Set your alarm for 5am to get a head start on your inbox before everyone wakes up. Be careful not to turn on the TV or radio in case your 5-year old hears and thinks it is Scooby Doo time. If you must use the loo, DO NOT FLUSH. Also make sure you do not switch on any lights that may alert the sleeping people that you are awake. Sit in the dark, in silence and let the light of your iPhone guide you.
You have 1 hour. GO!
Once you have made a cup of tea and deleted newsletters you can’t ever seem to unsubscribe from, it is time to crack on with client work. Ignore the Facebook and Twitter notifications that you missed the night before because you went to bed at 9pm. Four will be from people you don’t know commenting on a photo you liked, of someone you vaguely remember; and one will be a new follower on twitter, probably from a spam account.
Try to squeeze 4-hours work into 30-minutes. Sorry, make that 10. You have been rumbled and little footsteps are already making their way downstairs. After a quick cuddle, settle your child in front of the telly and TYPE.
It’s ok to eat breakfast on the sofa during half-term. Just swap Cheerios for toasted marmite bagels. Less milk = More productivity. Briefly consider a job in advertising. Remember you once had one. And, a commute. A chance to drink tea without breaking to supervise the colouring-in of a Batman magazine. Colleagues who did not bop you over the head with a Minion to get your attention. Well, not often anyway.
Begin to write an events round-up for a local magazine. Realise that not everyone wants to read about scooters, picnics and trips to Sainsbury’s. When self-doubt starts to creep in, it is time to escape to the local park/pool/friends house for a couple of hours. You still have a 500-word blog post to write by morning, but inspiration will come at around 3am, as always.
Afternoons are the time for you to relax. HA! Afternoons are when you really get to work, filled with trips to the sand pit, adventure playground and bike rides round the park. If you are lucky, you might still be able to get 3G by the rope swings.
Ignore messages flashing up on your screen and play with your child instead. You can blame it on a bad reception area later. You are NAILING this work-from-home-mum thing. Except you still have to find 500-words by the time dawn breaks. Head back home in time for tea and set up art supplies on the kitchen table. While your child is busy drawing Jedi Knights and Stormtroopers, read emails while stirring pasta sauce. Best to do this on your phone, rather than a tablet, as otherwise child will be too distracted by an urgent desire for the iPad to focus on anything else.
Wrestle iPad off child and serve food. No phones at the table. Hey, I didn’t make the rules – you did!
Time to wind down – no not you! There are still the plates to clear away, a dishwasher to load, the bath to run, hair to wash, teeth to brush, stories to read, laundry to fold… and let’s not forget about that 500-word blog post you promised to send in the morning.
At 8pm, pour wine, wonder why you feel so tired and then remember you have been up since 5am. Resist getting stuck into Eastenders and faff about on Twitter instead. Realise everyone you follow on Twitter is talking about #eastenders, so watch it on catch-up. Wake-up on the sofa to the sound of the final duff-duff.
Your inbox is in bold again. Sigh.
You still haven’t written a single word, let alone 500, but this will give you something to do when you inevitably wake up at 3am because you caved and had a second glass of wine.