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Back to School Edition - How The Mums at Equi Stay Sane During September Madness

 

How The Mums at Equi Stay Sane During September Madness

A significant proportion Equi team are working Mums, and so for our Back-to-School Edition this year we asked them their tried and tested strategies for staying as calm and balanced as possible whilst juggling the school run, packed lunches, activities and the general mayhem that comes with kids. From batch cooking and settling techniques and favourite quick skincare products, to negotiating phone use and fitting in workouts, here were their answers. 

Alice Mackintosh - Co Founder

This summer has been my first proper experience of school holidays because last year my son wasn't in nursery, so nothing really changed. I wont lie, I have been gagging to get back to some normality and regular childcare. It's also especially welcome as I am 24 weeks pregnant, and already feeling quite immobile! 

My son starts a new nursery this September, so we've been talking a lot about that, wearing the school uniform and we've even done the commute to the nursery so I know how long it'll take.. plus I read somewhere this helps them settle faster, but who knows if it'll change anything! I am using the brisk walk to nursery (more of a jog because he's on his scooter way ahead most of the time) as my morning exercise during pregnancy. I love exercise but for now whilst i'm juggling so much, if I can just fit one pilates or gentle weights session in per week at lunchtime then that's good enough for me. 

My son is a full on ball of energy from the moment he wakes up so showering and getting dressed is just impossible with him around - I have to get up and be pretty much ready for when he wakes. I also try to check my email quickly for anything urgent on Equi or my clients during this time, because his nursery starts a little later. 

Feeding him right is a priority to me (I'm a nutritionist after all!) and I'm a big fan of batch cooking for the family - so whether it's a bircher muesli for breakfast or a Bolognese for dinner, there is always something quick and easy to feed him with when I'm busy which I find saves me stress during term time. 

My energy with this second pregnancy isn't what is was with the first, and on the odd day I forget my Equi Pregnancy Formula, I really notice to difference. Coffee makes me jittery but by mid-morning I fancy a caffeine hit, so I either go for a cup of tea with full fat milk (it doesn't taste right without it!) or if I really need a push I'll have a matcha latte which I find enhances my focus for hours afterwards. 

Rosie Speight - Co Founder

The very long summer holiday is coming to an end… and in some ways it’s flown by, but others it has seemed endless. My youngest daughter breaking her arm in Mallorca whilst trying to climb out of her travel cot (which then required a 2 hour surgery, 2 pins in it and a cast) added another level of stress to the summer… but thankfully she’s fully recovered; it’s just amazing how quickly little ones heal!

I’ve let Gigi really switch off this summer, so we're just starting to dust off the reading books to avoid complete regression when she gets back into the class room, but she’s very excited to see all of her friends and her new Year 2 teacher.

Our mornings during term-time are relaxed as long as we stick to the schedule! I draw out a weekly plan at the start of each term so I know which clubs and activities she has on each day, which day is sports kit etc. Part of our bedtime routine is laying out her uniform for the next morning, so it’s one less thing to think about. Gigi wakes up before Clara, so I will get her sorted first and wake Clara up 15 minutes before we leave.. she will have some milk and then we’re all in the car at 8.20, I keep Clara in her PJs for the drop off and give her breakfast and my full attention when we get back home. Her nanny then arrives and I can start my day properly - which normally begins with a gym session and then getting to my desk or out to a meeting. I chop and change between different Equi products depending on what's going on, but I'll be religiously taking my Original Formula this Autumn term as I find it ensures my focus, energy and immunity are all at their best.  

I’m the mum at the school gate who is always in her gym kit, with face covering sunglasses and unbrushed hair pulled back. I admire all mothers who put an outfit and makeup on for the school run (as well as those heading to the office), but I do invest in good activewear so I never feel scruffy.

Tasha Charles - Web Designer 

Things are a little different for me these days as I have two teenagers in the house; Freddie (14) and Mollie (13). They are pretty good at getting themselves ready in the morning, albeit after a number of wake up calls.

During the school holidays I am pretty relaxed about their mobile phones but during term time things change and the phone box in the kitchen comes in very handy! We have 2 rules...
1. Phones get put in the box at bedtime. 100% better for their sleep pattern and in turn their concentration levels at school.
2. Phones get put in the box after school until their homework has been done.

Stephanie Fry - Marketing Manager 

Back to school always feels bitter sweet, I love the lack of routine the summer holiday brings but also craving some sort of routine by the end.

I have 2 girls who are 4 & 10, my youngest starting FS2 (reception) and eldest Year 6. We live in Dubai where the schools start super early to avoid the afternoon heat, so getting them to bed at a decent time was on my mind a few days before they went back (not going to lie this wasn’t easy, after a summer of late nights and sleep overs!). 
And then just like that it was back to the dreaded packed lunches. I find bento style boxes make it a little easier to give them more variety and it helps them look a bit more exciting because I’m pretty sure the kids must get as bored as I do about the same lunch every day! I also bought some sandwich cutters and food picks for my little one as, she needs a bit of encouragement when it comes to food (always too distracted!) otherwise I end up with a lunchbox as full as when it left in the morning and I definitely don’t have time for Pinterest style lunchboxes.. so I find the food cutters do the job! 
I am also a huge fan of Stamptastic, they make the whole ‘uniform naming’ mission a breeze, I had stamped all of their back to school stuff in under half an hour which felt like nothing short of a miracle! 
One of the benefits of them starting school so early is I’m online and working from 7.30am which makes my mornings feel really productive. The afternoons are always a bit of a juggle as they are home from 2pm which is 11am UK time so I’m always mindful to get them home, sorted with a snack before getting back into work for the afternoon.
And then before I know it I’m hearing ‘What’s for dinner?’. Another thing I really struggle with is meal ideas, so for the first few weeks of September I’ve signed up to Hello Chef to give me a bit of inspo and to also help with eating better after an indulgent summer! My eldest, at Christmas decided she wanted to be a vegetarian, so for the last 9 months we’ve been eaten lots more plant based and veggie options which has actually been great for us to think up new meal ideas! 
Both my girls started new schools this year, so it’s been a whirlwind few days, but they both seem to be loving their new teachers and making new friends. If your little one is starting school, or big one is moving up to secondary, good luck… and enjoy the cuppa without interruptions!  

Adrienne Conlon - Logistics Manager

As a full-time working single parent to two young girls, I find routine is vital to help get us to school on time and keep me sane. Whilst I can’t hand on heart say every morning plays out like this, this is always the aim... !
My alarm goes off at 5am, snooze is usually pressed and then I’m up and in the kitchen making an espresso before turning on my Peloton spin bikebefore a morning class. I’ve had the bike almost three years now, and have found it a God send at enabling me to work out despite limited childcare. That said, I’ve recently picked up a love of running again, so I try to be disciplined and go at lunch once or twice a week (instead of an earlier spin!!). I make a point of enjoying a ten minute shower afterwards, and then wiz thru my favourite “Drunk Elephant” skincare routine – I love their Slaai Butter Cleanser and their Lala Retro Whipped Cream. 
My girls are always up by 7am and then their military schedule of breakfast begins and sorting the “beige” lunchbox for my youngest who starts school in September. She’s such a fuss pot and I can’t wait for school lunches to hopefully start widening her palate. All their reading and school bags etc are finalised the night before, as it just sends me off schedule otherwise. They both then know the routine of teeth, wash face, clothes, hair, and school bag. Who am I kidding though - this is still very much WIP, but we are getting there. School is a ten minute car journey, so I'm back at home at my desk for a 9am work start.
I’ve recently been fascinated recently by Jessie Inchauspe’s book Glucose Revolution, and the important of not just what we eat but how we eat. I've been wearing a Veri Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) which has been fascinating.

As an avid foodie by lunchtime I’m chomping at the bit for food. It’s always a tablespoon of ACV mixed with water, cayenne pepper and salt, and then typically some kind of green salad, plus a mix of protein and healthy fats (think eggs, chicken, turkey, salmon, trout, avocado, hemp seeds etc). Until the end of last year, I’d always have Lean Formula which was paramount to helping me reach my weight goal, but I switched to Beauty Formula in January as it became obvious my skin needed more focused support. It was a total game changer and the results very clear. I love the taste of both of these formulas – a naturally sugar-free yet relatively sweet treat in comparison to my lunch! I also take an omega 3, as do the children at breakfast.
It's important for me to stress that not every morning goes to plan like this: sometimes I’m lucky to get the girls to school on time having had breakfast and the remains of it still show around their mouths, and on those days by mid-morning I’m likely found munching on crumpets and Lurpak. We need to be kind to ourselves when that is what’s needed. But on the days this morning plan is pulled off, my well-being is so much better placed, and so I try with all endeavours to stick to it.