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On a non-working day (because nobody wants to be bored by the story of me travelling to the office, sitting at a desk, then travelling home again), I tend to get up around 7. Well, I say that, but my alarm clock is a toddler, so it’s entirely unreliable. Anyway, at some point between 6 and 7, I’m woken by the dulcet tones of my daughter shouting through the baby monitor. Usually it goes something like, ’Mummy, I want to go downstairs…now’ or, if she really wants me to react quickly, ’Mummy, I need a wee wee’. Depending upon which summons she chooses, I lie in bed for a variable duration, wondering how long I can leave her before she’s really had enough of singing to herself in her cot. When I’m convinced I can leave it no longer, I retrieve her and carry her (protesting) back to my bed.
At this point, she says, ’Mummy, don’t want to go to your bedroom…want to go downstairs,’ however, with liberal quantities of bribery and varying degrees of success, I tell her we will go downstairs via a quick bedroom detour. At which point, assuming she hasn’t had a full meltdown, I swiftly climb back into bed, silently hoping she’ll find something to entertain her in my dressing table drawers.
Eventually, Atia (my daughter), wins the battle, and we head downstairs (after a convoluted dressing process). We have breakfast (almost always porridge with stewed apple, blueberries, walnuts and pumpkin seeds), then play for a while or go and see some toddler friends. The other mummies and I try desperately to convince our children to play independently so we can chat in peace…obviously this never happens.
Post-play, we head home for lunch; this would be mac and cheese followed by a banana every day if my daughter had her way. After lunch, I take Atia for a nap, which is always protested vehemently, even when her eyes are half closed. She goes to sleep and I jump for joy, rushing to my laptop to get some stuff done. This is when I write, edit, answer emails, do general admin, chastise myself for my lack of social media activity, plan future book stuff…you get the idea.
I have to be super focused during this time as I know I’m on the clock &ndash generally I have about an hour and a half before I’m once again summoned via the baby monitor. I think this is actually really helpful as an author, as there’s no room for the procrastination that can so easily take over if there’s no pressure to get something done. I know if I don’t get on with it in this small window of time, there won’t be another chance in the day.
The afternoon consists of more playing, or, if the weather’s nice, we’ll head to the woods for a walk, or into the garden. After a couple of hours and another toddler mealtime, I tend to start restlessly checking my phone, wondering at what time my husband will grace us with his presence. As soon as he does, I make a break for the kitchen, leaving Atia in his care whilst I have some much needed toddler-free time, although, generally, this time is taken up with cooking.
My husband then takes Atia to bed, we eat, watch an episode from a box set, and then head to bed ourselves. I read for half an hour before observing a strict bedtime of 9.30 (although occasionally this slips to 10 &ndash crazy, I know). In my defense, I am pregnant; goodness knows how I’m ever going to get anything done with a toddler and a baby…