Who lives in your house?: I live with my husband and 2 kids (5 and 3). One is at school and the other is at nursery 2 days a week.
How would you describe your working situation?: I work part-time (2 days a week) doing 12-hour shifts. These could be nights or days.
Tell us about a typical day: On a typical day shift I am out of the house between 6 and 6:30, and back between 8 and 9 (depending on whether I leave on time!). On a night shift, I leave at 6:30pm and am usually back by 8am. On the days I’m not working, I’m looking after the 3-year-old, which often includes going out doing something in the morning, then back for lunch and naps before picking the eldest up from school. Then it’s dinner/homework/bath/bedtime. And then I get to sit down!!
How do you fit TOMM in?: On a non-working day, I try to get level 1 jobs done before school run in the morning. I do a quick bathroom wipe round while waiting for the shower to warm up, if I want to do a deeper clean I do 1 thing in the bathroom each day. Then when I go down for breakfast I take a load of washing and put it on, then it’s a quick hoover while the kids are getting shoes on.
Level 2 jobs vary depending on the day and what we have planned. For example, on bedroom day, I usually do this in the morning and the toddler helps. If I can’t have her helping (for example, kitchen day) I wait until lunch time and do it while she naps. I like to set my 30 minutes and get it all done in one go. If I am working a day, I generally don’t worry too much, as I know I will be back in that room the following week. That said, I will always ask hubby to do at least a few items off the list (and he is pretty good at getting stuck in). Level 1 jobs I don’t worry about if I’m on days because I know they will be done the next day. If I’m working on a Friday Focus day, I might just add the focus on to the appropriate level 2 clean, or do it at the weekend if we aren’t busy.
In general, I try to find the pockets of ‘wasted time’ and do little jobs to keep on top of general tidiness (eg I will unload dishwasher while making a cuppa, or fold washing while kids are playing after school).
What has been the most challenging part of TOMM?: I think the hardest part is fighting the tiredness. I am on my feet for 12+ hours when working, and if it’s busy it can wipe me out for days. I do find, though, that if I can just set my timer, even if I don’t get everything done there is a lot less guilt because I know I’ve done something. Or if I really can’t face up to it and absolutely need that nap in general, the house is still fairly clean so I try not to dwell on it!!
What have you enjoyed most about TOMM?: My favourite thing is the lack of guilt! As a mum, I think we can feel guilty about all the things we didn’t get time to do! Before TOMM, I found it difficult to focus on one thing because I was constantly thinking about all the things I “should” be doing. Now, I know everything is under control and I have so much more headspace. I can enjoy playing with my daughter without worrying about the pile of washing, or I can sit down at lunchtime, or have my nap (!) without feeling I’ve not done much.
What are your top tips for newbies?: Easy, just do it! You don’t need to bootcamp, or wait for week 1 to come around, you can literally just start whenever! My other tip would be to find those pockets of “wasted time” and think about how you could make them more productive. Be kind to yourself and learn to let go sometimes! Finally, make TOMM work for you, whichever way helps you to feel good about your home find it and do it!