What does your daily routine look like, mamas? Tell us, we want to know!
In this series called “A day in the life“, mamas submit snapshots of regular moments that occur throughout their daily routine. The idea is to show the wide variety of lives mamas lead in Singapore, whether you’re in the office, staying at home, or something in between.
This month we look at a day in the life of Johanna Lehmann, author and founder of united-letters.com offering super cute inspiring personalised children’s books, an avid yogi and mama to toddler Zoe (2 years old). Johanna has some great mama-to-mama tips on how to get stuff done, tick off your to-do list and spend quality time with your kids.
If you’d like to be featured in this series, mama, drop us a line at [email protected] with “Day in the Life” in the subject line!
I used to be able to get up between 5:30am and 6am before I became a mum but that has since changed. With my toddler Zoe still waking up to two times a night, I rather find it hard to get up before 7 am. I still try hard to do it as this allows me to have 30 minutes for morning meditation and breathing exercises. Even as a Yogi it took me a long time to get into a daily practice of meditation. But since I try to do it every day, my days are just so much better: less stressed, happier, less anxious and more focused.
Tip: if you don’t have 15 to 20 minutes to spare, just take one mindful breath (takes 10 seconds) and I’ll promise it will already make you more relaxed. If you have more time and can do some breathing exercise (like alternate nostril breathing), you might feel so much more energised afterwards that you don’t need your morning coffee anymore!
After Zoe is up, mornings are usually slightly chaotic. Even though we try to all have breakfast together, it never works out in a relaxed manner. There is always one person missing for breakfast or my hubby is already about to leave when I sit down at the table.
My breakfast is usually coffee, fresh juice (to not feel guilty during the rest of the day if I don’t get to eat a lot of veggies and fruits) and blueberry porridge.
I always wanted to have my own location-independent business. But no one ever told me that this doesn’t mean less work and shorter to-do lists. Since most of my team is based in Europe, I’ll get quite a lot of emails overnight and then have calls later in the day. My mentor once told me – no matter how many emails wait in your inbox, you should work on the most important task of the day first thing in the morning. This is when people are usually most focused and it’s a great achievement if one important item is done already. Most of the times that’s hard, but at least I challenge myself not to check email more than 4 times a day.
Tip: Don’t overload your To Do list, it just makes you feel frustrated. Rather choose the one to two most relevant tasks of the day and try to get those done.
If the day goes smoothly I should have accomplished some important items by now, like setting up new partnerships with influencers and bloggers. Or I may have reviewed new product input from my team in Germany and assessed marketing campaigns for new markets from my agency. I feel ready for a break and either go home to have lunch with Zoe and put her down for her nap or meet a friend for lunch. Today I meet my friend Christina.
I am offering Sassy Mama readers free shipping to Singapore (usually $10) plus free gift wrapping and postcard when you order your own personalised children’s book – discount code: SHIPFREE www.united-letters.com/en
In the afternoon, I usually work on things like accounting, hiring and more strategic topics. Now is the time as well for Skype calls with my IT and marketing team in Germany. The benefit of a location-independent business is that I can work from anywhere with a good Wi-Fi connection, sometimes that’s a co-working space, a nearby coffee shop or at home on the floor (my favourite location to stretch my legs). I usually try to set myself a goal for when I should be finished with everything. And if I make it…
…the reward is going for a yoga class or being home early to play with Zoe. Either way it must be something active. If Zoe is out on a playdate with our helper, I take a Hatha class in my studio. As a yoga teacher, I love to draw inspiration from taking classes from other teachers and to just challenge myself physically.
If I go straight home, I try to put my phone down for the next hour or so to have quality time with Zoe. We do all sorts of different things: read books, do some fun yoga poses, go for a swim or head to Botanical Gardens for a walk.
If my hubby Max is home we have family dinner together, which usually happens once or twice a week. Otherwise Zoe and I eat alone. Then it’s time to prepare Zoe for bed: reading stories, brushing teeth, taking a shower and bedtime. I must admit: it’s a little fight every night to get the little one to sleep and get her to understand that now her day is over.
If I don’t teach a class at night, I will spend some more time on the computer in the home office or talking with my team back in Europe. I try to end the day with reading some quality books or chatting with my hubby during a walk through the neighbourhood. I noticed that my sleep is much better if closing the laptop isn’t the last thing I do before going to bed.