Hi, my name is Clare. I am studying a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Accounting at the University of Southern Queensland, Springfield campus. As this is my first blog, I thought I’d start by giving you an insight into my week as a Mum, a student, an employee and a volunteer. So you can see just how much you really can achieve, I think you may be quite surprised!
My days start off with the early morning school rush. If I am organised enough, I am up first to get some washing out and housework done, and maybe even fit in a cuppa before the kids start harassing me to do their hair or yell ‘Mum, where are my shoes?’ If I’m really lucky I may even get a morning shower, ha-ha! Most mornings I do flying solo, as my awesome hubby [Luke] is a registered nurse and he is in and out with shift work. But my girls know what they need to do, it is the same everyday! Get dressed, brekkie, teeth, hair, shoes and socks, pack their bags, make beds, and get in the car. Below is photo of my 3 beautiful girls [Jennifer, Chloe and Hannah] on our way to school, and judging by the fact their hair is tied up, and their smiles, this would appear to be a successful morning of getting ready for school on time
Once the 2 oldest girls are dropped at school, Hannah either goes to kindy, travels with me to uni, or hangs with Dad. Hannah is so flexible, and has been coming to uni with me, on occasion, since she was just one week old. The University of Southern Queensland has been great with the need I have to bring her, I just needed to fill out a form and arrange permission with each of my lecturers, easy!
During my day I either attend lectures, study, do assignments or housework, and when I can get it, free time for me!!! Each week I put one whole day aside for housework, you know the boring stuff. I also allocate the day after an assignment is due to do something special for me. There are of course other things that pop up, but the key is to be flexible. Sometimes it’s just a case of day swapping. Like if my girlfriends want to catch up on a study day, but I have a free day tomorrow, I swap them around. Below is picture of a typical day studying at home.
Notice the snacks?! I can’t get by without them :)
At 2pm, I am back in the car picking up kids from school, we get home anytime between 4pm – 6pm depending on which after school activity it is that day, sometimes I think my kids have more of a social life than I do! Once home we start the homework/bring in the washing/dinner/bath/bed routine, which keeps me busy until 7:30pm. This is probably the busiest time in our household, everyone home together trying to get a million things done. When Luke [my hubby] is home this time of night is much easier for me.
Once the kids are in bed, and I have had some time hanging out with Luke, if he is home, I catch up on the day’s events via the News or Facebook. At this stage I am usually pretty tired. I find that, for me, this is NOT a great time for me to attempt to study or do readings, having said that, my nights are also really busy. Mondays and Wednesdays I try to go for a run when I can. Thursdays I play netball for the USQ Firebirds in the Springfield Lakes comp., and Fridays I volunteer at Shiloh Rangers [like scouts] where I run the high school girls group. However, every night, whether I go out or not I aim to print tomorrow’s lectures, make the school lunches for the next day, plan tomorrow night’s dinner and check my calendar for any upcoming assignments or bookings I have to make sure I am still on track with everything. Here is a picture of the calendar in my kitchen. In a place where I can always see it. For some reason it fills up very fast!!!
This all makes me sound VERY organised, but really, when you add in the odd shift at work, a sick child and weekend get together. Life becomes VERY busy indeed. I feel that as long as I keep grounded and take each day at a time, trying to stick to my schedule, I can get it all done and done well. I’d like to finish by giving you some practical tips of ways you can organise yourself better to get the most out of your day.
- Get a calendar and use it. No use getting one, and it just looking pretty on the wall!
- Plan ahead of time, look at doing a couple of things the day before, like put the washing on at night ready to hang out in the morning, or make school lunches the night before, or planning tomorrow’s dinner.
- Get your kids [if you have some!] into a routine, and then you won’t be wasting your time reminding them what they need to be doing. They will feel a sense of accomplishment when they do it all.
- Allocate days to study, shop, do housework etc.
- Make sure you know that family comes first. If you support them, they will support you [especially when that assignment is due and you have been ignoring them for the last 24hours!]
- Don’t talk about getting organised, DO IT!!! You’ll find you have more free time than it looks on paper, and you’ll LOVE IT!
I hope this gives you some motivation to re-organise your busy schedule to make sure you are excelling in ALL areas of your life, whether that be studies, family, work or whatever it is that makes you, you!
If I can do it, you can. Take Care.