A family of 5 with a zest for life

Time is precious - how I'm going to make every second of 2018 count

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Sometimes don't you just find yourself looking at your partner or kids and thinking OMG where on Earth does the time go? I mean Harry is starting Secondary School in September and it doesn't seem like two minutes ago that it was Jack's first Christmas in our little flat. How was this photograph taken on Christmas Eve 7 years ago when Jack was just 2 days old when it feels like only yesterday?? (I'm pleased my photography skills have improved over time though).

Time really does fly but this is paired with the feeling that we never have enough time. Whether we work part time, full time, are a SAHM, have no kids or 10 kids, there just never seem to be enough hours in the day anymore. For us, Steve works long shifts, I work full time on my blog from home, we have three kids at school with lots of various commitments and have very little in way of support and offers to help out so we just have to crack on. Keeping on top of the school admin alone is enough to drive me to an early grave! I often end up feeling overwhelmed by everything and wishing that time would just stand still. I'm determined that 2018 will be different - I'm going to put a few things in place to make sure that every second counts in 2018 and that we get to spend lots of quality time together as a family: 

1 - Making use of my slow cooker and meal planning

I love my slow cooker but sadly haven't used it much this year. I'm not really sure why. After school often results in me feeling stressed and searching the freezer for something to cook the kids who are moaning they are STARVING and I always feel so much better when I've meal planned for the week in advance and can simply serve something straight from the slow cooker. It sounds so easy on paper and if I can manage to plan our meals just 70% of the time in advance next year I'll be a happy lady. I'd much rather be sitting down and reading with the kids after school than have my head stuck in the freezer and wondering if fish fingers, frozen veg and onion rings is a legitimate option for dinner. 

2 - Use time-saving appliances 

Remember my Beko washing machine review from a few weeks ago? Well I'm pleased to report that I am still LOVING it and would highly recommend looking for a washing machine with a 28-minute wash function when you next upgrade your appliance. In the past, I've wasted so much time hanging around waiting for the washing machine to finish and would end up putting washing away in the evening when the kids were home from school. Now it's all done and dusted in the morning and the kids' clothes are all folded on their beds ready for them to put away when they're home from school. My particular machine also has a 14-minute quick wash for small loads which is perfect for quickly washing packed lunch bags or school coats if you're really short on time. Evenings are so much less stressful now that I'm not faffing about with washing and this is something I hope to continue into 2018 which brings me onto my next point.......

3 - Plan mid-week family nights into the diary

Meal planning and using time-saving appliances is going to free up our evenings and rather than waiting for the weekend for family time, we're going to double up and plan a family night mid-week too. We love watching movies together and plan to make full use of our Amazon Prime membership next year. Nothing is better than switching your phones off and having the time to snuggle up on the sofa with a good family movie and this is the kind of thing I want to prioritise next year. Let me know if you have any good movie recommendations for us. 

4 - Continue to walk to and from school and encourage Steve to do the same

Although I may moan about my walk to school which takes 1 hour and 20 minutes out of my day, I always look forward to this time of day (well - as long as it's not raining) as it allows me some proper quality time with the kids. It's a chance for me to ask them about their day and really listen with no distractions and I love it. So next year I'm going to resist the urge to buy a second car and I'm going to try and encourage Steve to walk to school rather than relying on his car too - you honestly can't beat the little chats you have with your kids and the things they come out with during the school run are just precious. 

So 2018 is going to be a year where we prioritise family time above all else. I really believe that making a few small changes is going to make a big difference to us and ensure every second counts.
Let me know if it's something you'd like to do more of next year too. 



  1. I'm only a godmother and I find looking after my little baby godson stressful for just the odd couple of hours here and there, so the fact you have a family of 5 to look after as well as do all the things you do amazes me! You are super mam!! I will definitely be looking back on your archive on how to survive when I have babies of my own!!

    Mid-week movie night is such a good idea. My dad brought my sis and I up on a brilliant bunch of movies. We definitely grew up with all the old classics (even though they were about 10-15 years old when we got round to watching them) such as Big, ET, Kindergarten Cop (an absolute classic!), the Breakfast Club etc. They would be my top choices!

    Hope you're all sorted for Christmas and really enjoy your break. It sounds well deserved.


  2. I think the idea of a midweek family night is perfect. When Matty is at home we do things like this, so we spend as much quality time together. Katie x

  3. Love these ideas - we are moving closer to my daughter's school next year so it will finally be realistic to walk rather than driving. It'll take a bit longer but not having to navigate the hideous traffic and having some exercise and time to chat will be great for us both.


I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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