A lot of people ask me how I made time to write a book when I have kids – the answer is simple, time management.
For a lot of people, especially mothers who stay at home, time can become something of a blur with one hour fading into the next as you run around after children. But if you want to work for yourself – and this applies to any career, not just writing, it is important to get some structure going.
Housework And The Working Mom
I want to start with housework – I am OCD diagnosed and one of my compulsions is cleaning (I’ll perhaps do a more detailed post on this later down the line) so I have always made a point of getting the household cleaning done early in the day, and maintaining it throughout.
This is something else that seems to shock people when they enter my home “How do you keep such a lovely home when you have kids?” Any guesses? Time management! The same goes for the fact that I apply full make up and style my hair every morning.
Despite what many people may be being led to believe, it is quite possible to make yourself presentable, have an immaculate home, work from home and spend time with your kids – and no, I am not Mary Poppins. I am just a normal woman, who happens to know a secret. Yes, it is time management.
So I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is make my bed and clean my bedroom and then do my daughters room (I keep a cloth and polish in the bedroom cupboard to make this easier.) I then go to the toilet and clean my teeth before cleaning the bathroom – again cleaning supplies are kept in here. Within the first few minutes of being awake, upstairs is partially clean.
Now I take my daughter downstairs and get her breakfast alongside cleaning the kitchen. While she is eating, I polish downstairs, vacuum throughout, mop and pop on the washing machine.
My older children who have bedrooms in a downstairs extension are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and their bathroom.
Throughout the day, I will maintain the cleanliness by cleaning as I go – washing dishes as they are used, vacuuming up spills etc. Any detailed jobs such as wiping the skirting boards, cleaning the fridge and wiping fixtures and fittings have a set day each week and so are easily integrated into the routine.
Now I eat!
I feel pretty!
I have always prided myself on being well presented and that isn’t out of vanity but out of a firm belief that looking good makes one feel good.
So after breakfast, I go for shower and then style my hair and apply my make up. (I always lay out my clothes the night before.)
Then I get my kids ready and we can be out the door before 9am!
Once my children are at school and nursery, I come home and begin work. Now my focus is around freelancing but when I was writing His Mother’s Love, this took priority.
There was a point when I had to work my career around my kids and this required further time management. I would take the day in hour blocks – spending one hour on work, and providing the kids with something to keep them entertained, and then spending an hour doing family stuff. Not only did this make it easier on my children but it also broke the day up nicely for me.
As you can see from what I have said, my life revolves around a strong routine and I genuinely believe that this makes everything so much easier. Your life flows much more nicely with a routine – you know what is happening and when and you don’t feel stressed.
So, What’s The Point In This?
Let me please assure you that I am not writing this post as a way of saying ‘Look how well I have my s**t together’ because believe me, there are times that I really don’t!
But, I wanted to share, how a little bit of organisation can go a long way and if you are looking to work from home or start a career around your kids, it is perfectly possible.
I’d love to know your thoughts!