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 19 to 9. They keep me entertained away from the computer and provide constant inspiration for my blogging. We have four boys – 19, 17, 12 and 9. Our only daughter, aged 14, 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!
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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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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.