Wednesday, 22 February 2012

From Housewife to Commuter Mum!

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was off work for a bit. I was in between jobs and absolutely LOVED being home with baby forward a few weeks and I'm slap bang at the start of my new job.

I have been on the receiving end of: 

'you have child, I didn’t know that... and you commute! But, you’re so on top of things and so well put together!’

It was a back-handed compliment - I think. I just don't believe that because I’m a Mum and I do a parental ‘shift’ every day before and after work, I have a license to resemble a disheveled wreck! Not so - it doesn’t have to be that way, surely?!

I’m no expert on yummy mummy-ness (by a loooong stretch) but I do have a few pearls that I can pass on that help me keep the balls in the air! Lord knows I have struggled with this before - so this time around, I was determined to have a very organised approach..

First set of tips are to do with what I affectionately call ‘The Mummy Shift’’s what I did:

The Mummy Shift

- found great daycare for baby girl and started phasing her back into full-time nursery 4 weeks prior to me starting work. This means that we don't have any 'clingyness' when I have to run and jump in the car and she is excited to go there everyday. This makes leaving her for the day much much easier on me. Little Miss O is not phased at all by being a full-timer again and tells me herself ' I like 'girls time', but I prefer nursery' - can you spell s.o.c.i.a.l.i.t.e - and which 3 year old do you know that says 'prefer'. This my child cracks me up! Love her.

- also organised fantastic and reliable back-up daycare and after-daycare emergency relief for those inevitable times when I'm either stuck in the office or there's a problem on the road etc... you can just never have enough back-up! The day I am stuck is not the day I want to start stressing about my child's care! I have a childminder who lives 300m from the nursery and is on all call 5 days a week. I also have a standby no2 who lives 400m from the nursery. You just can’t buy peace of mind.

- cook for the week on Sunday. My Mum used to do this on Saturdays and this is something that I did during my last job and have continued so far. It's important to me that we eat healthy, balanced meals (well at least more often than not!), and I like cooking. So, I pop a dish or two in the freezer and one in the fridge and that lasts fine for Monday - Thursday. Literally, a couple of minutes to warm up the food, perhaps boil potatoes/pasta and within 15 minutes of getting home, dinner is served on the table. Et Voila! Friday is free for all in our house - take-away, dinner out when £££ permits, left-overs whatever - at that point, the weekend is in sight and I become a different, far less organised version of myself! Eat whatever, stay up late - whatever. In fact, I actively encourage Little Miss O to stay up and play on Friday and Saturday nights; this means lie ins for us in the morning!

- night duty: Pack all bags at night and leave EVERYTHING by the door - but not blocking a escape route in case of fire etc!! No more running around like a nutter looking for my file/baby girls scarf etc in the morning.. I just collect everything that is by the door and we’re off.

So far so good... things are falling into’s happy days. Baby girl and I are up and ready and we usually get snuggle/TV/story/play time before we head out for nursery and the same again in the evening after dinner...

Next up ‘The London Commute!’

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