The winner of the PWK book is Rhianon! Enjoy your book!
My blog has been live for 3 months now – still really new. I have been reading blogs for many years though. One of the few Australian blogs that I subscribed to when I was a newer parent was Planning With Kids which is written by Nicole Avery. One of the best tips I picked up from her (since she has older kids and was always one step ahead of me) was to create a lunch box planner when the girls started preschool. I created a chart with categories like carbs and proteins and filled it with all the things they ate. When I went to fill lunch boxes I looked at it like a menu from a Chinese restaurant and picked one from column A, one from column B and 2 from column C and so on. What a lifesaver over the years!
Nicole’s blog and book are filled with an enormous amount of information to help you with routines, meal ideas, organisation etc and I wanted to ask her a few questions to dig a little deeper. I hope you enjoy getting to know this blogger and author (and mother) a little better – stick around to the end for a giveaway of her book.
1. Many people feel they are so busy and don’t have the time for the things that they truly want in life. In what ways have you prioritised your life to “cut the fat” and get to the heart of what matters to you? Do you manage to fit in all you want or have you had to let go of anything to make it work?
I don’t fit everything in. There are lots of things that I wish I could be doing like more volunteer work, more time in the kids’ classrooms, but it just isn’t possible at the moment. I am a firm believer that we have seasons in our life and as they change so do the activities and priorities we have in our lives.
I know once my youngest is off at school, it will be much easier to do those aforementioned activities and I try not to beat myself up on the things that I am not doing, but acknowledge the things I am managing to do.
I do fit a lot into my day and the main reason is because I plan and/or schedule it. For example I get to the gym every morning between 6 – 7am before my husband goes to work. I sacrifice sleep to get there, but it is important to me and I always feel so much better after I go.
I watch virtually no television as I choose to blog. As my workload has increased I have become smarter about how I choose to spend my time. I remind myself of this quote a reader from the blog pointed out to me from Zen Habits, The Tragedy of Missing Out. The whole article is definitely worth reading, but this point really resonated with me:
But here’s the bare truth: we will miss out, no matter what. It’s inevitable. We cannot do or try everything in the world, even with lives twice as long. We cannot see every town and city, read every interesting book, watch every important film. We will always, always miss out.
Here’s the second, more important truth: if you always worry about what you’re missing out on, you will miss out on what you already have.
2. Different personalities can lead to different ways of managing your home life. Is there something you started off thinking you would definitely do for your home and family that you learned just does not work for you? Did you find an alternative that did work or did you just drop this completely?
I honestly thought I would work outside of the home at least part time when I had children. I didn’t envisage myself giving up work completely. Before I had my first baby I planned only to have three months off and then go back to work 3 – 4 days a week. From the minute my son was born, I knew I had this completely wrong! I extended my leave out to nine months and went back to work four days a week.
I made this work for us as we were yet to buy our home, but in my heart I wanted to be at home with my child. I knew that next time I could stay home full time, so worked towards that goal, knowing that I was contributing to the family. I found having a firm goal to work to made it easier to do.
I was then out of the paid work force for eight years before I started the blog and now I am ecstatic to have a part time job, which I don’t have to leave the house for and I can work around the kids. This suits our family and me much better.
3. I have written a lot about self care as I find it to be critical that parents make themselves a priority rather than giving everything they have to their children (and others). I know you talk about this in your book and refer to “investing time in yourself”. What do you do regularly that nurtures you – mind, body or soul? Do you have any tips or advice in this area?
As a mum I think you need to realise that you have to make sure this happens. My husband is great and if I ask for time to myself he will do everything possible to facilitate it, but he very rarely initiates it.
So my advice is be proactive about it. Schedule days in your partner’s diary where he will be the primary carer for the kids and you get to do something for yourself. I highly recommend as well as ad hoc times, to have regular times through out the week where each partner has time for their own activities. I go to the gym week day mornings, Sunday mornings my husband goes for a 4 – 5 hour bike ride. Making sure both parents have time to recharge is important so neither feels resentful.
4. What do you enjoy most about being a parent and why?
The love and happiness they bring to me. There are moments when I watch our five kids playing and my heart literally feels so full it could burst.
I also adore watching our kids’ nurture each other and those around them. Kids absorb social etiquette and how to behave from the example set for them in the home. I am enjoying watching my kids grow up to be considerate and caring members of society. They are far from perfect, but there are moments of such beauty in the way they behave and act, it makes all the effort worth it.
5. What is something your readers have yet to learn about you?
I wasn’t always organised. I talk about this in the introduction to the book. It was something I have grown into and I am still developing. I like people to know this, so if they are thinking “I am not the organised type”, know it is possible to change.
As karma would have it, my gorgeous and smart oldest son is just like I was as a child – leaves everything to the last minute, completely messy, never in a hurry, but has a good heart!
Thank you so much Nicole for sharing here today!
Giveaway of 1 copy of PWK
If you want to win a copy of Nicole’s book “Planning with Kids” please leave a comment sharing your best tip or trick for managing a simplified home life – what works for you just might work for another parent! (note that I may share this in the future here or on the HLS facebook page)
For a bonus entry – like home life simplified on facebook (using your personal page) and leave a second comment here telling me you have done so or are already a FB fan. The link will open in a new window to Facebook. This competition is not affiliated with Facebook in any way.
Terms and conditions:
- Giveaway will be open for 2 weeks November 9 – 23, 2011 (closing at 6pm Brisbane time).
- Unfortunately only open to Australian residents as the book will be shipped from the Australian publisher.
- I will contact the winner via email (and announce on the blog) and if I do not receive a reply within 48 hours I will draw a new winner so keep an eye open on November 23/24th. (If you will be away let me know in your comment and I will hold it for you)
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