It’s ALL About YOU: May Giveaway + Tips on Making Time For Mum!

Those of you who have been following along with this series will know I am struggling with this ME time thing. In a whole month I’ve managed a couple of sips of coffee for myself. It’s like a lot of things at the moment – I can’t fit it in, I haven’t penciled it in, I have no ‘plan’.

Life’s current lack of routine gave a a brilliant idea for this month’s giveaway – I figured I am not the only Mumma out there who isn’t organised enough to manage everything we need to do as well as ME time, so I went to the Planning Queen herself… Nicole Avery

Hand up those of you that had an inkling? 

I have a copy of Planning With Kids by Nicole Avery, a cute little notebook and a Post it flag pen for making notes, marking pages and highlighting those all important tips to give to one lovely reader.

If you’ve been part of my discussion on Twitter about how much I want this book then you will know how much I LOVE you guys! I haven’t even opened the cover (can yo imagine how hard that’s been?)

For those of us who DON’T win, I asked Nic to share her top three tips for making time for yourself – here’s what she had to say;

Making Time For Mum!

One of the most common questions I receive both online and in real life, is how with 5 kids, writing a book etc do I find time for me. And I guess this is where the proof is in the pudding so to speak – planning lets me get some time for me.  Amongst the school runs, the homework, the cooking the cleaning, I do find time for things I like to do.  I make it to the gym in the early mornings five times a week and I manage to get out at regularly at night to catch up with friends on my own.
This wasn’t always the case though and I have learnt that if I want to have time for me, I have to be proactive in making sure it happens.  Here are three strategies that help me:
1. Routines
For both me and the kids.  My kids know what they have to do each night and as part of their evening routine they are expected to contribute to the tidying up of the house.  This has a couple of benefits, it saves me time so I can get out of the house earlier to meet my friends and it means that if I leave the kids with a babysitter or their dad, there are no dramas about them getting off to bed at the right time for example.
Each morning my routine to get to the gym is the same.  I set the alarm for 5.45am and I get up and go between 6-7am.  As it is part of my routine, it actually happens.
2.  Know what I want.
It is easy to say I want time for me, but what does that really mean in reality?  For me it means getting to the gym and nights off to see my friends.  For someone else it may mean, their partner comes home early from work one day a week so they can attend a class or it could be that Saturday afternoons is “mum time” where she goes out and does what ever takes her fancy.  I have found I need to be specific about what it is I want.  You need to talk with your partner and kids to gain their understanding of what support you need from them to make it happen.
3.  Give it priority.
Unfortunately I know many mums who feel guilty about taking time out for themselves and I have also felt this way in the past.  Over the years though and as I have had more children, I have worked out that I am a much better mother and partner if I have some time on my own, doing things I like to recharge myself. My husband avoids where possible early morning meetings, but if one does come up he needs to let me know as soon as possible, so we can make other arrangements.  It isn’t just expected that I change my routine – we work around each other.
When the weeks get busy and something has to give, I look to cutting back on a range of activities, not just mine.  As the mum, it is often easiest to sacrifice my time because it causes the least fuss, but if I continually do this, my kids and my husband will soon see that “my time” isn’t a high priority.  I need to protect “my time”, (with some flexibility of course!), but I do need to make sure it is a priority activity through out the week.  This time invested in me, benefits the whole family.
To be in the running all you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me WHY you desperately need this book.

For extra entries; join in with this month’s It’s ALL About Me linky (open now, until close of giveaway)

Entries close midnight June 1st 2011 (AEST, ie Sydney time) and will be drawn by Please note, entry is only open to Australian residents and be sure I have your contact details in case you win!!

If the prize is not claimed within a week, this competition will be redrawn.  

** A huge thanks to Nic and Laura for providing the book and to Nic for taking the time to answer my question**



  1. Help, I just need this book. I am too unorganized to have a comment in my head to even win this.

  2. I NEED this book – I keep trying to win it – I have seven kids – need I say more??? help xx

  3. well you know that I want this desperately. Just love Nic and I know I will learn heaps from it. Thanks Becky for the chance!!

  4. My 3 year old toddler keeps me busy whole day and i hardly get any time to arrange things n i m always unplanned for very occassion. This book will help me a lot…

  5. I would very much like this book because not only do I wrangle a 5yo boy and 3yo girl, I have also just enroled to finish a uni degree that I started pre-children and never finished.

  6. Oh this book is so what I need! There must be something wrong with me, just one baby and yet here I am sitting in a house that looks like a bomb hit it because I need to use her afternoon nap to study (counselling diploma) and so the housework will wait until tonight but then there's dinner to cook and then I know it'll be 9pm and I won't be near finished and I would so like to do some sewing but I'll be too tired – regular sewing is the me time I really want to get going! Pick me randomorg, pick me! Thanks for the opportunity to win 🙂

  7. As a mum of 3 kids (one fresh out of the oven), running a household & helping my husband run our own business I need all the pointers I can get to be organised enough to make it all work.

  8. As a mum of 3 kids (one fresh out of the oven) running a household & helping my husband run our own business I need all the pointers & help I can get to make it all work.

  9. With 8 people in our house, 3 under four, 2 teenagers, 2 parents and 1 nanna – I'm totally unorganised, and I DESPERATELY need to get organised or I'm going to fail in soooo many ways!!! This book would help me get there. 🙂

  10. Thanks for having me on your blog Becky!

  11. HI there, like Nicole, I also have 5 children, they are aged 15, 12, 5, 3 and 18 months, and this book would make a huge difference to my planning, organisation and I am sure for a more harmonious and happy household. It can be tricky to accommodate everyone's needs in a family of seven, so I sure I would take a lot on board!!!

  12. I would love to be more organized but how? I'm late fir work every morning, my son goes to daycare with fluffy hair & odd socks and I can't even remember the last time I got to go out 🙁 I would love to learn some tips from this book and change my lifestyle for the better

  13. I am a mum of two under 3 years and am starting up my own business so I can work from home. Lately I feel like there are just so many extra things that I need to do and I struggle to just keep our house tidy and clean, and cook dinner!! This book sounds like it could be a step in the right direction… Oh and I'm still trying to finish the book I've been reading since Christmas!!

  14. I'm having bub #2 next week and am expecting absolute chaos when we come home! This book would not only give me some ideas on how to cope, reading it would also be a nice way to relax when (or if) I can get the girls to nap 😉

  15. This book sounds fabulous! I'd love to learn more tips on being organised and being able to get through everything I have to in an orderly way!
    This past year has been hard, trying to juggle work from home with my nearly two year old and getting my eight year old to school on time!

  16. I have 3 boys who are 6, 4 and 2 and am trying to run my own business and I REALLY need this book. I am so unorganized that I dropped my eldest at school the other day with no lunch!

  17. Oh see i fall into a completely different category as my husband lives interstate or is overseas, for 3 years he's just not home, for more than a few days here & there. My way of coping is just lots of practise, children grow slowly so now we're at this living apart stage for his career & our children gliding into highschool, it's a committment we're both willing to work hard to make.
    My break was to retire from the real world, after 2 degrees & 3 children by age 26, was was done with the working world, so when i had my 4th i was completely entrenched in my own design business. Now the children are in school from year 2 to year 7 i have all that day-time to play, i do what i love for a living, that is a great head space to be in.
    To sneak more time i find i blog & start dinner while the children start their homework so i'm available when they need me, & starting tomorrow i'm doing the gym at 6a.m. instead of 7p.m. as i'm just running out time & teenagers need you to be there just in case they might actually tell you what is wrong. I get sad too, worrying about my husband, he's on course now but soon back to war, so i have my own head space to clear & the gym or walking the dog, the car trip home from school etc, just when i'm not playing any of my many roles, is when i revive. Luckily i revive many times a day. Getting into the zone in a pump or spin class is empowering, i go home to be a better mother, whether it's more hugs or making better sandwiches, it all counts. I'm highly organised & motivated, everything which needs to get done each day does, but i'm really trying to sleep better. Love Posie

  18. Sorry i forgot to say a big thank you for the opportunity, it's a great book with sensible ideas, wishing Nic all the best for the book's success & you my dear for doing such a neat PR job on it, love Posie

  19. Sometimes I think I don't need this book. Like I'm some kind of awesome superMum figure who has it all under control.

    Then the kids wake up and the day begins!!

    Pick me, pick me!!

  20. i would love to win this book. with three under 4 everything seems to be getting more chaotic id like to get organised before Miss4 goes to school

  21. Because my plan to blog 3 times a week is failing, dinners are half baked…literally and I want my kids to read it.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

  22. I like to think I am organised – but golly I am so often proven wrong! I'd love an entire book of tips and instructions on how to organise this household's lives better!

  23. I'm a busy mum and trying to write my Phd. I need major organisation!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. My life is so chaotic! As a mum of three boys under six, a wife to a husband who works dreadful shifts, a pet owner, a full-time accountancy and management student and an entrepreneur trying to establish a thriving, successful business, I need help!! 🙂
    It'd be nice to be able to deal with Mount Washmore before I need the clothes at the bottom of the pile, or have the dishes in the cupboard waiting for my ten-minute meal!

    This book would be my bible. (Provided I could find the time to read it! ;D ) Pleeeeeeaaaaassssseeeee???!!! 🙂

  25. I need this book as I find there just is no time. I work 4 days per week, and don't get home until about 6pm those nights (after picking the kids up from childcare)…I need more time!

  26. I really would love this book! I always find I do intend to sit down for that wonderful sip of coffee, only to find it is cold by the time I get to it..

  27. I'd love this book so I can get a headstart on how to organise with kids…just had my first baby 3 months ago!

  28. My Sister-in-law is due in 4 weeks with her first bubba, this would be a great gift for her to aid getting into a good routine from the beginning. Thanks so much for the chance!

    Atoxim at gmail dot com

  29. With a three-year-old, eight-month-old and now trying to juggle a personal blog and PR biz… whoah, do I need help! 🙂

  30. I have to comment (but not for the competition because I already have the book!)

    But this book is FANTASTIC! I think that I'm usually very organised, but it's good to read what someone else does and then fine tune your systems. It also helps to remember what you started out doing and get back to it!

    So, a fabulous idea for a giveaway!


  31. Help!!! I have two under two!!

  32. Everyone says that this book is amazing and I just want to make more time in the day for the things I want to do. And to be less stressed and kinder to my kids.

    Oh, and I linked to It's all about me.

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