One of my favourite books is called “Time Management for Manic Mums”. It’s a terrible title, which actually prevents me from buying it for all my friends who are working-mums. What Mum wants to be told they’re manic?
You always feel like you have more to do when it’s all buzzing around your head. One of the main exercises that I’ve learned from TMFMM is “The Daily Dozen”. This is where I’m meant to sit down for 12 minutes and plan and prioritise all that’s to be done the following day. Whenever I’ve done this and actually followed through with my plan the next day, it has felt fantastic. However, as we all know: The Plan often bears little or no resemblance to The Reality.
- 6:09 – Alarm goes off – spring out of bed, throw leggings and a coat over pj’s and go out to walk the dogs for 30 mins
- 6:29 – Alarm goes off – switch it to snooze
- 6:37 – Return from walk, and jump in the shower
- 6:37 – Alarm goes off – switch it to snooze… again
- 6:45 – Get dressed, start to wake the kids, put on a laundry wash
- 6:45 – Alarm goes off – switch it off and consider getting up
- 7:00 – encourage kids to set the table and sit down to eat their breakfast
- 7:00 – Get out of bed because one of your kids is demanding attention / breakfast / ransom for their sibling’s freedom
- 7:45 – Encourage kids to finish breakfast and get dressed
- 7:45 – Plead with your offspring, for the umpteenth time, would they ever tell you what they wanted in their bowls because you’re running out of time / patience / milk
- 8:05 – Encourage kids to get teeth & hair brushed quickly so they can have some playtime as a reward
- 8:05 – Start panicking because you’re still in PJ’s and may have to abandon all hope of getting a shower
- 8:25 – Encourage kids to tidy-up toys because we’re leaving in a few moments
- 8:25 – Start harassing kids to finish breakfast / brush hair / brush teeth / get coat on / get shoes on / all of the above
- 8:40 – Leave house to drive The Earl to the crèche and then walk kids into school before continuing on to work
- 8:45 – Leave house in a blind panic to drive DD & DS1 to school first or else they’ll be late; and then go on to crèche and continue on to work
- 9:20 – Arrive at work, sit down and begin follow your workplan that you drew up the previous day.
- 9:30 – Arrive at work and realise you’d arranged a meeting at 9:15 halfway between your home & work because you were trying to be efficient with your time… but you’d forgotten. Leave the office to drive halfway home again and arrive at meeting 30mins late. (This actually happened to me on Monday.)
The Road to Hell, paved as it is with the best of intentions, continues in this vein for the rest of the day. By the time the evening rolls around, quite a gulf has opened between Plan and Reality.
- 8:30 – Kids in bed, finish off folding and putting away laundry, sit down and knit for an hour before bed-time at 10.00
- 9.00 – Sit down to knit, start watching House or Bones or some period drama with DH while ignoring the mountain of laundry beside you and the fact that if you don’t go to bed until 12 there’s no way you’ll be able to get up early to walk the dogs in the morning
And so the viscous circle continues…