Andrea Mara

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The Rules

Drink eight glasses of water a day. Take the stairs. Put the phone away when the kids are around. Be on time for work. Be on time leaving work. Pay attention during homework time. Eat five servings of fruit and veg a day. Don’t let the kids watch too much TV. Get seven hours sleep. Don’t eat red meat every day. Answer every e-mail. Buy the low-fat version. Don’t buy the low-fat version. Remember to take a multivitamin. Remember to email the boss. Don’t forget to put out the bins. Make creative and healthy school lunches. Don’t eat processed food. Don’t spend that small window of time with the kids on cooking and housework. Lay out clothes the night before. Don’t forget the money for the school trip. Make sure the kids get sixty minutes of physical activity per day. Don’t leave deadlines till the last minute. Wash out the yogurt cartons and recycle them. Pay attention to the kids. Pay attention at the meeting. Pay attention to your other-half. Pay attention to the rules.

Deep breath.

Office Mum Word Cloud

I have some other rules in place:

Wednesday night is cake night. Have some one-on-one time with each of the kids every day – even if it’s just a two minute chat and hug. Meet friends for coffee even when there’s no time to do it – it’s a tonic. Have a cappuccino every single day. Go shopping, especially after a bad sleep. Thursday night is wine night. There might be some other wine nights too. Shoes are a functional purchase and should never generate guilt (even if they’re pink). Take the kids for coffee and cake and chats. Watch another episode of Fargo, even though it’s nearly 11pm. Saturday night is pizza night. Buy some new nail varnish. Have a glass of Prosecco. Get down on the floor and tickle the smallest. Pay attention to yourself.

And breathe. But no pressure.

Office Mum photo of pink shoes

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