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  • Writer's pictureErin Kelly

How I Make It Work

I’m usually up at about 5.30am. As a busy working mum, I think it’s so important to carve some time out of the day that’s just for me. Most days I flail dramatically into palpitating wakefulness before the sun rises, still wired from the litre of Pepsi Max I downed the previous day to counteract the insomnia from the night before that. Mindfulness is the best way to unlock my goals so I devote maybe 90 minutes to meditating on the housing shortage, my deadlines, the refugee crisis, the polar ice caps and the continuing employment of Shane Ritchie. It’s important for couples to be intimate so I toss and turn until my husband begs me in a cracked voice to be still please be still for god’s sake what’s wrong with you #lovedup #hubby

I find myself scrolling through Facebook before my eyes are even open. I like to be the first one downstairs in the morning – more me time! It’s good to be a little bit selfish, as I find I’ve then got so much more to give. I’ve read that women who start the day with a green juice are less likely to start crying in the changing rooms at Topshop so I neck three apple Froot Shoots in succession and that’s me done for the day #eatclean

We have post-it notes and flash cards all over the house to help the children’s education: phonics, times tables, key phrases in Mandarin, the basic tenets of Keynesian economics, the usual. I like to play fun games with my daughters, turning, say, the twelve-times table into a family singalong.

I bond with my girls on the walk to school. Even in a city it’s really vital that children learn about nature (I believe the children are our future) so we play a fun game where we try to work out whether the string of turds littering the broken paving stones are from the dachshund at number 5 (in which case I might say something to the owner) or the Rottweiler round the corner (in which case I won’t). I believe in talking to children with the same vocabulary and respect you would use with your peers, so as they run off in different directions as we prepare cross the congested A-road opposite their school I let rip with a string of expletives that would make Malcom Tucker blush. Drop-off ends with a kiss and a hug and a last-minute bribe to the seven-year-old; if she goes all day without saying ‘fuck’ in class, I’ll get her a My Little Pony magazine. They grow up so fast!

Three times a week when my youngest daughter is at nursery (£750 a month, babies in earrings slack-jawed in front of The Human Centipede II) I’ll go to my exclusive gym (£12.99 a month, syringe bins in the changing rooms) to walk slowly on a treadmill while watching Taylor Swift videos, internalising a wider cultural misogyny by comparing myself to a genetically-blessed millionaire fifteen years my junior, tweeting all the while. Maybe I’ll hijack a tangentially relevant trending topic like the Booker shortlist or NASA’s announcement about Mars with a few hundred mentions of my own latest book.

All this and it’s only half past ten! Honestly, I don’t know how I do it!

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