September 16, 2018 Nicola Monteath

Top 10 tips For Work-Life Balance

Struggling at work today? Camilla Hassan, Founder and Managing Director of Five Little Ducks shares her top tips for work/life balance:

  1. Be organised: With a busy schedule, I need to stay completely organised or the wheels fall off. I have a schedule for kids activities stuck on the wall so I know which days swimming and sports are, upcoming school events are marked down, and I m
    ake endless lists. School lunches are prepared the night before and I lay out uniforms to save time – otherwise mornings are a nightmare.
  2. Say no: I acknowledge I can’t do everything or attend everything – so I am very choosy about what we accept and how much we commit to doing.  The last thing I want is to be run ragged on a weekend or over-stretched, so I only try to plan things I know we can comfortably attend.
  3. Family day: Friday is family day every weekend, without fail. Whether it’s a meal or breakfast out, a trip to the cinema, a day at the pool or just hanging at home, we make sure that Fridays are sacred.  The kids stay up a bit later and their diets are relaxed, but we make sure there’s lots of fun and laughter and no distractions.
  4. Delegate: No-one is super mum. Whether you order your child’s birthday cake from a bakery or have a weekly maid service, delegate out whatever tasks you need to, to put less pressure on yourself.  My nanny is amazing at organising and will wrap birthday presents, label school items, and receive deliveries
  5. One-on-one time: Every few weeks or so I take my children out individually on a little date. My eldest is into trampolining and activities – we recently had a great afternoon ice skating at Dubai Mall. My youngest is a very girly girl, so it’s a salon day or a shopping trip. It helps us bond one-to-one, and they know they get my full undivided attention without any sibling rivalry.
  6. No guilt: I refuse to feel guilty for working and having to justify why I do.  It’s a waste of energy and emotions that serves no purpose. Our family set up is the way it is, and I will not spend time comparing it to other families. We do what works for us and is right for our family, and don’t judge anyone’s circumstances.  The kids know that mummy works in a shop and they get excited coming to see me.  I want them to feel proud of mummy and inspired to be strong, independent women in the future.
  7. Order online: the easiest thing during a long busy day is to hop online during my lunch hour to order birthday gifts, the weekly fruit and veg box or household goods.  I shop on Kibsons and have it delivered home while I’m at work, whereas my husband just celebrated his birthday with a pile of aftershaves and a wallet from!  It took me five minutes while at work and a few clicks to get everything ordered, and I received everything in two days.
  8. Me time: About once a month I will go to a brunch or a spa with my girlfriends and relax without the kids.  This helps me to be a better mum and regain my patience and sanity.
  9. Meal plan: Unless I plan ahead on meals, I tend to order takeaway after a long day at work, which isn’t great for my waistline. I often batch cook on the weekend and individually portion up meals for the freezer, so there is something tasty when I come home late midweek.
  10. Early nights: It’s tempting to stay up late every night but at least once a week I try to get a really early night in so I feel super fresh the next day. I have a habit of only getting to bed at midnight or later, but getting a good 8 – 10 hours makes all the difference


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