Taking time out is not being lazy

Both my partner and I are terrible for hitting the ground running and not stopping until we are exhausted. With 3 kids, a neurotic dog and crazy cat in the equation, it’s very easy to see how this happens. When not servicing the demands of an 11, 8 and 4 year old, we don’t really know what to do with ourselves.

Last weekend we were miraculously child (and dog) free! We started off making grand plans – let’s go shopping, let’s go out, let’s not waste this sacred child and demand free time. Instead we stayed home, watched movies and completely caught up with the complexities of our lives.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we’re being lazy or unfocused. There is always something else we could be doing, work to catch up on, laundry to hang but the reality is, taking time out is not being lazy. To use a very fashionable term right now ‘self care’ is essential if you want to be doing a good job at home and at work.

Nutella is 80 calories PER TEASPOON

Thanks for putting this little gem on the lid Nutella. It definitely means I don’t feel the same about you anymore.

After a year of abstinence from Nutella, due to my habit of eating it out the jar with a spoon, my partner smuggled some into the house and the kids and I have become addicted. We intended to use it for this recipe for Nutella hot chocolate and sadly never got that far. We did have Nutella hot chocolate (check my Instagram feed for authenticity) but it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of Kandee Johnson’s one. Somehow we are now on our third giant jar (in a month – this is not good!) and it is only on the last jar that they’ve announced the calorie content. If only carrots tasted as good as the sweet, delicious hazelnut spread.

Slime is almost impossible to get out of clothes

Most parents of pre-teens already know this. The sensible parents who have banned it from their homes may have assumed this and never had to experience the panic at slime being smeared on school and work uniforms at 7pm with no spare uniforms for the next day in the house.

On Tuesday night I thanked my former self for buying a washing machine that has a 20 minute cycle on it. For those who haven’t yet banned slime from their children’s existence, the magic recipe for removing the dratted stuff is washing up liquid, a scrubbing brush, lots of swearing, a quick prayer to the gods of laundry, a 20 minute wash cycle then dry clothes on the radiator overnight. You’re welcome.

To think, before the manic slime craze that, according to Instagram is plaguing all houses which contain pre-teen girls, my only experience of slime was when having drinks in the garden and a slug crawled into my shoe. Yes I put the shoe on, yes I screamed and no scrubbing required, the shoe ended up firmly in the bin.

Decluttering makes the brain clearer

Anyone who follows my Instagram stories will know about my ‘desk of doom’. This is my working from home desk. It is not often treated as a desk, its main purpose seems to be a base for the children’s un-put-away toys and the home of the chair on wheels for the kids to do death defying spins on.

This week I took the bull by the horns and decided to declutter, not only the desk of doom, but the whole room. What a difference it made! I didn’t think my minimalist space was cluttered but clearing out odds and ends means that not only can I give the sofa a break and work from my desk again, I’m not distracted by niggling little jobs that need doing during my work day. It’s win-win.

Voice notes make long distance friendships easier

This isn’t something I just learned this week but bear with me. My friend and SuperMum, Lisa moved to Australia and introduced me to voice notes. With 4 kids to manage Lisa explained that it’s easier for her to talk and send a reply than it was to type one. This opened up a whole new world for me. To the point that I recommended it in my ‘Busy Tips’ (2 min video below) last year.

I nervously recorded my first voice note for Lisa in 2016, not sure if I’d ever have the confidence to do it again. Since then I have recorded and sent thousands of them. With 2 great friends in different timezones in America, Lisa and my cousin in Oz and another friend in Spain, voice notes have kept us all amazingly connected and changed the way we do friendship.

The reason it’s in this week’s list is: my cousin visited from Australia during the Christmas holidays and even though she was staying with me, I barely saw her (oh to be 25 again!) Since she’s been back in Sydney we’ve spoken every day, via voice notes of course. I love that we don’t have to worry about the time difference just record, send and know the other person will pick it up and listen when convenient. You can send voice notes using different recording software, my personal favourite is Whatsapp.