Thursday, 22 May 2014

Planning for success

I started Slimming World a couple of weeks ago, having decided I really can't blame the extra stones on baby weight anymore.

 One of the things I'm really appreciating is the consultant's positivity and the way she tries to help everyone to plan for the week ahead. So far, I'm in the honeymoon period where nothing is going to impede my efforts, not even Cadbury's, but every week I've heard her saying to other people - "And how's your week looking? Is it going to be an easy one?" If someone says, "No, I've got my in-laws coming round and I always drink heavily to get through the day when they're here/No, I'm doing a sponsored chocolate scoff" or whatever, the lovely consultant says, "So what can you do to plan so that you have a successful week?" Others offer solutions or ideas too, and you can see people squaring their shoulders and heading out to face their week with a plan under their belts.

This week has been a bumpy one for me. The five year old vomited very publicly and dramatically during an open-air memorial service for my lovely headteacher (trying to scoop half-digested spaghetti hoops off the grass before any other child skipped in them is not a memory I want to treasure, but probably won't forget anyway). Then began days of sickness, diarrhoea and hissy fits if I tried to turn CBeebies off. ("This grown up programme makes me feel so ill, Mummy...")

If you have a small child, you'll know that you become fairly tethered to where your sick child is, especially if, like me, you have new carpet and you really need to catch every drop of escaping fluid. On Sunday night, when his vomiting was truly terrible, he and I didn't drop off until 6.30am, and then we only had an hour's nap, at which point we woke (more puking) and I realised the other kids were all now late for school.

Cue a few days of feeling insanely tired and trapped indoors.

I couldn't plan for that, not until I get my crystal ball, but I have managed to write a few thousand words anyway, tapping away at the laptop on one sofa while he lay on the other demanding drinks and snuggles at regular intervals. Now he's recovering and I'm at work, so we're both feeling brighter (though my Mum looked a bit wild-eyed when I got home).

But next week isn't shaping up much better. Most of my back-up people are on holiday, so it's going to be intensely hands on during the half-term holiday, trying to take the kids out, have friends round, and hopefully enjoying the sun if it comes back, without any support/adult company. On top of that it's report writing time of year, and I'll be pouring my creativity into thousands of words for that in the next two or three weeks.

So far, a list of excuses.

Now is the time to plan for success. What can I do to make sure I write anyway?

These are my ideas:
Get up earlier.
Split my writing time when the kids are sleeping half/half - spend 50% of the time on reports and 50% on my own writing.
Take my notebook to the park, and do some people watching and plot-cooking.
Treat myself to one afternoon at a playcentre and try to fit in some writing there.
Accept some refreshment time for me, and precious time with my kids. After all, they won't be little for much longer, and then I'll have more time, and will miss these days.
Aim to write for ten minutes every day, and accept that if that's all I can do this week, it will be seventy minutes I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Any other suggestions gratefully received!

How can you plan for success for next week?


  1. First of all, I'm so sorry about your head teacher and your child getting sick at the service! That sounds awful. And the days of sickness following it very brutal. But the fact that you got any writing done, let alone thousands of words (!) is beyond admirable. Your determination and motivation are inspiring. 10 minutes a day sounds smart for the busy week ahead and if you get more done, bonus! It's a hard juggle, life, work, kids, writing but you seem to do a great job.

  2. I really like that you have a plan. We're at the end of our school term here, so I'm drowning in essay grading and it feels like every spare minute should be spent grading. The 50/50 split seems the most wise on the list because it is ranking your creative writing at the top!

  3. After today I'm thinking these were brave and foolish words.I'm not sure I'm going to survive the week, let alone get any writing done!