How do you do it all?

29 March 2024| ,

I love reading. I love writing. My university major was English. Writing, journalling, blogging – things I am so passionate about but just don’t seem to be getting around to these days. And I miss it. So I am setting myself my own little personal goals, and hopefully I’ll be sharing a little more consistently here soon…

A question I get often: How do you do it all?

Short answer: I don’t.

Long answer: I outsource and ask for help a lot. Planning, organising and getting things done is in my blood, it comes naturally and I enjoy it.

Life is busy. And it doesn’t matter if you are single, married, studying, working, with or without kids, one child or five children, stay at home or full time working. Life is busy. It’s a different kind of busy for everyone – but no load is more or less that someone else.

I am currently a stay at home mom to five children, running our home with domestic help, class mom to my daughters classes and an active member of our school Parents’ Association. I like to be involved in my husbands life, my children’s lives, family lives, our school life and our friends lives. And I am very grateful that I have been blessed with the time to be with our babies every day, and time to be a part of all these things. It’s never lost on me that I have this privilege, and how hard MC has to work to afford us this luxury. Growing up with parents who worked 7-5 jobs, I always dreamed of being able to be a stay at home mom one day, and I try my best to live out this dream to it’s fullest every day.

How do you manage FIVE children? And a home? And life?

With a village of incredible women. We are incredibly blessed to have our amazing nanny, Gogo who has been with us since before SJ was born. Gogo lives in and her role in our home has evolved over the years: from housekeeper to nanny as our babies have been born. Gogo helps look after our babies at home and she helps prepare and cook our dinners. We have an au pair, our amazing RC started with us just before ZB was born and she helped with lifts and extra activities each afternoon (impossible for me to be in three places at once!) and she moved in to look after our kiddies when MC and I were away together. After seven years of being a part of our family (like a sister to me and an aunt to our girls), RC just had her own precious baby girl and now she is the fun aunt with a little baby cousin for our girls to love and adore. At the end of last year, a new special au pair BT joined our family and she now helps me with afternoon lifts and activities, and moves in when we are away. When the twins were born, we also employed a night nurse to help us four nights a week with the babies and even though the twins have been sleeping through since 5 months old, she has stayed on with us to help with the bath and bedtime routine whilst we are with the girls doing late afternoon activities, homework and a later bedtime.

Our home and our lives wouldn’t run as smoothly without these amazing ladies, and we are truly blessed to have them as a part of our family.

With a one-of-a-kind, hands-on husband. If I had married anyone else, I wouldn’t have five children. MC has made it all easy. I don’t know another Dad who does what he does, and who is willing or capable of doing all that he can. He is more than I could ever have imagined or dreamed of for my children. He drops our girls at school every morning, he works a full day of running his own business (on his very own!), he attends almost every gala, sports match, music or dance concert and school function, he is home every evening for dinner and bath time, he reads bedtime stories and tucks our kids in at night. Every weekend, he is up at the crack of dawn with the first awake child, he plays every game indoors and outdoors, he goes to kids parties and any social functions, he doesn’t miss a bath time with the boys, he changes nappies and feeds them, and lovingly puts them to bed or gets up in the night for sick kids, night terrors or extra cuddles. And he isn’t scared of handling all five children, on his own. Without me, and without any help. And he does it with ease. I truly married the best Dad in the world.

With a lot of planning and organisation. I was born with the organisation gene. It is a natural gift and one I absolutely love and thrive on. We are all born with natural talents – planning, organising, administration are mine. And they are a key factor in running our home and family, with relative ease. I have one hundred lists going on in my head at any given time but my life runs from a paper planner and my digital calendar on my phone. I have a paper to do list and a digital to do list. Everything on my phone, on my computer and in my inbox is in labeled folders. I have reminders to get things done and I run on a daily, weekly and monthly to do list. I have schedules for everyone (weekly, monthly, exams and sports) and I have meal plans, shopping lists and spreadsheets for everything too. For some, this is too planned and too rigid. For me, its a necessity. More on this in another post.

With self care. Yes, I prioritise myself. Yes, I have mom guilt. But I know the importance of being able to pour from a full cup. I am a better person, better wife and better mom when I am looked after too. Self care looks different for everyone but for me, it means: rest, time out, getting things done and embracing my hobbies: reading, blogging, socialising. I make time for myself each day to read and journal (it may be 5 minutes and it may be with kids running around or it may be parked in my car at pick up). I make time for my physical self care: a bath bomb bath, booking my nail and hair appointments or a monthly facial or massage. I make time for MC and I to enjoy time together – date night, finding a series to watch together, weekends away. I make time to be with my kids one on one: I find a book to read together, play a game of Uno, play cars or balls with the boys, share a milkshake in the car ride or take someone for a date or shopping. I make time for my friends: I go to our monthly bookclub, make time for special friends birthday celebrations and organised girls weekend trips away. These all fill up my cup.

With an army of friends and family. We both have small families and extended family that don’t live close by, and our close group of friends are like our family. We prioritise making time for them and to be with them to fill our souls, to share fellowship, to make memories and to pour into our kids lives. But we also couldn’t do life without them. Our family and friends are there in the middle of the night, with one phone call – to take kids to the emergency room, to take kids for a sleepover, to bring meals when we are home bound, to help with school lifts and extra activities, to step in to watch sports matches and concerts and to love on our babies like their very own. And we love to do the same – we love filling our home with friends and their children, cheering them on through life, praying over them, and being there to support them at sports matches and concerts. We couldn’t do life without our community.

And the short answer again: I don’t. I mess up a lot. I drop many balls. I miss important dates and I leave school bags at home, I don’t sign documents on time and I forgot to pay invoices. I don’t buy groceries on time and our kids each toast or two minute noodles for dinner. I arrive at birthday parties without a gift, and my kids make a project out of nothing late on a Sunday night. We rush out the house screaming at each other in the mornings and I kiss them goodnight so fast that they don’t have time to ask for another bedtime story. And a whole lot more…

I am human. I am normal. I mess up. And I am absolutely 100% not perfect.

But I try my best every day.


Image from Elevae Visuals


  1. Always remember how incredible you are and the awesome husband and father MC is ! You are truly an amazing team ❤️ 💙

    1. Aw Bern, you are too kind! Thank you so much my friend. Hope you are having the most incredible holiday break x

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About me

I'm Caley a thirty-something wife & mummy from Durban, South Africa. Ellie Love Blog is all about me, my family and our beautiful life.


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