About

Welcome to Planning with Kids! I have been blogging since 2008 and still love blogging. On the blog I share tips and tricks to organising the chaos of family life. What I share here is the culmination of personal experience, reading and learning from other families. Not for one minute do I think I know all there is to know about family life and parenting. My kids teach me something new pretty much everyday.

Planning With Kids is about productivity for families. Getting organised at home so you can spend more time on the fun bits of family life.

And speaking of kids I am a mum to five beautiful kids aged 18 to 8. They keep me entertained away from the computer and provide constant inspiration for my blogging. We have four boys – 18, 15, 10 and 8. Our only daughter, aged 13, is right in the middle.

While I am not a perfectionist I really do like having things sorted -I find mess and disorganisation stressful. Planning is a safety blanket for me. Planning for the known components of family life means I can cope so much better with the unknowns that family life constantly throws up at you – tantrums, sibling fighting, testy teenagers and all sorts of other fun!

I was, up until June 2013 addicted to Diet Coke, but have now kicked that habit and am a lover of tea. At this point I also cleaned up my diet ditching processed foods, grains, refined sugars and am eating as clean as possible. My focus is on eating whole foods that nourish and allow me to perform well at the physical activities I pursue, as well as my daily life.  I am bringing my family along with me in this journey, they are however still eating grains, pasta, bread etc – it is a work in progress, but this we have all started eating better! You can read more about our experience with that here and here.

I was able to make these changes to my life by goal setting and working on habit setting, something which I share tips on the blog about, as I want to help others make positive changes to their lives too.

I am a relative new comer to running, starting to run regularly in 2012. I now love running and have so far completed five marathons, the highlight qualifying and running the Boston Marathon in 2015 and The Great Wall of China Marathon in 2017 with my husband as our 20th wedding anniversary celebration. I also love CrossFit, I love the challenge it gives me and it gives me so many things to work on!

If you are looking for a place to investigate the blog further, head to my Where To Start page. It will give you a taste of what I write about here and what readers have liked!

Planning With KIds
My book, Planning with Kids, was released in May 2011 by Wright Books. You can buy it and read more about it here.

As well as blogging I am also a sought after speaker on areas from blogging and social media to home organisation and planning. I also undertake freelance writing for both parenting websites and for brands. You can see more about this on my “Hire Me” page.

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Getting In Touch

Advertising and sponsorship opportunities

Please see the information on my advertising page here.

Reviews and Giveaways

I am no longer accepting product/services for review and giveaways from non sponsors. If you would like to have your product or service promoted on Planning With Kids, see further opportunities here.

Guest Posts and Blog Tours

Due to the volume of requests, I am no longer accepting guest posts on Planning With Kids, nor am I available to participate in Blog Tours. Guest posts will appear on Planning With Kids, as I reach out to bloggers to post on topics to compliment current content.

Text link and link exchanges

I do not participate in either text link campaigns or link exchanges.

Reader Emails

I get lots of lovely emails from readers asking questions and wanting to know more about me and the blog. I do read all correspondence but in my endeavour to find some balance with blogging and family life, I am not always able to respond individually to each email. If you have a question you can email me via nicole@planningwithkids.com or the contact form. In the meantime here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Is your house perfectly organised?

Never! I gave up aiming for perfection in the house years ago. I have a level of tidiness and cleanliness that I need to be able to function, but there is always stuff somewhere in my house needing tidying and cleaning. I find playing with the kids much more interesting than cleaning.

How do I find time to blog?

I take a very planned approach to blogging. I have a content plan for at least the next six months at least, so I know what I am writing about in advance. Quite often they are written in my head before they are written on the Mac! I batch write my posts and schedule out social media for at least a week in advance. Batching tasks is a super useful approach to save time and I apply it at home and in my work.

After years of working at night and on weekends, I work now mainly school hours. If I dip in to my work hours to do personal things, I may do some catch up in the evening or weekend, but I really try to avoid this where possible.

I watch almost no TV. This isn’t a philosophical decision – it is a time management issue. When most people are watching TV, I am preparing for the next day and heading off to bed early. I am up most mornings super early to fit in my exercise.

Do my kids fight?

YES! And sometimes it drives me crazy. But they do get on pretty well overall. Living in a large family means the kids need to learn to contribute, communicate and problem solve constantly.

What did I do before I had kids?

I went to University and completed a Bachelor of Business (Finance). For the majority of my adult life I worked for a large Australian Telecommunications Company. I held a number of different roles within the organisation, including but not limited to: Regional Performance Manager, Call Centre Manager and Project Manager. I went back to work between son number one and son number two. After number two was born in 2001, I decided the corporate gig was no longer for me and have been at home ever since.

Why do I blog about this stuff?

Planning has helped keep our life harmonious and enjoyable. This is my attempt to share some of the things we do in our daily life. Hopefully these posts provide some ideas to other families or stimulus for reflection on what you are doing in your life.

Do the kids know I blog about them?

When the kids were younger I would always tell them about my idea for a post if it involved them. Mostly they were okay with me to post, but there were times when I didn’t go ahead with a post because one of the kids, didn’t comfortable with it.

As the kids are much older now and in respect to their privacy, I don’t write as much about the kids.  I do still write in general terms but teenagers are intensely private, so I do my best to share my learning by focusing on me and not the kids.

Is it okay to link to your blog?

Of course! I love it if you share my work – thanks.

Can I use your photos?

Yes, providing there is a link back to Planning With Kids.

What I am not!

Please note I am not a nutritionist, teacher, counsellor, child behaviour specialist nor am I perfect! All the information presented on the blog is published in good faith however, it is for information purposes only. If you have specific issues to your family that are a worry or problem for you, please seek professional help.

Comments 28

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  2. Hi Nicole,

    I’ve just discovered your page and wanted to say how useful and interesting it is.
    I too, have a degree in Business and worked as a Project Manager for a University before children. I now have 3 boys, my oldest is 6 yrs and then I have twin boys. and I’m a SAHM.

    I love the term you used in your banner ‘organised chao’s’ – sounds just like our house!

    Thanks for taking the time in your very very busy day to keep a blog like this, I will be visiting regularly.

  3. I’ve just come over from simple mom, and I’m glad that I did. There is soo much that I want to read. We are a family of 6, so at times things feel quite chaotic…but also lots of fun!

  4. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your blog… i am a mother of 5 as weel (4 boys and 1 girl) and i really needed a blog like yours to give me tips on organisation!!!

  5. Congrats on being one of the top 5 blogs in the region. I can see why! And I love your name. I could really use some help in that area.

  6. Hi Nicole,

    I stumbled upon your blog from Nuffnang some time ago and thought you wrote brilliantly. Your topics are not only helpful, but inspirational (5 kids, a husband and a blog, wow!). Thank you. Also congratulations by the way for winning the Nuffnang awards.

    I’m a mom of three beautiful children, Lachlan who is 4, Lucas is 2 and Lily Jade is 2.5 months, and I’m also in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. And I write every now and then on http://www.lachinvasion.blogspot.com. I must say your latest (guest) post on behavioural strategies for boys grabbed my attention because as you can guess, my two boys are at the age where they’re driving me up the wall half the time. So I started perusing through your pages. Well done! I will be a frequent visitor from now on….

    Cheers,
    Grace

  7. Hi Nicole, i cam across your site whilst researching ideas for my birthday site. I was so impressed with your organising tips, I spent the evenning reading it instead of getting some work done!
    As a working Mum of 2, there’s loads of personally interesting stuff on here.
    I’ve put a link on my site to yours, as I think it will be of great use to my readers!
    http://www.great-happy-birthday-ideas.com/birthday-ideas-links.html
    I hope that’s OK

    Many thanks

    Sophie

  8. Hi, I have just found your blog. I love it. I too have 5 children, with the same age groups except the 1st one who is 17 not 11.
    Thank you for starting this blog.

  9. Hiyya Nicole!

    I know this may sounds a bit overdramatic, but I seriously wanted to cry when I came across your blog because it was like an answer to my prayers. Particularly the meal/menu planning section. Thank you for the info you put here and sharing your tips!

    Take care!

  10. Hi Nicole,

    As with the others I love this blog! I’ve got a big interest in kid nutrition and am really interested in your meal planning ideas (sometimes it all just gets a bit hard!)

    I’ve just got the one toddler and I’m documenting my nutritional research on my blog Crouching Child, Hidden Vegies – http://www.crouchingchild.blogspot.com

    I’m so impressed that you find the time with five kids!

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  12. Hi Nicole,
    I was at MOPS this morning when you spoke at Crossway where I am a mentor mum. I thought your talk was great and the handouts were excellent. I particularly loved your insights into relationships, family atmosphere etc.
    You are doing a great job running such an excellent parenting site.
    I was curious about which Kinder your son goes to. I am lunch time reliever at a kinder in your area and wondered if it was the same one (which I’m not naming here for obvious security -lol)
    I have six children (5g 1b) and two grandchildren – we have a little bit in common!
    Blessings,
    Nancy

  13. Hi Nicole,
    I am soo excited to find your website. I only have 3 young children but am frustrated that I feel constantly disorganised. I have a feeling your generous sharing of parenting tips is going to help me greatly. And to know you have 5 children and can do all this is very inspirational!
    I have to say I am even more excited that your melbourne based like myself – there are lots of american websites out there – but your recipes are far more representative of the healthy meals we like to eat – and I know I’m going to be able to easily find the ingredients!!
    Thanks Again!
    Tracy

  14. Love the website! It’s great to seed an Australian website about kids/parenting instead of the usual American ones.

    Cheers

  15. hi nicole i send u an email, i have a little bit frustrations of my 2 girls i wish i could receive ur reply..Ive seen u in the TV show “circle” & am trying to purchase your book..am pretty sure i will love it and i could learn more any motivation towards dealing with our kids…thanks a lot! more power

  16. Heya Nicole… i stumbled upon your blog today and it’s bringing me SO much joy! You are my hero!! Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas… I can’t wait to get started implementing them.. xx

  17. Hi,
    I found your book at BigW just yesterday & I am halfway through.
    We have 5 children too from 10 to 4. So we too are in chaos.
    I only bought your book because the blurb on the back says you have 5 children – I wouldn’t have bought if you’d had had fewer. I figured we must be in same mess.
    It’s a fab book. I would have never thought of writing one. Good job!

  18. I too have 5 kids, 3 boys and 2 girls – about to embark on a number 6 hoping for a girl as I stupidly gave away all my boy things lol.
    Stumbled across your site today and will follow from now on. I often get asked the same/similar questions of how do you do it etc. Two of my boys have ASD, and my eldest daughter is Coeliac also so that makes life interesting!
    I just do what works, remain flexible, adjust for each child as they’re not clones and to stay organised and limit fighting I assigned each of them a colour and most things in our house are colour coded so everyone knows who left the towel on the floor, which shoe box to find their shoes, which plate is theirs on the table etc. From the ASD and food allergy perspective it has been my most successful idea ever and I couldn’t survive without it.
    I highly recommend family meetings tailored to ages of course and I’ve found letting them know what’s happening and giving them a voice has been so helpful in alleviating anxieties and the old kid motto “it’s not fair!”
    Mine are B13, B10, G9, B7 and G3.
    Looking forward to browsing around the site for more nuggets 🙂

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  19. Dear Nicole,
    Thankyou for your website – love your menu planner, recipes, ideas. I am an aussie mum from Melbourne who has been living in eastern Scotland for nearly 2 years now. It’s always refreshing to pop back onto your website, see some references to Oz which make me feel a little ‘at home’ again!
    The seven news bit on colours & flavours was very interesting; how is the campaign going with the food producers? It is so much easier to purchase colour, flavour & preservative free packaged food here for the kids (and adults!) in the UK – the choices are immense & I so strongly support the need for this in Australia…..
    Keep up the wonderful work & blogs! Thanks! Must order your book especially if number 3 child comes along soon!!
    From
    Kerryn in bonnie windy scotland!x

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