It’s time for another interview with one more fabulous mum!

Amy is the mastermind behind Little One Baby magazine, the most beautiful baby magazine around, and mum to 2 year old Oscar.Tell me a little bit about Little One Baby?
LittleONE Baby is a parenting magazine that celebrates all the beautiful things about babies and parenting – including the different ways of doing things. We believe that happy parents = happy babies and therefore we try to showcase many different ways of doing things, as well as providing inspiration on all the gorgeous things that you can get these days for your little one.

How did Little One Baby get started?
After I got married (and trying to quit my wedding magazine habit), I started looking for a baby/parenting magazine that was as beautiful as the bridal mags…after all, isn’t the baby stage one of the most beautiful times of life? I was also looking for gorgeous nursery ideas and, aside from a few great blogs around at the time, there wasn’t much out there. I was publishing another magazine at the time, so I thought – why not start my own? Naïve, I know

What does a typical day involve for you? How do you balance work life & children?
Up at 6.30am – Oscar is pretty much like clockwork. I watch the Today show for news, weather and entertainment whilst trying to open my eyes. Oscar usually plays with his trucks and cars and chatters away to me, but I am not a morning person at all, so he doesn’t get much out of me!
Breakfast at 7.30am.
8am I change the channel to ABC Kids and ring my mum. I consider this my daily counselling session and when mum is busy it kills me! She lives about an hour and a half away and I maybe see her once a fortnight…not nearly enough, so I really rely on that daily chat.
8.30am, give the house a quick tidy, stack the dishwasher, dress Oscar while he is distracted by Timmy Time to avoid fights and ready to start the day.
9am to 11.30am is normally ‘errands’ – anything from going to the mail, banking, heading to the office for meetings, doing supermarket shopping, etc. And yes, Oscar comes to morning meetings too! If we have a morning with nothing to do, we go to the park or the lake to feed the ducks.
Around 11.30am or 12noon is lunch time, and I try to have Oscar down for his afternoon sleep by around 12.30pm.
In a perfect world he sleeps for 2-2.5 hours, but often it is only 1.5 and I turn my phone off during this time and get as much done as I possibly can.
In the afternoon, we visit friends, go for walks or ‘play’ – I try to make the afternoons about him, given the rest of the day is about me! Tea is at 6pm, and Oscar is in bed by 7-7.30pm.
When I am on deadline, I usually head straight to the office around this time and work until midnight or so, but most nights I try to sit down with my husband and chat, or watch TV (even if that does mean a laptop is still on my lap!)
About once a month, my mum comes to stay and that gives me a full day to plan meetings that aren’t so Oscar-friendly, or do things like go and get my hair done!
It is a pretty nice routine, and it is working for the moment – but with kids, the only thing you can count on is change, so I know this time next year it will all be different again!

Do you have childcare?
No! But we are on the waiting list for one day a week…I would like Oscar to get into a bit of a groove about ‘school’ life before he starts school, and he is pretty social, so I think one day a week would be good. Also, I know he will drop that day sleep at any moment, so a full day a week would make up for the time I am bound to miss when that happens.

What type of activities (i.e. Playgroups, swimming etc) do you do with your baby?
Oscar does swimming on a Sunday – which was meant to be Dad-time, but I love watching so much, I end up going pretty much every week! We also go and meet a friend at a music/singing class once a fortnight or so – just whenever we can fit it in. The most important thing to me though is my Mothers Group! I always thought they were a bit silly, but mine has saved my sanity more times that I can count. We are all totally different, with totally different babies, and I think that is why it works so well. I try to make sure I get to Mothers Group every week, and I am pretty sad when I miss it! It is the one time that I truly feel like Oscar’s mother – rather than being defined by my job.

When you aren’t working, how do you entertain bub?
Oscar loves to go for walks, and a walk around the block pointing out every car and stopping to smell every flower can take an hour…so I need to be in a patient mood when we do that! It is a good chance for me to think about ideas though. Oscar is really great at independent play and can play with his cars or train set, or ride his trike in the backyard for half an hour or so without me which gives me a chance to relax a little (or squeeze in some more work!) The things he likes me to do with him though are digging in the sandpit (which I hate!), going to the park and swinging forever (which I don’t mind) and sitting down to draw or colour with crayons (which I love!)
Oscar has started wanting to help me clean the house lately – so he has his own broom and is very good at putting washing in the basket! I need to make the most of this whilst he still thinks it is fun.

Any tips for staying organised?
No! I can’t wait to read everyone else’s tips because I need some!
The only thing I do make sure I do is to create ‘lists within lists’! When I first had Oscar, I tried to run off my old system of a to do list…and very quickly became overwhelmed. So now, I have a to do list, but I keep that on my computer. Each day I make a list of no more than seven things that need to be done from that list…this way, I just try to tackle as much as I can in smaller pieces. Today’s list included: Cleaning the floors, going to the post office, going to the bank, getting 10 blog posts sorted so I can take a holiday, processing subscriptions, doing a load of washing and answering this questionnaire! I am hoping to get more than this done, but that is the minimum and will make me feel good when I can cross everything off my list…

Do you work from a dedicated home office/space/where ever you lay your laptop?
I have a study, but this is shared with my husband and I would call it more of a storage facility for all my crap! My laptop is practically attached to me and spends most of it’s time on the kitchen bench where I can stand and watch Oscar in between checking emails. When he was really little, he wouldn’t let me sit when holding him, so he spent a lot of hours in a sling with me rocking from side to side, typing at the kitchen bench!

Do you have any sanity saving tips for other working from home parents?
Take some time for yourself. Rod and I split our weekends so that Saturday is his sleep in day, and mine is Sunday. I sooooo look forward to Sundays! But, this means if I am sleep deprived because the week has been tough, or Oscar isn’t sleeping, I always have Sunday to catch up.
Try to turn off at least once a day. I am still learning this one, but I find if I turn off my computer and phone and just be with Oscar for a bit, he is happier and so am I.
People who have never worked from home don’t get it, so stop trying to make them! I started working from home before I had Oscar and it amazed that the perception is out there that it isn’t really work…when, in fact, it was the hardest I had worked in my life! I had friends pop in for cups of tea and chats with no regard for my deadlines, or the fact that I would be then up all night working because of that. I tried for a long time to explain it, and make them understand…but they don’t and I was just making myself go crazy. So, now I just let them think I have a cruisy life. Much easier that way, and I keep hoping that maybe, one day, I actually will!

What are your ‘can’t live without’ items?
My iPhone – I love that no matter where I am, I can check emails or do banking. I just wished that it had a text only facility and I couldn’t actually answer calls. Talking on the phone drives me crazy!
Lipgloss. Brand not important, but there is nothing worse than having dry lips! And, it can make you look like you have some make up on when you have none (like when you are caught by someone when just popping to the supermarket!)
A good book. I realised a few years ago that if I don’t read a good fiction book on a regular basis, I start to go a little loopy. So, now I make time for it. Often, late at night when everyone is in bed, I run a hot bath and relax with a book. It is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to feel like ‘me’ again.

The list changes daily, but right now I also make sure there is a toy car of some description in my bag, a couple of crayons and some Tiny Teddy biscuits. If I have those, I know I am usually able to stretch 20 minutes onto any situation!

Thanks for sharing your time with me Amy! I have to admit, my mothers group is pretty special too!