Jools Oliver has shared her best parenting hacks (and we are all ears)
With two teenagers, an eight-year-old, a six-year-old and a one-year-old, a husband who travels a lot (and let's not forget that she also design the very successful Little Birds range for Mothercare!), Jools Oliver is clearly a woman who thrives on having her plate full – and seems to handle it, we might add, with total ease.
When it comes to how she keeps all the balls in the air, the 42-year old shared some of her parenting hacks with Vogue not long ago, and we pretty much will be copying every one of them:
1. In Her Handbag
Surprisingly (but also comforting to hear!), Jools isn't as organized and tidy in all areas of her life and reveals to the Vogue that her handbag is always chaotic and brimming with all sorts of things. "I throw in all the stuff that seems to litter the house in the morning from mobile phone chargers to kid's homework and little plastic toys," she explains.
"I always carry a small bottle of water and a couple of healthy snacks for the kids for when I pick them up from school. I bought a lovely new smaller bag in the hope that I could downsize and organise myself, but so far that hasn't happened."
2. In Her Kitchen Cupboards
You would think that being Jamie Oliver's wife would see Jools having a pantry and a fridge stuffed to the brim of pretty much anything foodie you could lay your hands on, but when asked what she always keeps on hand, her answer is indeed pretty normal.
"I just asked my eldest girls this question and they both said 'broccoli' which made me laugh. We always have an abundance of fruit and veg in the fridge, especially broccoli as it's the one veg my little ones actually like."
3. Her Holiday Must-Pack
"It's quite boring but I always pack antibacterial wipes as I don't think I have been on a journey since being a mum where I haven't needed or used them."
Preach it, sister!
4. On Letting Off Steam
All mums know what it is like when the kids are driving you up the walls and you need to get out of the house. For Jools, this means hitting the local park:
"When the children are getting under my feet or are bored I always take them to the park," she explains. " We live opposite a beautiful park in London so always take the scooters or bikes. They are happy to walk to the swings and cycle down the big hills. It's also a chance for the little ones to let off some energy and for me to catch up with my older girls and have a good chat."
In fact, the mum-of-five goes as far as crediting fresh air her secret weapon when it comes to parenting.
"As a family, you can't beat going for a walk or just getting out. When everyone is grumpy and the older girls are stuck on Wi-Fi, whether it's rain or shine we all throw on our wellies and walk through the fields near our home or play in the park. I am a massive advocate of fresh air and just getting them out for walks whatever the weather."
5. On Treats
Her husband is famously fighting for families and school children to eat healthier, but that doesn't mean that the Oliver children never get to enjoy a piece of cake or a chocolate bar.
"I think it's all about balance. Fizzy drinks are a no no, especially for the little ones, I just don't think you can beat water to quench their thirst. I avoid giving them sweets with E numbers, but certainly they have treats just like I did when I was little."
6. On Where She Gets Her Parenting Advice
Like most of us, Jools can't live without her sister and her mum and credits her "village" (and Gina Ford) with her parenting knowledge.
"Most of my parenting advice came from my eldest sister and my mum whose advice I value greatly and look up to. We mostly muddled through and learnt as we went along, but I did loosely follow Gina Ford when I felt like I needed a bit of direction, especially in those blurry first few weeks with a newborn. Establishing a basic routine with the children really helped and a bit of patience never goes amiss."
7. On Me-Time
"I absolutely love having a pedicure. It's just that one hour all to yourself where you can read a magazine or a book and completely switch off. Failing that, I love just browsing in the shops with a coffee and being free to think with no interruptions, the simple pleasures!"
8. On Working Out
We all know that making time to work out can make us feel so much better, and for busy mums, this investment in our own health is vital, Jools agrees.
"I really enjoy working out and I am a massive fan of Barry's Boot Camp. I love the social aspect of going with friends as it makes it more fun. They play loud music and there's plenty of encouragement from the instructors. It's so satisfying once the class is over and you are sweating but feel like you have really achieved something. Exercise is key to feeling great and shaking off that horrible mum tiredness!"
(Feature image Youtube.com)