Every wee once in a while, I like to share a behind-the-scenes of what an ordinary day in my life looks like.
You can listen to the podcast version of this blog as you read! Bonza!
I’ve done these kinds of posts throughout the years, and it always makes me happy and a bit sentimental to see how my days have changed and stay the same.
Day in my life through the years:
Our alarm goes off, but the kids are usually already up, getting ready for school by themselves.
I blearily stumble out to the kitchen, make myself a cup of chai with milk and honey. Settle myself down on the couch with a newspaper, magazine, or ipad to read blogs with, and eat a Larabar while I read. Eating + reading at the same time is basically my version of heaven on earth.
Having older kids (mine are now 11 and 7) is like HEAPS easier than toddlers, guyzzzz. You can benevolently ignore them, all in the name of “fostering independence” instead of “this counts as childhood neglect.” HO HO HO #protip
My husband is also super on top of morning routines – he’s the one that ushers them through making sure they are getting ready on time, whether they’ve packed lunches, whether they’ve got the muffins he’s baked for them, whether they have swimming clothes or whatever they need.
I just float along while all this is happening around me, there to occasionally say “rad work!” and “yeah, I can plait your hair”, but mostly just to be blissfully oblivious. I regard this as my feminist triumph. Morning mental load? I HAVE NONE! HOORAY!
You may be wondering how I “trained” my husband to be like this. I don’t believe I can train him to do anything. He is a great majestic, untrainable wildebeest! He was however raised by a feminist mother, to which I say: CHEERS MATE! The only way I may have somehow influenced his behaviour is just by being lazy from the get go. Do less, and eventually someone will pick up the slack!
In evidence of just what a Stereotypical Dad I am in this situation, I once had to manage morning school routine by myself because my husband was ill. When I got home, I realised, horrified, that I didn’t actually pack any lunch for the kids. I told my husband. “Don’t worry hon… I felt ok enough to get up and cook some pasta last night for the kids’ lunches. I’ve got Starry packing her and Beth’s lunches now, so she would have made up pasta lunches for them.” And she, indeed, had.
P H E W.
Also: what a triumph for lazy women everywhere! Ha!
(Also: I should note as I’m writing this, I can feel all this societal judgment and conditioning rising up in me that makes me squeamish to say I’m lazy. Is there anything WORSE on this earth than a lazy mother, I hear that voice say. And I’d like to hasten to add that I do plenty – more than enough – as a person and as a mother. I just don’t believe I have to Do It All Myself.)
(Double also: My husband just announced as I was writing this that he was off to bake blueberry muffins to freeze for the next week of school lunches. Competency and thoughtfulness is hottttttttt.)
About 5 minutes before we need to leave the house, I go get dressed by picking up whatever is cleanest from the floor or the “Slightly Worn, But Not Stinky” clothing pile. My 20 second morning beauty routine: toner spray, moisturiser, lip balm. SPRITZ SLAP SWIPE DONE. Sometimes I don’t read what bottle I’ve picked up, and spritz myself in the face with deodorant instead. #blessed #inspo #lifestylesoftherichandfamous
We head off in the car – all four of us together – for school run. My husband and I rarely do it individually and do it as a team instead. He drives, I drift off in my own world and occasionally take notes in my journal, the kids play games in the back of the car.
The kids walk into school by themselves, we watch until they are in their school rooms like the stalker parents we are. Then we head to the river to walk together & talk shit together. It’s my favourite place to walk – kilometres of paths beside the river. It’s really popular for dog owners to go, so I not only get to look out for fish and stingrays and birds, but I can play OOH CUTE DOG!
How do you play this game, you ask? I’m so glad you asked! When you say a dog, gaze besotted at it and coo “OOH CUTE DOG!” Occasionally mouth “I LOVE YOU” to said puppeh and hope this does not reflect poorly upon your sanity in public. Then rinse, repeat for every dog you pass on your walk, which will be at least 50.
Stop to get your favourite smoothie from your favourite shop and request it made with very specific instructions, like the high maintenance bae you are. Then walk back to car, sharing smoothie with husband, delighting when it’s made juuuuuuuuust right.
(If you’re wondering what kind of smoothie it is: it’s frozen bananas, peanut butter, cacao powder, coconut, chia, coconut milk and honey. Like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in smoothie format. GET IN MY MOUTH NOWWWW)
Plop about town doing errands together. The usual shtuff – post office, groceries, shopping, whatever needs to be done.
Home. Sit on verandah and talk together. Chuck a load of washing on. Sometimes my husband does gardening and mowing (we have a couple of acres). He takes care of the kitchen & dishwasher, always. So much so… I don’t know how to use it, nor have I ever known how to use one.
At some point, I might start doing some work. I used to shlep off to my office to do it (a room that’s just behind our garage), but now I tend to just sit on the verandah couch next to my husband and work.
(Also: if you’re wondering why I say MY HUSBAND roughly a billion times during this instead of using his name, I try not to use any of my family member’s names on my blog now for privacy reasons. He’s still hot as ever though. Ha!)
What do I do in a work session?
Everyday is different. It’s usually only about two hours of work. Today it will only be about an hour, unless I do some tonight. I always write down my task list in my journal, and update it as I go.
Things I might do:
- write and illustrate blog posts
- create new free stuff
- write sales emails
- run webinars
- come up with marketing plans & goals
- write newsletters (daily-ish and weekly-ish)
- trying new marketing strategies
- record podcast episodes
- write sales pages
- create new courses
- update yearly workbooks (that’s a once a year project)
- get interviewed on other podcasts
- learn from other entrepreneurs (through books or online courses… I never stop learning!)
- do financial management: reconcile Xero, check expenses, have meetings with accountants & financial advisors etc.
Obviously, I don’t do everything in one work session. I usually batch record podcasts and do a few at a time, and schedule them in. I usually have a monthly focus on most critical things to work on, especially if I’m launching something.
This month, I’m promoting my courses doubling in price at the end of the month, so most of my focus is on that.
What my month’s work looks like:
- daily blogging
- daily podcasting, including sharing one of the most horrifyingly embarrassing (and hilarious) mistakes I’ve ever made
- sending daily-ish and weekly-ish newsletters
- running an affiliate competition
- making free shit like this and this
- running webinars like this.
But do you REALLY only work 10 hours a week?
Pretty much bar a few hours less or more, depending on what I’m feeling like creating. I didn’t set out to create a full time job for myself with my business. I wanted to create something that easily fit around being with my kids and living a good life. I don’t thrive on busy-ness – my Autism prevents it and will soon send me spinning into a tailspin.
Instead, I focus on doing the most important work, and killing off any tasks that don’t need doing. I don’t delegate if the task can just straight up be deleted. I don’t have a large team anymore as I don’t enjoy managing staff. I just have one part-time assistant who thrives on what I call “benevolent neglect” and she calls “not being micromanaged.”
I’ve NEVER worked full-time in my business… never had the time luxury of it. Before having kids, I still worked in the public service while I built my business up on the side. And then I plopped out babies, and I didn’t have any time then either. I wanted to be with them as much as I could while still being the breadwinner for my family… so my business needed to be able to generate sufficient funds without it requiring much time.
And clearly, working such small hours hasn’t hurt my business’ growth… I’ve now brought in over $11 million in revenue with super high profit margins. It’s all about being super strategic with your time and making sure you are making maximum impact with minimum effort.
I get asked a lot about building a big business in part-time hours and I have SO much more to share… will need to do a masterclass about it sometime, me thinks! Let me know if you’re interested in me teaching something about that!
At some point, we’ll head back into town. Sometimes we’ll go earlier and go for another walk along the river, or just sit and look at the river together. Sometimes I’ll go by myself into town and have tea & cake at my favourite bookstore, get a facial, get a massage or osteo, get my brows done, get my hair chopped off, or sit by the river and read and write.
Pick up the kids from school and head home.
A couple of nights a week, we grab takeaway for dinner – especially Japanese or Thai.
Talk shit with the kids.
Make dinner if we haven’t bought takeaway. Eat said dinner, all whilst high fiving myself for being SUCH a domestic goddess. LOOK AT ME. COOKING STUFF. #achievement
Watch some TV together. Usually a craft or baking show – like Great British Bakeoff or Nailed It. Round it off with every kid’s cocaine: Bluey.
So, this is where we had a big change in our routine! Usually, we’d put our kids to bed early and then Netflix and chill like adults until 9:30. But this year we started trying out a new routine and found it so beneficial we continued.
We ALL start migrating to our big bedroom at 6:30pm. Yep… ALL OF US!
We have a large master bedroom that fits our king bed, plus a single bed, a couch, an armchair, a bookcase and more. Our youngest prefers to still sleep in our room which is fine. Our eldest currently likes sleeping in her own room, but during 2020 she moved back in with us (probably because of pandemic stress). It was totes fine with us for her to join the big ole sleep room too. We co-slept a lot when they were littler, and they are always welcome to sleep in our bedroom.
Anyways, we don’t go to SLEEP at 6:30pm. We hang out in there together, no TV or screens. The girls play endless games together, they read to me, I read to them, we play a whole-of-family game. About 7:30 I start ushering them into bed.
My husband goes to sleep about the same time as he is caring for our ageing puppy Angel. She’s now 15, and needs assistance multiple times a night for toileting. It’s basically like looking after a newborn again, except this time no boobies are needed, so I sleep through the entire thing. By going to bed earlier, he manages to scrape in enough hours of patchy sleep to not feel like a zombie during the day.
I stay up while the rest of the family slumbers… I read, write, journal, meditate, do yoga, whatever other challenge I’m doing. I’m usually asleep about 9:30pm.
We probably won’t have this routine forever – it’s just the right thing to do for right now to get everyone’s needs mets. I do enjoy these moments when our bed is filled with bodies and idle chitchat… then the quiet, still hours as they sleep around me.
All in all, I’m grateful for this life.
There are hard days, and there are miraculous days, and there are boring days too.
But it’s my life. And I’m so very lucky to have it. This work, these humans, this little piece of land beneath the sun. I am grateful.
All my love,