This post is part of a series called “How do you do it?” I asked readers to share how they manage a typical day in their family life. Of course we all know there is really no such thing as a typical day in family life, but this gives us a sneak peak into how others are doing it and hopefully you will find some tips that can help you in your day. You can read other posts in the series by clicking here. Thank you so much to the women who generously shared their stories!
What is your name?
Where do you live?
Tell me a little bit about your family
My little family is the Price Mace Gale family – and we’re a little weird – which is pretty much a continuation from my upbringing.
The Price part is me, myself and I and always will be. I will never be married and never want to be and would also never change my name.
The Mace is my eldest daughter, Amelie, who is 9 and a driven, determined, smart perfectionist. She visits her Dad in the UK for about 3 months in total every year and has been travelling on her own to see him since she was 6.
The Gale is my boyfriend, Sean – a football (soccer) coach and also a Pom. We also have a little Gale in the house, Freya – 5, who starts school this year (hallelujah!). She’s the naughty, cheeky one who wants to be a singer when she grows up.
We also have Molly the cat – no last name – as that could just get confusing!
What do your mornings look like?
My eldest is always the first to get up and the rule is that she has to get dressed and brush her hair before she can watch something on the iPad. After many years struggling to motivate her to get ready quickly in the morning (and me feeling like my back teeth were going to explode from gritting them together so hard in frustration) – this is a proven formula for us so we’re sticking it!
Neither my boyfriend or I are morning people, and our jobs don’t require early mornings, so we always take it in turns getting up at 7.30am and sort brekky for Amelie – usually a bagel (we’re mad bagel freaks in our house). Freya would always wander in for a snuggle at some stage and then we’d dispatch her into bed with whoever was still sleeping, but this year will be different and they’ll both up at 7.30am.
We make lunches in the morning too as I seriously can’t be bothered making lunches the night before and we don’t really have any fancy lunchboxes or anything – the best we do is the 4MyEarth sandwich and snack wraps as they’re really easy to use and I love that they’re reducing waste. Lunch is a sandwich, piece of fruit and a snack.
Amelie then brushes her teeth and pops her lunch in her bag and we head off. Unfortunately, we’ve moved further away from school this year so we won’t be able to walk, ride or scoot like we used to.
Then it’s off to a Biz Mums Club for me or home to work like a maniac until school pick up!
What does your after school time look like? (eg 3.30pm – 5.30pm)
It really depends on what day of the week it is. The gals usually do two extra-curricular activities each and often I will be ferrying one or both between. When I am at their class – be it ballet, swimming etc – I try to switch my phone off and watch them at least 75% of the time. I want them to see me watching them and not feel like I always have my head in the phone. That said, if I have a call or email that has to be attended to – I will do it.
If it’s an afternoon at home, the gals have to pop their bags in their places, bring their lunchboxes to the kitchen bench, get changed out of their uniform and lay it out neatly for school the next day before they get a snack or do anything else. Fridays they get a day off from getting changed.
Then they have a snack – usually crackers, nuts, fruit and yoghurt or a piece of cake (not cooked by me I’m afraid – I don’t do baking!). If Amelie has homework she has to do some, if not all, of it depending on when it’s due and then they usually play together until 5pm before they can turn on TV or iPad.
What does dinner time look like? (eg 5.30pm – 8.00pm)
If I were to go to hell, it would involve me having to decide what was for dinner every night for the rest of my life! I literally loathe having to think of things to eat all the time and I also really don’t see the point in cooking for an hour for the food to be devoured in 5 min. Painful! I am definitely the furthest you’ll get from Nigella Lawson – I really just don’t love cooking all that much.
That said, I battle on and we pretty much cook dinner every night with maybe take away once every 2 weeks and yep, sometimes it’s McDonalds as my kids love it. Dinner for us is usually pasta one night, rice dish another, tacos another, sausage and veg another night. Even though we had dessert quite a bit when I was a kid, we don’t have dessert at all – I figure the kids have enough sugar in the day and I don’t need it.
What does the kids’ bedtime process look like?
During school term it’s pretty simple really, brush teeth, get into Pyjamas and off to bed with a book to read (Sean reads to Freya) at 8pm.
During school holidays we let things go a bit and they’ll get to bed between 8pm – 9pm.
They’re both night owls and are never shirty in the mornings so we know the late nights aren’t having an adverse effect.
What happens once the kids go to bed? (eg 8.00pm – 10.30pm)
During school term, Sean works many nights at the Football Club so I am often alone and can watch my beloved TV. I loooooove TV! I will often watch with my computer on my lap working or my phone in my hand, doing some social media work and playing a few games in ad breaks.
This idyllic scene is interrupted routinely by the gals talking and laughing and me yelling at them to ‘shut up’! The old house was only 2 bedroom so they shared a bedroom and, when we moved, we had the option of separating them but to be honest, as annoying as it is that they’re still awake at 9.30pm giggling I take great pleasure in the fact that they’re having fun with each other – so we kept them together.
They’ll drop off about 9.30pm – 10pm and I’ll continue TV and working until about 12am.
Do you do any preparation for the week on weekends and if so what?
Ha ha ha ha! No! I am generally a ridiculously well-organised person but I probably resist being organised in this area as I just find it so unenticing. I tend to shop on a daily basis, think of dinners in the mornings or even whilst I’m walking about the supermarket looking for inspiration. Sean also cooks approx. 2 times a week – when he’s home – so that takes the pressure off and I live for those days
Anything else you would like to share?
I would tell mums to categorically refuse to feel bad for not being a ‘perfect’ mum. With the advent of social media, there is just so much in your face these days – feeds full of sugar being the devil, mums cutting their kids sandwiches into cute shapes, families hiking up mountains together – it is so easy to feel like you’re not doing enough.
Work out what’s important to you, what a great balance is and how you want your kids to grow up and KNOW you’re doing a fab job for your kids.
That’s why I wanted to share that my kids have McDonalds sometimes and that I let them watch the iPad in the mornings. It’s so easy to believe that everyone else is being a super mum and you’re being crap and I wanted to share the ‘naughty’ stuff I do so hopefully some of you out there can feel like ‘hey, I am ok’. And you are x
I love the honesty with which Alli shares her day and I also feel that the idea of the perfect mum is simply to hard to live up to and can suck the joy out of parenting if we focus on it.
Alli is the founder of The Motivating Mum Businessmums’ Club, designed to help those mums wanting to forge stronger relationships and achieve even more opportunities for their business. I attend the Bennetswood Group of Motivating Mums and have found it a great way to network and keep myself accountable. If you are a small biz owner check out the list of clubs here to see if there is one near you.
You can also find out more about Alli and Motivating Mums here:
- Motivating Mum on Facebook
- Motivating Mum on Instagram
- Motivating Mum on Youtube