Time management as a busy mum

Time is something we all wish we had more of.  As a busy mum of two who works part time, runs a blog and manages the home, time is the one thing in life that I wish I could extend. There have been many days where I look at my watch to realise that it’s already the afternoon when I thought it was still mid morning and wondering where those precious few hours went.

As a mum I find myself juggling my schedule on a daily basis. There’s always something to do and somewhere to go (hello, 3 hospital appointments in one week!) and if I’m not organised enough I can very easily become over whelmed and that’s when all those plates that I’m juggling suddenly drop.

I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve tried (and failed) to get up super super early the next morning to finish what I started the day before and it becomes a burden. I sit there annoyed with myself that I can’t get my act together when everyone else can. Why is it that every other mum out there can handle all this stuff and I can’t!? Why is it that with all this stuff to do and organise, am I finding myself scrawling through Instagram when I should be sorting the laundry or writing a blog post. With Katie starting school next week *sob* my life is only going to become more chaotic with school runs and so on.

So I decided enough was enough. The procrastination was over with. I’ve started to manage my time better in the day which keeps me organised and in turn helps me achieve everything I set out to do in that day. Now, I’m not perfect by any means and the changes I have made are still a work in progress but I have found that they have helped me enormously so I want to share them with you too.

  1.  GET A JOURNAL

I’ve recently invested in a journal. Nope, not your regular diary. I mean, a full on Journal. I found with a diary I’d just write important dates down, shut the book and put it back in my bag, never to be looked at again! I would forget so much stuff! Especially since I have 4 peoples schedules to think about. With the journal I bought (TKMaxx £9.99 if your wondering) It has a full month to view page, space for reminders and to do lists and STICKERS – It has STICKERS! OK, so stickers aren’t completely necessary but they look pretty. Having everything written down in one place has really really helped me organise my month better as I can see it all in front of me at once and it means I can work out what I need to be doing and when I have the time to do it.

2. LISTS LISTS LISTS

Going on from a Journal, I have been writing lists lately. Lots of lists for everything. I was useless at lists before. I’d have a “list” in my head of what I needed to achieve that day or the shopping I needed to get and subsequently I’d forget it. Now every morning I write a list of everything I want to achieve that day and tick it off as I go. It keeps me focused and makes me feel productive when I do tick it as done. I bought a cute little list book so it keeps it all together but it means I can tear it off and take it with me if needed. Keep your lists short. Don’t write too much that you can’t achieve it in one day otherwise you’ll feel like a failure and that’s not what we’re aiming for! Short and sweet!

 

3. A LOAD A DAY KEEPS THE BACKLOG AWAY

This applies to anything that builds up frequently. In my house it’s 3 things. Laundry, Dishes and rubbish. Therefore I have started to do a load every day. I put a load of laundry in the washing machine, I load the dishwasher up and I get a carrier bag and go around the house collecting rubbish for the dustbin. I try to do this 1st thing in the morning then it’s done for the day. I find that if I leave it, it builds up and takes even longer to do. Get it done then it’s done.

 

4. PREPARE

Do you race around in the morning trying to find the lost shoe or the missing hairbrush? Yeah, me too. It’s SO stressful and turns me in to shouty mum. No one wants to meet shouty mum, she’s no fun at all. She’s grumpy and she mutters things under her breath that she really shouldn’t be muttering! Therefore I have started to try and prepare the things that I will need for that day the night before. Now, this is something that I REALLY need to practice what I preach. I still forget to do this sometimes but when I do prepare it makes my mornings so much easier and makes me have a lot more time on my hands. I fully pledge to do this every night once Katie starts school.

5. HAVE”ME TIME”

I know this is all about getting things done and ticking off lists, but creating time in my day when I make a bit of time for myself helps me feel in control of everything around me. If I get to have some time in the day when I am doing something for me then I feel more refreshed and more like I’ve juggled everything and not left myself out. Sometimes it can be something small like catching up on a TV programme or reading a magazine and other times it can be a full blown couple of hours at the gym but what ever it is, it’s something for me. It stops me from feeling frazzled or resentful that I’m working for everyone else except myself. Having time to yourself is equally as important as making time for everything else so don’t ignore it!

So there we have it. These are my top tips for time management. Do these sound familiar to you? How do you manage your time and stay in control of your life?

I’d love to hear from you!

 

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A blogging good break!

Sound the klaxons! She’s only gone and wrote a new blog post!

My last blog post was on the 31st March. Almost two and a half months of not writing, not engaging on social media and not posting on instagram (much). Boy, did I need it!

Towards the back end of March I had a very love/hate relationship with my blog. I loved it because it was my piece of the internet that enclosed all my personal memories and something that I had built from scratch myself. But I hated it because it was becoming a chore. It felt like another thing to do on my already expanding check list and frankly it was becoming all too much.

I needed a break. I felt I had nothing to give, nothing to write and nothing that anyone would be interested in.

I was completely uninspired.

Blogging for me is a hobby. I love it. I love what it gives to me. I love what it represents but it also felt like a full time job!

I felt like I was on my phone constantly. From the minute I woke up I’d be plugging posts and engaging on social media. I was spending more time in the cyber world than in the real world and I needed to break free.

When a hobby turns into a chore it isn’t fun. I didn’t like what my blog was turning into so I needed to get away from it all. I didn’t know how long I’d be away from it. I thought it may have only been a week or so but it turned into much more than that. I didn’t feel guilty. I needed the time away. I needed to go away and regain control and get some clarity.

I wrote a similar post a while back The one where I haven’t written in a while about how I took a break because blogging was becoming competitive and I was blogging more for the stats than the content. It was happening again and it’s just all too much for this little lady!

In the time I’ve been away I know that I’ve missed so much in the blogging world but I’m OK with that. I’ve reignited my passion and found some inspiration. I have thoughts, ideas and imagination.

I’m ready to get back in the game!

So, shall we carry on!?…

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Being a mother and what it really means

It’s Mother’s day today. A chance to celebrate the fact that we, as mums, are bloody awesome human beings. Don’t get me wrong, none of us are perfect. I know I’m certainly not. When I first found out I was pregnant with my 1st baby, I had all these (unrealistic) ideas of how I was going to be and act as a mum and how I was going to raise my children. I certainly wasn’t going to be a shouty mum. I absolutely wasn’t going to be one of those mums who let their child play on some sort of electronic device and beige food was strictly band from the table. Only wholesome home cooked food in my kitchen thank you very much! Did that happen? Did it hell.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t scream at my children from morning till night as they sit googled eyed at the Ipad whilst shoving fish fingers and potato waffles down their necks. But I do have the odd day where I’m a little bit more shouty than I’d like (because if I have to ask Katie to put her shoes on one more time so help me god…) and the Ipad is out whilst Dylan is napping so I can quickly get the hoovering done. I’ve also had days where I’m absolutely knackered and I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer so only chicken nuggets will do. And do you know what?

It’s all good.

We are all doing our best aren’t we!? I know I certainly am. Sure, every day isn’t perfect. Sure, I have days where if I have to listen to one of the children whinge one more time I might stab myself in the eye.

I have days where I go to bed and I could burst in to tears because I’ve felt guilty over counting the minutes down until their bedtime. But all in all, I’m an awesome mum. I love my kids with everything that I am.

I tell them I love them everyday, several times a day. I keep them safe. I smother them in kisses and make them feel important – because they are. I feed them, dress them, play with them. I interact with them and I challenge them. I try to get them to see the world for what it is. I encourage them to ask questions. I embrace the fact that sometimes they want to be different. I nurse them back to health when they are unwell. I wipe their tears when they are upset and I kiss their “ouchies”.

I read to them. I comfort them. I reassure them when they are scared. I teach them right from wrong. I play that game “just one more time” even though we’ve played it a 100 times already. This to me, is what being a mother is. Taking the good with the bad, the giggles and the tears. The endless sleepless nights. The nights where I’ve stood for hours on end rocking them back and forth until they go back to sleep.

It’s not just about giving birth to a child, it’s about the aftermath. The years ahead where your not always perfect but you’ll do. Having days where you beat yourself up and tell yourself you could have tried harder or been more patient. The days where you should have listened a bit more instead of shrugging them off or telling them to be quiet.

We are all in the same boat. I know every single one of you reading this will relate to it somewhere because we are all awesome. We are rocking motherhood and our children love us for it. We aren’t perfect – we’re just mums.

Happy Mother’s day!

 

What’s in my toddler changing bag

I wrote a blog post a while back about what was in my baby changing bag (What’s in my change bag) and it had quite a lot of interest so I thought I’d do an updated version now Dylan is out of the baby stage and very much in the toddler stage.

What is it about wanting to know what people carry around with them? I personally love it! I love seeing what people have when out and about. It gives me a bit of inspiration and makes me think if I’ve got everything I need. Almost like a visual checklist. I also like “What’s in my handbag” posts from the ladies out there but I don’t know if that’s me bordering on the line of insane. What do you think!? Anyway!…

When babies become toddlers, it is a relief to all mums out there that you don’t need to carry around with you the whole bumph that comes with having a baby.

I decided that because I didn’t need as much stuff, I didn’t need the large change bag that I had (although I loved it) So I purchased this dinosaur print from Cath Kidston. I am a HUGE Cath Kidston fan and I have a lot of her bags so I felt this one was perfect. It had Dinosaurs on to please Dylan and a Cath Kidston label to please me. Everyone’s a winner! Except probably, my husband. God bless him. He doesn’t feel the Cath Kidston love the way I do. Nevertheless, he still wears it when out and about with our son.

So what’s in my changing bag?

  1. Nappies. I usually take 3 out with me. Three being the magic number and all. I’m never out long enough to use all 3 so I’ve never had a “no nappy” crisis.
  2. Wipes. Used for cleaning everything but the kitchen sink. Unlike nappies, I have to be brand specific with these as for some reason Dylan has a reaction to all wipes except Pampers sensitive and Mamia (Aldi) sensitive wipes.
  3. Tissues. For those snotty, snotty noses. I can’t bare a green encrusted nose.
  4. A Change of clothes. I like to keep a spare pair of trousers and pants for Katie in the bag too in case of any accidents.
  5. A Change mat. A Cath Kidston change mat which one of my friends kindly gave me.
  6. Juice and snacks. Always important with Children. I try to keep healthy snacks in my bag but sometimes only a milky bar will do.
  7. A toy. Used purely as a distraction tool. The toys changes from week to week as does Dylan’s interests. This week it’s lightening Mcqueen.
  8. A dummy. For nap times and tantrums.
  9.  My purse and phone. I don’t carry my own bag it drives me nuts having to lug two bags around (3 if Katie’s at nursery and has her nursery bag) So I just put my purse and phone in to the change bag. Sometimes I carry a lipstick too but if we’re being honest, I’m never one to remember to top my lippy up during the day anyway so it’s sometimes a pointless product.

That’s it in my changing bag. The contents has dwindled dramatically from the baby days. I hate it when your baby isn’t your baby  anymore but I am glad when you don’t have to be armed with all the products that going out with a baby entails.

What do you keep in your changing bag? Do I carry more or less than you?

I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

What do your children say? An interview with my 3 year old

What do your children say? I was scanning Pinterest the other day (find me here) when I came across a blog post idea that I thought was great! An interview with your child on their birthday every year. It’s a way to document their answers and see how they change as they get older. I thought this was a fantastic idea so I decided to interview Katie and see what answers she gave me. When I decided to interview her, she was laid in bed watching a video on her tablet. This is her way of having quiet time in an afternoon.

Interview with Katie – 7th February 2017

What is your name? “Katie”

How old are you? “3”

How old is Mummy? “12” – Not quite, love

How old is Daddy? “13, I know that because you told me he was older than you so that makes him 13” – Your logic is correct, your answer isn’t.

What is your favourite colour? “Pink”

What is your favourite toy? “Erm…Rabbit” (A comforter she’s had since she was a baby)

What do you want to be when you grow up? “A trainer, so I can drive trains”

Do you mean a train driver? “Yes, I want to be a train driver”

What’s your favourite TV show? “Peppa Pig”

What’s your favourite DVD? “Rapunzel” (Tangled)

What’s the best thing about Mummy? “Your cuddles”

What’s the best thing about Daddy? “He spins me around really fast”

What’s your favourite drink? “Apple juice”

What’s your favourite animal? “OW! I’ve got a chicken pox in my ear!!” (She’s currently got Chicken pox if you’d not already guessed)

What’s your favourite animal? “A Cow”

What’s your favourite fruit? “Grapes”

What’s your favourite thing to eat at lunchtime? “Cheese sandwiches”

What’s your favourite thing to do outdoors? “Play football”

“I’ve accidently got chocolate on my bed, Mummy”

Who’s your best friend? “Hollie”

Do you like doing questions like this? “Yes, but you didn’t ask me who my favourite ever person was!”

Who’s your favourite ever person? “I don’t know”

 

This interview was so fun to do, it’s interesting to see what answers they give and how easily they can go off on a tangent. I love how I could ask the same set of questions when she’s 4 years old and get completely different answers. Although, I bet if I asked Katie these questions again tomorrow I’d still get different answers too!

Why don’t you ask these questions to your children and see what they come out with? I’d love to hear what they say!

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of an imperfect mum