As a full time working mum and mother of to five year old Axel, Michelle Bridges knows that getting back into a routine after the holidays is one of the hardest things to do.
"Most parents feel like they're stuck in the boot if a car rearing down the side of a mountain right now," she laughs."At least that's how I felt last week, this week a little bit better, and just finding that rhythm and routine."
With Axel starting 'big school' this year, Bridges knew organisation would be the key. Which was the inspiration behind her latest e-book 'Back to Routine' available free to all Australians.
"Being a single parent, you need to have structure," she told Essential Kids. "It's paramount when you want to try to minimise the collateral damage of the chaos of in the morning, particularly, lunchboxes."
Bridges recognises some days are harder than others, but she credits 'meal prepping' Axel's lunches as a massive time saver.
"It makes life easier, trust me it really does, a little bit of time spent here saves a truck load of time over there," she said.
So far, Axel, whom 12 Week Body Transformation author shares with ex-partner Steve "Commando" Willis, says her son has settled in 'really well' at school.
"At the start I was getting him up and getting him to eat breakfast and for some reason he was really dragging the chain when he eats breakfast," she explains. "So what I've been doing is getting him in half his uniform (not the shirt cos I don't want breakfast going all over it) and then he eats his brekky then all I need to do is throw the shoes, throw the shirt [on] and I'm good to go."
As for her favourite recipe, she and Axel can't go past the piklets and the nut-free brownies, with the proud mum saying he 'loves to help out.'
"He likes to cook the dessert stuff which I guess most kids would like," she laughed.
Like most kids though, getting him to eat his vegetables can be a bit of a battle.
"We also do 'green time equals screentime'," the fitness trainer says. "So I'll let him watch 20 minutes of his favourite cartoon but before that he has to sit and eat his veggie sticks.
"At least I know then he's got some veggies in before dinner."
Bridges says at the end of the day, it's just about finding something that works for you and your family, reminding people it's never too late to start a healthy new routine.
"One of the most effective times to start a new lifestyle plan is when the holidays are well and truly over; the kids have gone back to school, and we can more easily incorporate health and fitness into the structure of our everyday lives," she explains. "It's much more likely to stick this way."
The next round of 12WBT commences on February 15, 2021 and pre-season is open now. Register at www.12wbt.com.