Episode 6: Me-time

10th July 2016 10:49 PM
UPDATED 11th July 12:00 AM

IF THERE is one phrase mums have probably forgotten existed in their vocabulary, it's 'me-time'.

Running around after children, working, being a wife and trying to have a social life and time out in between can be a hard task. So just how do our mums do it?

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Gisela Parker. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Gisela Parker. Marc Stapelberg

How much 'me-time' do you get, and what do you do with it?

GISELA: I get 'me-time' pretty much once the kids are sleeping either during the day, which can last anywhere from zero minutes to 2.5 hours. But also every night after 7:30pm I get about two hours to chill out, watch TV, make phone calls, reply to text messages, go out with girlfriends or hubby, or online shop. And that's about it.

Talk to me about time management - where do you stand on the scale of totally organised and chaos. 

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Australian swimming legend Susie O'Neill. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Susie O'Neill. Marc Stapelberg


SUSIE: I never thought it would be such a struggle. The big thing for me since having children is that I always feel I am being pulled in many directions. It is hard to spend a big chunk of time on ONE thing. So for me the hard thing is starting and stopping in short bursts and still being productive. I think as a consequence of my swimming career, I love routines. I have a loose one, but every day changes… My work is not regular, my children's routines change and other things for the whole family pop up all the time. So I find it hard to compartmentalise things in my head. And I also find it hard when one thing in my life isn't finished but I have to do something else.  I've heard the analogy that it is like juggling balls - and that's what it feels like…  

What are some of your time-saving hacks?

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Deanne Stock. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Deanne Stock. Marc Stapelberg

DEANNE: I am up at 4am most days to be able to fit everything in. I am not a night person and function better in the morning. Now my children are getting older and I am working more, I have no choice but to delegate jobs to the family. I know my limits pretty well now and need to ask for help so I don't fall into a screaming heap some days! To organise meals I use my slow cooker so I can be organised before I go to work. I try to make double recipe for some meals to enable enough for two meals, however with a growing teenager, it usually only last one meal anyway. I now have a thermomix which simplifies cooking

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Meltopia Grandelis . Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Meltopia Grandelis. Marc Stapelberg

meals. When we grocery shop, we each go and grab some things each to save time. The kids use buses much more now for school and for social life to save me time and to allow them some responsibility. I do my washing after work to allow it to dry overnight. We live near the high school so my son can make his own way there and back and to training as needed. We have chosen a school next to the University which has amazing athletics facilities and allows the kids to be close to the University if and when they choose to go. I am also getting much better at asking other mums/ parents for help when I need it. I don't like my children to miss out because I am working.

How do you get your kids to help you around the house?

MEL: Bribery

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Katie Dykes. Marc Stapelberg

How do you manage your time between family, career, friends, personal hobbies etc?

KATIE: I make plans every day for me, but they're the first to drop off the list, so I try to make my hobbies family-orientated. The kids have their own hobbies and needs so I try to work around that. That being said we have a daily routine and nighttime schedule. It works for us. I have also been known to enjoy school discos a bit too much - getting a little too close to the speakers. I'm just trying to fill my soul with what I need while the girls are having fun.  

Public versus private school HERE

Work/life balance HERE

Kids' health and nutrition HERE

Smack or no smack HERE

Kids and technology HERE