Welcome to Day 5 of Blogtober- a day in the life. Read on to find out what a typical, weektime “day in the life” is like for me (disclaimer: it’s not very exciting and a bit longwinded sorry!):
I try and get up at 7am at the latest. I should get up earlier really but I’m not an early bird. As I’ll no doubt have been up until only a few hours earlier I always struggle when it’s time to get up. Every morning, I feel tired and can’t wait to go back to bed. I look wistfully at my slippers, thinking I can’t wait for it to be time to slip them on again. I vow to go to bed earlier (but never do…). Every morning, I wish my mum and sisters a Good Morning on Messenger and we have a quick “chat”. This will continue throughout the day until our last “Goodnight” before bed.
The first thing I do is put the kettle on. Then, I do my contact lenses, have a quick wash or shower and get dressed for the day. Sometimes, I have to queue for the bathroom for ages, so I try to get up first or I end up crossing my legs! I come downstairs and make my morning cup of coffee. If there’s a full load of washing, I’ll put it on. We actually only have decaffeinated coffee at home but the placebo effect makes me feel more awake. I have a glass of water too to rehydrate from my night’s sleep. I would like to eat breakfast then but I can’t manage it before the school run. I brush my hair and pin it up, if I have time and I’m going somewhere during the day, I’ll put some makeup on. I quickly check emails and reply to anything urgent.
Getting the Kids Ready
Now the kids are older, I don’t have to physically get them ready anymore, apart from helping with their hair now and then. My job now is to shout and holler and generally speed them upon to get them out of the house on time and with everything they need. Some days this is easier than others. Rebecca likes to be early for school, while Caitlyn likes to go as late as she possibly can so it’s hard getting them out of the house at the same time.
A few times a week, Danny has to do his INR test in the morning to test his coagulation as he’s on warfarin. He has a home test so he does the test and tells Dave and me the result for us to ring the hospital, which saves him having to ring from college. At some point in the day, they then ring us back with his new warfarin dose for the week.
The School Run
Danny makes his way out the door to the bus stop to get the bus to college. I say bye to Izzy now as she walks to school just across the road from us after I’ve left with the older girls. I then drive the girls to their secondary school. This should take about 10 minutes, but you know with school traffic and traffic lights, some days it takes ages so we always try and leave early. In the car, we take turns choosing songs and we all sing along.
After the school run, sometimes I pop to the chemist, post office or shop if I have some errands to run (usually I have to wait for places to open as it’s still early). If needed, I’ll give Dave a lift to work. When he’s working locally, he prefers to walk. as it wakes him up.
9.30am /10am Home Again.
Last school year and during the holidays, I was doing daily “Lucy Wyndham-Read” workouts after the school run. Writing this post has reminded me that I haven’t started again since the kids went back to school in September! Oops! I gave myself the first week off to ease myself into the back-to-school routine. I really need to start exercising again as otherwise I just spend a lot of my day at a desk and get so unfit and lethargic.
Now I put the kettle on again and have another cuppa and my breakfast. I go through phases of either having Weetabix (well Tesco’s version), porridge, overnight oats or toast and a banana. Whichever I have, I’ll have for weeks and weeks at a time. While eating breakfast, I might write a list, browse emails, listen to a training video (for example free blogging, getting organised or decluttering course) or watch a Facebook Live. Sometimes, if I’m tired or poorly I watch Netflix, but then I have to remember to stop watching and start my work for the day!
Before I settle to work, I usually end up doing a little bit of life admin and chores. If, I’ve put a load of washing on, then by now it’s finished so I’ll hang on the line on a dry day or on the airer if it’s wet. I hate having to dry clothes indoors, it never dries the same. I’ll fill up the bird feeders while I’m outside too. Sometimes, letters, emails or phone calls come about the kids, so I deal with them, post and pay bills, make appointments etc.
Finally, it’s time to settle down to work. I used to be a teacher. Then, when I had my youngest, I started blogging for fun. I started getting offered paid opportunities so eventually, it became my way of making a living. If I have a work deadline, I start that first. This may involve taking or editing photos, writing a post, writing for another site, creating social media content, creating a video or setting up a competition. I’ll also check my emails for incoming work that day. If I have a quiet morning, I send off proposals to find more work, so there’s always something to do.
Ideally, I’d like to get my paid work done, apply for opportunities, and then have free time to write up more personal and days-out posts, but I do struggle with this. I end up writing more words for other people’s sites than I do my own.
On Wednesdays, I usually try to go out for lunch with mum. If we go somewhere new, I blog about it to help other locals find out where to eat out as a vegan in Pembrokeshire. On other days, if I’m too busy I skip lunch (unintentionally). But most days I do try and have a quick break to eat. I was having mainly salads, such as vegan feta cheese, beetroot and walnut salad (delicious). Now the weather’s cooling, I’m starting to have hot food for lunch- such as leftovers heated up from the night before, soup or “something on toast”.
After lunch, I’ll clear up and check the clothes on the line etc.
I find after lunch the time goes too quickly. I have a productive morning and feel like my day is going well but these last few hours of working always slip away too quickly. I always hope that I’ll get some evening time to work too but instead once I pick the kids up that’s when my day tends to go crazy.
3pm Pick Up Time
As I mentioned earlier, Izzy’s school is close enough for her to walk home. However, most weekdays (apart from Fridays as that’s a half school day in Wales) I pick her up in the car and drive to the other side of the school because we then go to pick her older sisters up and there’s less traffic to get through. I leave the house before 3pm so I can get a parking space. I’ll bring my laptop and work while I wait for her. If I’m tired I’ll have a quick scroll on social media instead. When Izzy gets to the car she always checks if I’ve remembered her snack or not- it’s a bit hit and miss! When the kids were younger, I’d always bring fruit and homemade flapjacks etc, now I just grab the first suitable snack I find! Ooh, I might start putting a lunchbox full of snacks for the week on the above driver shelf in the car so I only have to remember on Mondays!
The older girls walk across from their school and go to Great Gran’s house. This is a lovely chance for them to get to see her each day. I pick them up from here. We have a good chat with Great Gran. She offers the older girls snacks while they wait for me. Then, we drop Rebecca’s friend home and usually pop to Tescos (other good supermarkets are available but this is the one in my town lol). On our free days (usually Tuesdays), Izzy sometimes walks to the park with her friends and we meet her home after.
4.30pm/5pm Home Time
Once home, the girls have to sort their uniforms, school bags, lunchboxes and school letters. We either have a quick snack and go straight to after-school clubs or I start making tea and then we have tea before going out. Ideally, I’d like to prepare tea during the day so I only have to heat up and serve at teatime, but more often than not I don’t. So it’s a rush cooking, eating and clearing up. I prefer to clear up before we go to clubs and training but this depends on how we get on time-wise. Sometimes, Danny comes home a bit later so then he heats his up once home. We can eat together during our free evenings.
Every evening is different. An example of our current Monday evening is the girls go to Guides and Rangers 6pm – 7.30pm. The three of them are now in the same Guiding Unit, which is so much easier for me. At one point, I had a Rainbow, a Brownie and a Guide in different units. Drop-off and pick-ups were quite complicated then, but Mum helped to make it possible.
Once I’ve dropped them off, if I haven’t cleared up yet, I do it during this time. I clear and wipe the table (the kids’ job on the days we’re not rushing for clubs), wash up (I leave the wiping up and putting away for them to do), clean surfaces and put the vacuum cleaner around. Then I sort any laundry that needs doing if any clothes are still on the line or need folding and sorting.
I take a look at the calendar for the next day so I know if any PE, swimming or club kit or uniform is needed.
Time goes fast and suddenly it’s time to pick the girls up again. Usually, after Guides we might pick Dave up and come home. Now Caitlyn’s football training has moved to 8pm-9pm on a Monday. So, I’ll pick the girls up, drop my niece Cerys home, drop my girls home so Rebecca can revise or do homework, and then take Caitlyn to football (after a quick change in the car).
I bring my laptop to football training so I can get some work done and also keep an eye on her training from the car. I quite like these times when I get nearly a full hour to sit and work with no distractions, the only problem is I get restless legs sitting still for a long time!
Hopefully, training will finish on time and we’ll be home by about 9.15pm. Poor Caitlyn doesn’t get much free time on Monday evenings, but on other weeknights, she does get free time, which she might spend watching a series or on the Playstation. Once home, she’ll get showered and in her PJs. As she’ll have burnt off a lot of energy she may want a snack. Then I’ll check that Danny has had his meds and that the girls have all packed their bags ready for the next day.
If they have a club the next day, I’ll remind them to check that everything is ready for that (otherwise they’ll come to me just before it’s time to leave saying they can’t find something etc which will drive me crazy!).
We actually have Tuesday and Wednesday evenings free at the moment. I always think this will mean we’ll have more lovely family time but it usually just means I allow myself firstly to come in and sit down on the settee for a few moments (the only problem is once you sit down, it’s hard to get going again, isn’t it? But it’s so nice to not have to rush for a change), more time to cook tea, time to eat more leisurely and because there’s no pressure on, I take my time cleaning up-so there’s not much extra time really but it is nice to have those two evenings at home. Izzy likes to go to the park, and play games or crafts and Rebecca usually gets quite creative, making jewellery etc and she loves the PS too. They’ll all watch endless videos on Youtube, no doubt.
On Thursday evenings, Rebecca volunteers at Neyland Brownies as she’s training for her Young Leaders. The girls, mum and I try to go for a walk down Neyland Marina while she’s there. This will end when it’s too dark and then I’ll spend this time sorting our bins instead as they get collected Friday morning- exciting-haha! On Fridays, we go to Mum’s house for lunch and the afternoon (thank you, Mum!) and Caitlyn has County Football training.
My kids have never had a “set in stone” bedtime. It depends on what time we get home for the evening, get everything done and a bit of free time and ready for bed. Even when the younger kids were babies, they had to come with me to pick the kids up from clubs etc so wouldn’t be put to bed until we were all home. So some nights are earlier and some are later. It’s never been an issue at all for us apart from when people ask “What time is your child’s bedtime?” and I can only give a longwinded answer! But they all sleep well and they all adjust well when they have to have a really late night or very early morning for a school trip or travelling etc so this has just been the way that works for us.
Just before bed, I’ll listen to Izzy read some of her school book or if she’s read it to herself she’ll come and tell me about her chapter. If Rebecca struggled with any work while I was out at football, she’ll come and ask me about it now and we’ll go over it. Then, I plait Izzy’s hair (the older girls have grown out of this now) and they’ll clean their teeth and go to bed.
Even if it’s really late by the time the kids go to bed, I have to have some downtime before I think about going to bed myself. If there’s no urgent work pending, then I’ll either cuddle up on the sofa with Dave and watch a series together or if he’s already watching something, I’ll put Netflix on the laptop or read etc. Usually, Dave will get up and offer me a brew, which I really appreciate at this point in the day. During Blogtober, this time will be spent writing daily posts, I expect! 🙂
Eventually, it will be time for us to get ready and go to bed. I love it when all the kids are home in bed safe and I’m snuggled up with Dave. Time to relax… Then we get up and do it all again the next day… the days really do run into each other, don’t they?
This is an example of a standard day in the week but of course every week these pop-up. This week, for example, I have school meetings, a funeral, Rebecca’s 16th birthday and press night at our local theatre. So no day or week is really the same.
What does a typical day look like for you?