How To Stay Stress Free On The School Run

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An article The Herald asked me to contribute to, on how to stay as stress free as possible with school runs, children and running a business. 

Fiona Montague lives in Kildare with her children Abigail (4) and Noah (1).

She works as a nutritionist from home so doesn’t have any worries about getting to the office on time. And while she says her daily routine may sound relaxed, the reality is far from it.

“My story is going to sound so chilled out compared to others – which isn’t really the case. I get up just after 7am and get ready before the kids wake up. My daughter usually wakes first, so I get her dressed (as she moans about how tired she is) and as soon as I hear Noah wake, I run down and put the porridge on a low heat, go back up stairs and get him dressed – and help Abigail as she usually does everything in very slow stages.

We’re downstairs by 8-8.15, have breakfast and are usually out the door by 8.50 or 8.55. I’m home by 9.10 and generally have my first client by 9.30. I could have clients all morning, and then it’s back to collect the kids at 1pm. Most days, they are fed in school, but still have a light lunch when they come home.

Noah goes for an afternoon nap when he gets back and this is when I catch up with housework, emails and calls. It is also colour, playdoh or painting time with my daughter, so afternoons are hectic.

The most stressful part of the morning is trying to dress and feed two small children and get out in time. Abigail sees me doing everything for Noah so she wants me to do everything for her as well. So usually I have three people to dress and feed because while I eat breakfast, I feed Noah and sometimes Abigail as well.

The journey to the crèche is just five minutes away so there is no stress really in getting there, I don’t see any road rage.

I keep my stress to a minimum by having enough clothes washed and ironed for the week.

I also bulk-cook dinners every couple of weeks and freeze them, so on days I’m particularly busy, I know I have a nutritious meal ready to go. I leave the kitchen tidy every evening and have the table set, porridge out ready to go – and that’s how I minimise  the morning panic.”

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