I had a moment of clarity on my way home from a Melbourne bloggers meet-up late last year.
Not only had I enjoyed chatting and sharing wisdom with some lovely bloggers, I had also witnessed the awesomeness of ‘The Planning Queen’.
Nicole from Planning With Kids, mother of five, blogger and RLP (really lovely person), whipped out a large container of beautifully made BLT rolls that she had prepared that morning to share with us all. If that wasn’t enough, she also had a separate container of rolls for one of her boys who preferred different fillings and she had come with small containers of snacks for each of the two children who had accompanied her, along with drink bottles etc.
I, on the other hand, had a box of half eaten biscuits for my boy, hastily chucked under the pram and I had to buy a bottle of water when we got there (and I hate paying money for water). I am pretty sure I hadn’t even had time for breakfast that morning, let alone time to make salad rolls! I was in awe… jaw dropping, heart stopping awe.
Then came that moment.
As I strapped my two boys into their car seats I suddenly knew how Nicole did it! I knew how she managed to be so organised. I’d figured out the secret! It was all in the containers!
If I only had a matching set of Tupperware containers in varying sizes, then, and only then, I could be as organised as The Planning Queen!
On the drive home it slowly dawned on me that my moment of clarity was perhaps more of a moment of insanity. Even if I had those matching containers I still wouldn’t have had anything to put in them, and knowing me, I wouldn’t have been able to find the right damn lid for the right damn container anyway.
Ok, so Tupperware was not the secret to Nicole’s success…. there must be something more.
I read Nicole’s blog. I’ve even been known to book mark the odd post, and write the odd sticky note. I’ve learnt a lot from Planning With Kids, but when I heard that Nicole was writing a book, then I knew I would finally know every one of her secrets. I would read her book! And read it I have!
Ok, so merely reading the book hasn’t miraculously made me into an organised person, but then neither has a selection of Tupperware containers! Nicole’s book has helped me pin down some ideas and make progress towards a more organised and less crazy day to day life, and to me that is what the Planning With Kids book is all about.
All through the book Nicole shares her personal journey. She tells us what has worked for her in the past, how she manages things now, and gives lots of ideas on ways to manage day to day tasks as well as bigger family issues and events. I love that she talks about systems needing to ‘grow and evolve with your family’, and I love that there are no ‘you must’ ‘you should’ ‘you have to’…. just lots of really good ideas.
The book covers every aspect of life with kids with loads of ideas, information and shared experiences to make life as a parent a little saner. From tips and tricks to help you cope when you’ve had no sleep during the baby phase, to things to think about when deciding if, when, and how much pocket money to give your kids (and I am in both those places at the same time on my parenting journey!). It’s very easy to read with lots of sub-headings, tables and highlighted areas so you can easily find the information you need even if you only have time for a quick skim.
After reading Nicole’s book I am less daunted by the idea of planning and more able to see how just the simple act of writing things down, making a list or plan, can help me gain a sense of control over things that previously seemed so scattered and unachievable. I may never have the Planning Queen’s love of spread sheets, but I am making progress!
Win The Planning With Kids Book! – Competition is now closed.
I have one copy of Planning With Kids to give away to a Picklebum’s reader! To win you need to leave a comment on this post and tell me why you need to read Nicole’s book. To be eligible you must be an Australian resident and you must leave a valid email address. Entries close Sunday May 29th, 3pm (EST).
Congratulations to Ash who won my copy of the Planning With Kids Book – thanks to everyone who entered and left such great comments.
You can buy Nicole’s book – Planning With Kids, directly from her blog or from many book stores.
Nicole will be at Dymocks book stores signing copies of her books on the following dates…
Sydney – Rouse Hill Fri 3rd June
Brisbane – Chermside Fri 10th June
Melbourne – Southland Sat June 25th
For more information visit the Dymocks Wesbite.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Planning With Kids is the latest book I need to add to my bedside table to read!! I was working 20 hours but now I am working full time as a kinder teacher and I feel I am so organised at work but not at home. Nicole’s book would be my guiding light in the dark tunnel of working, being a mum to 3 boys at primary school and all our chaotic after school routines plus meetings and workshops!!
Last night’s live chat answered it all – I am the only mum in the world who decides to start cooking at 6.30pm when hubby gets home because having the dinner ready earlier seems too “housewifey” and organised. I NEED help adjusting to the fact that I actually am a MUM! (And have been for nearly 5 years, btw – ouch!)
I NEED THIS BOOK!! No matter how organised I try to be I struggle to get out of the house on time every morning, with everything I’m ment to be taking. School notes are constantly late, bills get misplaced and 5.30 brings the mad rush to decide on dinner and get it done before the kids need to be in bed.
Ooh, I need this book… I’m just about to start homeschooling my two boys, and we’re planning on having another baby in the next year. I need help and this books sounds like the answer! Thanks for the comp.
Well the book sounds like a treasure trove of practical help for families. After the birth of my second baby late last year I’m still trying to find my groove… It’s just that bit trickier with two – my son is now 3!
Sometimes it will take me an hour to pack all we need for the day, so we can get out the door. Other days it seems so effortless… Sleep deprivation, illness, constant medical appointments, starting up family day care, trying to lose weight… Not to mention to keep the house clean and tidy, and spending quality time with my husband! Did I mention sleep deprivation? What do I win again??
I definately need this. I have three rowdy awesome little boys, in three different schools. Three different schedules, and my own!
I would love to grow our family and i think a book like this would be perfect for me who has Type A tendencies, but is not quite sure how to organise our life so it runs smoothly for everyone!
What a great book!
As I’m writing I’m sitting in my car – on our way to school – flat tyre – 3 kids – i am wishing I had packed things for the kids!
I NEED this book. I have 3 gorgeous children and I run our business from home. The guilt of not giving my children the complete attention they need because of my disorganision is killing me. I’m sick of hearing myself say to them….wait or once I get this done I will do something fun. I feel like I am missing out on soooo much as my babies are growing up while I’m always trying to get some organisation in my life…If I keep going the way I am before I know it they will be grown up & you can’t ever get those years back…..I NEED this book!!!
a mum to now 3 kids (one fresh out of the oven), running our household and helping my husband run our business i need all the pointers i can get. the book sounds like a brilliant read!
Wow – where do I start, I would love and very much appreciate a copy of this book. I am a stay at home mum of 4 kids aged 2 – 13 and me and Hubby do it all on our own.
I have been a mum since I was 17 years old and lived with my mum so what a shock to the system when I got married and went on to have another 3 children. Woah, Our house is organised chaos and I am sure as most mums would no, it is extremely hard to keep our heads above water. I love my children more than anything but the constant chaos wears us down. I feel like such a bad mum at times when the kids go to school and I realise that they have forgotten to take their library books back because I didn’t have a ‘list’ somewhere or when I forget about things because I haven’t filed it somewhere. Mornings are awful in a word because I don’t know how to be organised no-one has been able to show me (my mum passed away 8 years ago). I want to be the type of mum who can be proud of myself, and whose kids are proud of me too, not the type who is always late to everything or who is making a mad dash to the local supermarket because I forgot there was no milk for the morning. Maybe if I knew how to handle all the stress and chaos, I would be able to get on and be a ‘fun’ mum spending time with my children that doesn’t include rushing and yelling because things aren’t done. Soooo…….. as you can see I would really benefit from some help. This book sounds like it would be amazingly helpful for me.
I have four kids myself & with only one in school & my twins being just turning two I need help with organisation. I do take muffins & water bottles everywhere, but thats about the only thing I get right. I think my daughter has been early for school once in the whole 2.5 years she’s been going!!! Great website by the way.
I remember Nicole breezing into the room, smiling, beautifully dressed, happy and charming kids, being super organised and also a beautiful person. Me? I had ditched the kids at school, was running late, pretty sure my clothes had remnants of some meal on them and my hair wouldn’t have been done in weeks. I wondered when did this become me?
I started this parenting journey super organised. I packed light but always had everything I would need with 2 little kids, probably because we travelled a lot. I felt pretty darn good about it all.
Now the kids are older, I imagined things would get easier but in fact they are crazier. Trying to juggle full time work, kids (only 2 of them), kids activities, domesticity, uni, crazy schedules, sport… I was wrong, really wrong. I need to plan but need to find time to learn how to plan the busy that is this time in our lives. Something has got to give before my sanity goes completely.
The co-ordinated tupperware range hasn’t helped me either, let’s hope Nicole can.
I read the Mummy blogs when my children sleep, I find the whole blogging community to be inspiring, somthing non-judgemental to strive for. I love to read peoples peferctly imperfect lives. When it all gets overwhelming I sit with my cup of tea and feel the love to be the best I can. Now if only I had matching tupperware and some mad organizational skills.
Tracy Williams says
As I sit here, dinner settling in the tum, dishes in the sink, washing waiting to be folded (been there a few days…) I think there must be an easier way and look what I find! a book, I LOVE BOOKS! I would love a planning with kids book!
BTW Love your blog :)
I need nicole’s book as I am never organised! And I only have one child.. imagine what i’ll be like when we have another..
Narelle Anderton says
I so need this book. I have been a stay at home mum for a number of years and have just returned to work part time. I have 3 DD, 6, 3 and 10 monthsand out life has all of a sudden become chaotic! I need help and new ideas.
Everyday I’m so unorgasnised that I start my day at 1pm!
We are still in our jarmies after 1pm.
If I have to go out on an errand that an organised person would have done in half an hour it takes me 2 hours.
If I have to meet someone at 10:30, I’m always there at 10:45 and have busted my arse to get there, have unironed clothes thrown on, unruly hair hidden under a hat in desperation and have to buy everything out because I haven’t organised any snacks or drinks for my daughter.
My daughter wears what’s she worn to bed out as it has to double as both in unorganised emergencies!
My handbag is a reusable shopping bag as I’ve never gotten myself a proper bag and just grab whatever is around on my mad dash out the door.
My partner gets home from work at 7pm and asks what’s for dinner and I haven’t even thought about it.
My linen closet contents have lived in the kitchen for 2 years cause I’ve never got round to cleaning out the linen closet. This is just one example of how messy my house is and the way we have to live (getting towels from the kitchen corner).
I always go grocery shopping at least 2 days past completely run out of an important everyday item.
I could go on… a bit worried that I may be TOO bad though and my life too chaotic! Let’s just say there is no organisation in my life!
Marissa Roberts says
Bringing home baby #2 next week so I am desperate for a copy of this book!