My Morning Routine With Natalie Chandler
This month we caught up with primary school teacher, Natalie Chandler.
Natalie is twenty-seven years old and a full-time primary school teacher. She lives on the outskirts of Exeter with her one-year-old son, three-year-old step-daughter and, as she put it, her ‘thirty-three-year-old man-child husband’. Alongside teaching, she runs a successful Forever Living business and has her own mummy blog. ‘Just to fill the spare moments’.
What time do you normally wake up and what’s the first thing you do?
So my day always starts the night before. My son goes to a childminder near where I work two days a week so I have to make sure his bag is stocked with all his essentials (nappies, clothes, etc) because we have no time in the morning. My alarm goes off at 6.10 and we have to leave the house by 7.15. If my son isn’t awake, I set the alarm to 6.15, then 6.20, then 6.22 to push it until the very last second before I actually have to leave my bed. I’ve normally been up several times in the night with him and have even woken up from falling asleep on the floor next to his cot with my arm through the bars to comfort him. If he is awake, I give him his milk in bed and pray that he goes back to sleep for 5 more minutes. I’ve perfected the shower/make up/get dressed routine in just ten minutes. Then it’s my son’s turn for wet wipe wash and clothes on so we can get downstairs and go.
Tell us about your breakfast, coffee, tea preferences, what gets you going in the morning?
Because we are short on time, I always take my breakfast in the car. I take my lidded coffee cup with my ‘nice coffee from home’ but don’t make it until I get to work. I eat my breakfast walking down the road after dropping off my son. He has severe food allergies so I keep all my food away from him unless it’s allergy safe. Then when I get to work, I can finally make my coffee and my brain can start to function.
Tell us about any technology that you use in the morning.
If we are lucky, we might manage to watch a couple of minutes of CBeebies while I’m double checking his bag. I always check my social media for my blog and business first thing and respond to all comments or messages. I find the morning the best time to do this so I don’t get distracted by endlessly scrolling through other people’s profiles.
One morning recently, my son managed to get ‘Baby Shark’ playing through YouTube on our TV. We didn’t even know our telly had YouTube let alone how to search for that song.
Tell us about your commute to work, do you enjoy listening to music or prefer to travel in silence?
We love to listen to the radio in the car. My son particularly enjoys it when I sing super loud to power ballads. He likes to dance to the upbeat songs and I sing in funny voices to make him laugh. Sometimes we use this time to wake up family members because they are always so pleased to speak to us really early in the morning.
What are the first tasks that you need to attend to when you get to work?
My first job of the day is the most important one. Making the coffee. Without that none of the other things get done. Then I start resourcing all of our lessons for the day and ensuring everything is ready. Sometimes I have marking to catch up on or planning to get ahead with. I’m always amazed at how much I manage to get done in that hour before the children arrive and my day actually begins (despite feeling like I’ve already lived several lives already!).