A day in the life of an English Mamma
I have become a something of a creature of habit, out of necessity because of the routines of the boys and my working day. I suppose that is usual when you have small children and have returned to work, but some weeks I find myself wanting to break out of the ordinary and so something different. That is why I love the Swedish public holidays – they tend to fall in the middle of the week, and as we are no longer taking long weekend breaks travelling, we get to do things like pop out to Fjäderholmarna – the nearest islands in the archipelago – for an afternoon with the boys.
The rest of my week days follow a pretty consistent pattern though:
Twice a week, I wake early at 4.55am and then spend the first ten minutes of the day on a mindfulness exercise (I started off by using the Take 10 app from Headspace and I’m now trying to decide whether to use another of their apps (most likely) or another app (but I’m yet to find one I really like). On the other mornings, my alarm goes off at 5.10am.
I then spend about 10-15 minutes checking emails. I know that many people say not to start the day off in this way, but it really helps me to have taken this time to clear anything old or no longer relevant out of my inbox before I get to the office. Once I sit down at my desk at 6am, I have an intense period of work, so having an inbox filled only with the relevant emails really helps me when I arrive at the office. After I’ve checked my work emails, I then check my Gmail inboxes. Is it bad to admit that I have five (or four of my own and one I share with Husband)? One for my blog, one personal one, one for mailing lists etc (in my maiden name), one for newer mailing lists (in my married name) and then our shared/family gmail account.
Next I take a quick shower, get dressed, make-up on, hair fixed as best I can without being able to use a hairdryer – Baby E is a terribly light sleeper at this time of the morning and I really don’t want to wake him.
After that, I grab my handbag and bung my breakfast in there. I eat breakfast in the office and eat the same thing pretty much every morning (yes, I really am that habit-driven). I have kesella mixed with a little water to loosen it up a bit, together with around 250g of fruit (I like raspberries – I buy frozen ones from Picard and leave them out overnight to defrost).
Then, I either walk to the office (making sure that I have put on Moves, the app I use to record how many steps I take a day, or I take the bus if I am running late (or it is raining or too dark). Walking into the office gives me 15 minutes or so to clear my head, get into work mode and get some fresh air.
I get into the office just before 6am and then up to the second floor, turn the lights on (on most days, I am the first to arrive), log in and start work. The shift I am on involves putting together our morning product for clients, which usually means a hectic first few hours, then it’s not long until lunch, and then I finish up at around 2.30pm.
I pick the boys up from preschool at just before 3pm, and if the weather is good, we head to a local park for an hour or so before heading home to get dinner. I try to have food already planned or to have put something in the slow cooker, so it is ready when we arrive home.
After that we have a couple of hours until bedtime, which ends up being a mix of playing with toys, a little bit of children’s tv and then reading books while they drink their bedtime milk drinks. Baby E goes off to bed at 7pm, and then Little O and I read a couple of books on the sofa. He then goes on the potty and then at 7.30pm I put him down in bed, read at least two bedtime stories and cross my fingers that he’ll fall asleep in the next 15-20 minutes. If he isn’t, then we typically spend the next hour putting him back in bed after he comes in to us.
If we’re lucky and he crashes out, then we have about an hour and a half or two hours until I need to crash out. Yep, because I’m an early bird, I end up in bed by 9.30pm and usually asleep by 10pm. Rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, I tell you…!