This week we talk to Jayne Sharratt, mama to Leo (8) and Flora (3) and writer of the brilliant blog HappyFreeCalm. Jayne writes about finding time to be ourselves, as well as parents - something we are firm believers in here at Mum's the Word. Take a read...
What time did you wake up this morning?
I’m not sure I actually fell asleep... Leo got into bed with me in the middle of the night and Flora needed resettling a few times. To be fair, the children are normally good sleepers now – it’s me that isn’t!
What was your very first thought of the day?
What day is it, probably! On Mondays now I have to get us all out of the house and to the children's brilliant childminder by 7.40 so that I can get myself onto the 8.16 to Cannon Street for my university course, and that's the day that seems to work best. All the other days, I'm much more relaxed, and that's when it starts to go wrong!
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
1. Coffee – it’s pretty much the first thing I do when I get up.
2. A bit of organisation – I’m not great at this, but I try to think through the night before about what’s needed the next day, and where it is – when something really seems to have gone AWOL it’s usually in the play house at the bottom of the garden.
3. Keeping it local and simple – we use the primary school and pre-school in the village where we live. It’s helpful to be part of a community and network of friends who can help you out when you’re stuck, my children are thriving on it and it’s so much easier to get everyone where they need to be when that’s only 2 minutes away!
Describe a typical working morning.
Now that Flora has more sessions at pre-school it’s going to be loads easier, so most mornings I’ll be able to drop her off and go straight home to the laptop to work on my blog or other writing projects. I’m starting studying for a part-time MA in a few weeks, though, so there’s still going to be lots of juggling and prioritising!
Your perfect local lunch spot would be...
Daily Bread in Rusthall. I’m obsessed with their Poached Eggs with Avocado and Harissa – and also with nice Cappuccinos, because I can’t make them at home.
The happiest moment in your day?
It varies! Probably the times when Leo and Flora are really getting on well together and I feel proud of how they’re growing up and will always have each other in life. Also, any time when I know they’re happy – that leaves me free to be happy!
The hardest moment in your day?
Keeping my patience going for the last hour when I’m putting the children to bed, and also refereeing the inevitable sibling squabbles – sometimes the age gap works, and sometimes it really doesn’t!
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
I really like ‘Done is better than perfect’. I think it’s what Sheryl Sandberg has on the wall at Facebook, and it’s a great motivator and reminder. Right now, I’m supposed to be writing my first blog for the Huffington Post, but I’m procrastinating too much! I need to just get it done!
Most overused word of the day?
Probably ‘Turn the volume down’ is my most overused phrase.
Once the kids are in bed I...
Hope I’ve got enough energy to write or study for a bit. Too often I don’t!
Top 3 local gems?
1. The Common – free, local, changing with the seasons and lots of scope for adventure.
2. Whirligig – Great toy shop in Tunbridge Wells for less standard presents.
3. Flower Sisters – I love their grown from seed, hand-picked and tied bouquets.
Best piece of advice for fellow Mum's...
A recent commenter on my blog wrote 'Being your best person is the best gift you can give your kids.’ I love this inspirational, guilt free advice!