It’s often the question on everybody’s lips. And if they’re not saying it to my face then they’re often thinking it…

“How do you do it all? – Keep a blog, sew a lot, run a business, have a husband working away AND have two little kids?!!”

The exclamation points are theirs not mine by the way. I never proclaim to be super woman!!
Anybody who sticks around here for even a short while knows that, and will also know that I have my regular periods of shall we call them “rough patches”…

But despite that, I guess I can’t deny that I do do a lot.
So since you asked (well maybe not you, but probably the person sitting next to you…) then I shall spill…
These are my day to day not-so-secret little secrets that help me do what I do…

I’m organised…
By nature I’m an organised person. I cope well with systems and processes. Without those I flounder. Everything in our day usually runs by routine – we eat at a certain time, we get dressed at a certain time, I do the dishes at a certain time, the kids nap at a certain time, the kids watch tv at a certain time, we leave the house & return at certain times… Some things are daily routines & some things are bi-daily or weekly.

It makes me sound very mundane and really it is. But it’s how I cope. And it makes me efficient.
It also helps the kids cope. They know what to expect and when.

There are plenty of days that are exceptions to the rule and where these systems go out the window. But for the most part we try and stick to them.
I’m also always looking for faster, more efficient ways of doing things and streamlining the process of our day. Always.

I don’t cook (much)…
Yep, the kitchen and I aren’t besties. Particularly when Neil is away and it’s just the girls & I, we eat simple meals that don’t require much preparation, if any. Not all packet meals but definitely simple meals. And the girls are fussy (or at least Hannah is) so more often than not we are all happier with simple meals which are repeated often. There is nothing that drains my energy more than trying to convince Hannah to eat something new (aka something she hasn’t seen 150 times. And I do not exaggerate).

They are not usually unhealthy meals but put it this way – I certainly won’t be winning any awards for the most nutritious home cooked meals any time soon!
I also don’t bake.
So not cooking directly = more time in the bank for other things.

The same philosophy extends to gardening. Yep – I don’t do it if I can help it. Our lawn mowing is included in our rent so that’s another job ticked off the list.

I touch type…
When it comes to blogging & the computer I’m pretty fluent. I touch type about 70+ words per minute and I’m pretty advanced at most of the programs I use. I’ve used computers almost my entire life because my Dad was a computer studies teacher. That helps make things happen speedily.
Thanks Dad & thanks NZ for making it compulsory to take typing in year 9!

I do my shopping online…
Mmmmmm online shopping. So much easier than dragging two unwilling (usually cranky) girls around the grocery store. I have a master list saved to my online store and usually I just have to go tick, tick, tick, tick…. to all my regular things and it gets delivered to my door the next day.
I highly recommend it! The delivery fee is negligible. Usually for me it’s either $5 or free.

My girls wake up insanely early…
Usually our day starts by 5.30am. But I am in no shape at that time of the morning to actually do anything with them (other than get irritated with them). So usually I will give them each a drink of milk then turn on my computer for me & turn on the tv for them, and we all have “quiet time”. It’s not the best habit, but to be completely honest I couldn’t care less. It helps us all function throughout the day!

We also have another quiet time after lunch. Abbie has a 2 1/2 -3 hour nap during this time and Hannah & I use that time to craft. I still get regularly nagged interrupted, but most days I can get quite a bit of work done in that time. Depending on the day and how tired she is sometimes I will let her watch a movie during this time too instead of do stuff with me.

We have a very busy week day schedule…
 It suits all three of us to get out of the house every morning. All 3 of us get very bored at home. So most weekday mornings we do regularly scheduled activities together e.g. playgroup & toddler jam & play dates. This means that when we are home the kids are usually happy to self – entertain & play together and I can get stuff done in the afternoon if necessary while I watch them play.

I multi-task…
Often I will sit at the table on my computer or outside, watching & talking to the girls whilst I blog or update my shop etc… I try not to do it too often, but most of the time they don’t mind as long as I’m still interacting with them and participating in what they’re doing as well. It often does my head in though – I’m not the best at multitasking and I find things do take 500 years to finish that way.
That explains why often my blog posts are filled with a zillion mistakes too. Because I’m so interrupted in my writing of them and by the time I’m finished I’m so over writing it that I can’t be bothered to proof it.

Sometimes I get the balance wrong and get told sternly to turn off my computer or my phone. That’s when I know I need to give them back my undivided attention!!

I am fast at sewing…
I don’t know how or why, but I seem to be quite fast at it. My real life friends usually comment on it.
My sewing machine does play a factor in that too, I know it does. Because I do find myself slower on Miss Pfaff than Big Brother. I think it’s that nifty thread cutter button personally – not having to pick up the scissors every 5 seconds does certainly speed a girl up! But also because Big Brother very rarely stuffs up. E.g. my other machines are slower because the bobbin thread breaks regularly or the needle becomes unthreaded etc… Big Brother functions extremely well without any of that stuff 98% of the time.
It helps.
I’m so thankful to him!

{Sorry if this is boring you – but you did ask!}

I don’t exercise…
Nope not a gym junky. I know – so surprising right, since I look like a supermodel and all 😉
In other words I should make time to exercise in a formal fashion more than I do. The only exercise I do is incidental exercise like running after my kids. Which is a fair amount during term time I must admit. But I could use some more!
Only that would take time. And that would mean that I would have to sacrifice something else to make that time.
I’m not quite that desperate to work up a sweat yet! 😉

I don’t watch TV…
Doesn’t really need much more explanation really. Not watching TV = time for other stuff… We haven’t even had TV reception at our house since Christmas because Neil broke it and hasn’t had time to fix it since. Since we don’t watch TV there didn’t seem a lot of point bothering anyway…

Lastly – I’m a night owl and I don’t sleep much…
It’s unhealthy. It makes me have bouts of grumpiness. I push my body to the limits in ways I shouldn’t. But most nights I’m lucky to get 6 hours sleep. Usually 5. And that is often interrupted sleep.
It’s gone on so long now that I’ve actually lost the art of sleep. Yep, now even if I get the opportunity to have a good nights sleep my body just doesn’t know what to do.
I wish I got more sleep!
But I can also be known to actively choose sewing over sleeping. It’s very very naughty!

So there you go…
That’s me.
Not perfect see… stuff has to give to make it work and there are very definite flaws!
But most of the time it works ok for us.

Questions anyone?

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  1. I totally agree with having a routine! The last 3 weeks we have been so out of routine with the family here on holidays. Its crazy the amount of tantrums, loss of sleep, grumpiness happens when our routine is broken! I dont think I would have survived when Dean was born without it.

    Hope your enjoying your holiday xx

  2. This is so interesting Kat. You and I are much the same (except for the supermodel bit). Online shopping and touch typing are the way to go! They save TONS of time and make me happy because of it. I can out type nearly everyone I know…a secret glory 🙂 Well done PA public schools and your stupid time fillers (ceramics, note hand and typing!)

  3. Wow. I JUST posted about how stressed I am. I’m like you in a lot of ways (organized, quick sewer, multitasker) but I still am finding myself in a “rough patch” right now. Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to see how you work.

  4. Recognise the lack of sleep thing when I was still feeding my baby in the night my middle child was waking up with night terrors – I was definitely a bit of a zombie for a while!

    It does get better as they can do more stuff for themselves and stay longer at school! You sound like you are doing a great job Kat!

  5. Perhaps it is because we are women.

    My husband has been known to moan ‘ I cannot do everything at once, I’m not a woman!’ I think we have brains that multitask more easily.

    This fact is based on n=3 ie my household.
    Di 🙂

  6. So basically I have to cut the cooking and sleep less. I am so not going to sleep less because I don’t get enough as it is. And I like my food. Hmmm, guess I will never get as much done as you!

  7. Great post Kat!

    I have no kids and so no real reason for being as stressed as I get sometimes! My teaching load has tripled over the last six months and that has had a serious impact on how much time I get for my sewing/me time.

    I rarely sleep more than 5 hours, but that’s been the case for about 10 years now … on account of being post menopausal … I don’t mind it really and I get up at 5.30 every weekday to work a little before I go into school. It’s a good time to do marking … clear head unfuddled by a day’s work!

    I respect your honesty in this post and can honestly say that I wouldn’t be able to do what you do!


  8. I think you are wonder woman 😉 I touch type as well, can’t imagine the two finger tap tap way. I have to go grocery shopping as we live too far away from town for delivery 🙁 I figure if I take the boys and get them to help each week then one day they may take on that chore themselves and make their wives very happy! Our meals are pretty standard and we rotate pretty much the same things…being on a strict budget doesn’t allow for much experimentation. If I want to try something new its usually on a Sunday when Billy is home to distract the boys and I have more energy. My mum used to dish up the same stuff a lot its just the way it way, I think masterchef has a lot to answer for….are we raising a bunch of kids who are not happy unless we serve them up a gormet meal? I don’t watch TV either and I stay up late 🙂

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