A day in the life of a freelance journalist (and mum)

Before I became a mum I thought I was busy. I would be in work for 5am (I was a Breakfast Journalist at a large commercial radio station), work bloomin’ hard while I was there, and then go home to have a nap at some point in the afternoon.

Occasionally I’d do a load of washing – back when I only needed to wash a couple of loads a week – and collapse for the rest of the evening on the sofa.

I had no idea what busy was.

As a comparison, I’ve done a little exercise. This is what my life looked like yesterday:

6am: Get up. Tiptoe to bathroom. Shower in record speed.  Realise we’ve run out of shampoo. Steal some of the baby’s. Realise we’ve run out of shower gel. Steal some of the baby’s. Emerge smelling like a Johnson’s Baby Factory.

7am: Get baby up, armed with a cup of warm milk as bribery.

7-7.30am: Wrestle with baby in attempt to change nappy / clothes / make her look generally presentable.

7.30am – 8am:  Sort out breakfast, preferably something non-messy like toast and fruit. Realise there’s no bread left so plump for Wheetabix instead. Ten minutes later remember why toast was preferred option. Spend five minutes trying to get dried Wheetabix off the crotch area of my dress. Give up. Realise baby is covered from head to toe.

8am: Look at clock, realise we’re late. Throw a babywipe halfheartedly at baby and spend five minutes wrestling her into a coat and hat.

8-8.30am: Drive to work. Arrive at work. Realise baby is still in car with me and not at the childminder’s. Turn around and drive to childminder’s. Drop baby at childminder’s. Drive back to work.

9am: Arrive at radio station flustered, but just on time. Nip to the toilets to have another go at that Wheetabix. Give up. Realise it’s in my hair too.

9am – 12pm: Do work. (Make some phone calls, read the news, make some more phone calls, check some emails, tweet a bit, read more news etc etc.)

12-3pm: Do some reporting from the field. Get lost. Receive text from childminder saying baby is grumpy. Reply to text. Feel guilty. Find required location. Do some more work. Drive back to the radio station.

3-5pm: Work again. Editing and writing this time. Finish bulletin scripts and check in on baby to find she has a biscuit and all is well.

6pm: Arrive home. Sit on sofa with exhausted and grumpy baby. Feel guilty.

6.15pm: Sort out lunches for following day. Unstack dishwasher. Feel resentful it’s not already done. Put load of washing on.

6.30pm: Give exhausted and grumpy baby a bath. Watch as her dad gets her into her pyjamas. Realise I’m still wearing coat. And shoes. Take off coat.

7pm – 10.30pm: Eat cuisine meal of pizza in front of laptop. Work. Reply to emails. Finish off a feature article and some copywriting. Do some social media work for a client. More emails. More work. Feel guilty again.

10.30-11.30pm: Remember baby’s DIY Advent Calender is still not finished. Feel like terrible mother. Spend one hour sewing and stuffing the pockets with second bag of chocolate coins. Feel guilty for eating first bag.

11.30pm – 12am: Attempt to broaden mind by reading some of new novel. Get past first paragraph and fall asleep. Awaken to husband’s trumpets of wind as he gets into bed. Stay awake as husband falls into deep, snore-filled and windy sleep. Succumb to trumpet fumes and fall into second slumber.

To do it all again tomorrow…

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17 Comments

Filed under Being a mum, Family, Work

17 responses to “A day in the life of a freelance journalist (and mum)

  1. Makes me tired just reading it! Funnily enough I wrote an almost identical post last week – the life of a freelance journalist is hard.

  2. Why are other people’s daily routines so fascinating! But your journalistic career throbs compared to my daily commute up to the guest room to file copy. Ditch the Weetabix, I would. Porridge scrapes off a lot better.

    • I love days where I’m just working from home. Or at least, I love the day before I’m just working from home. The reality is a little different. It’s hard to file copy with a baby hanging off your leg, so days in the office working are a lot easier I suppose! Thanks for the porridge tip. Will have to try that tomorrow.

  3. trumpets of wind!!!!

    Flipping marvellous,

    However be greatful you have a dishwasher – some of us just arent that lucky!

    j x

  4. It does get better honest. I have blocked the early years out of my memory. I had two in just under 15 months! At least you can see the funny side of it and guess what neither of my boys had a home made birthday cake till they were four!

  5. Blimey, that is busy! Sometimes I can’t even be bothered to put any washing on and that’s about the only thing I have to do, apart from look after Iyla obviously! I will try and be a bit less lazy today and get things done! x

  6. Ghislaine Forbes

    In time you will read this back and laugh. I thought it was very funny. Only now though can I laugh at the time of arriving at school soaked (crotch of leggings down by my knees) having cycled 8 miles through a storm having dropped both you girls with all necessary bags at child minder only to find I hadn’t packed mine. A hand dryer in a dilapidated school is not up to much. The teaching day was long and kids kept asking if I had wet myself. Another time was after you had thrown up on me and my clothes literally were covered in vomit; wearing an apron and a pair of old flared track suit bottoms did not inspire confidence in my charges!
    Occasionally I was on my way home from work and realised that I hadn’t picked you up. Wishful thinking perhaps. love ma x

  7. Wow that is busy!! I get the feeling my life will be like this from January.

  8. Those first couple of paragraphs made me smile. I remember thinking I was busy before, too. Old me would go nuts seeing how little “me time” is left over these days, but I do love it. 🙂

  9. So glad to hear I’m not the only one with a windy husband that results in waking me up. It’s bad enough that children generally get us up on the night, without needing that on top!
    Your daily routine rings a familiar bell!

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