendthrift and loving it!
Health and nutrition are my absolute non-negotiables. I am very strict about diet and food. Miss 4 has food intolerances and a lot of them make her very agitated and stressed. There is NO junk or colours or preservatives in my house. Its not worth it with her - and it's taken me this long to figure it out and be as strict about it as I am. She has homemade yummies like chocolate frozen yogurt (raw cocao + homemade yogurt) and Red Velvet Almond Truffles and she is happy, calm and sweet.
The alternative? Hour long violent tantrums and lots of agitation. The poor little mite can’t help it and doesn’t understand it. As I said, it's not worth it and it's a non-negotiable.
So that’s it! My little life in 10 points!
The point is I DO NOT do it ALL. I choose. I prioritise.
I love how I live and despite my impending divorce I have never been happier or more content.
I believe contentment comes when we leave room for it. If we are super busy, rushing hither and yon, there is no room for stillness. Contentment can be found in the stillness. To have stillness you need time. To have time, you need simplicity.
This is what works for me.
What works for you?
How do you cope with everything you have to do as a Mum?
Comment below with YOUR top tips!
Lots of love!
A little over 2 hours to write, edit and post :)
P.P.S Have you grabbed your copy of my home remedies book yet? Click below and get it today - plus BONUS Kitchen Remedy Card for your fridge! :)