The shortcuts Tracey Spicer swears by to get through her day.

Tracey Spicer is a talented journalist, TedX alumni, social commentator, feminist, wife and mother of two. She spoke to us as part of our Mamamia Realspo series, where we speak to amazing Australian women about the no filter version of their day.

The Morning.

Waking up

At seven am, after nine hours’ sleep. I’m like Rip Van Winkle. (Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who copes well on four hours’ sleep a night. Too cranky!) I was woken up by an iPhone alarm. I actually have it programmed to ring like a kid screaming (kidding). I’m up for about an hour and a half before I check my phone. I’m quite strict about it, these days. I either go for a walk or get the kids ready for school, before going online.

Breakfast time

Our 11-year-old son, Taj, is an early riser, always up around six am. He gets his own breakfast, then showers and dresses for school. (Yay!) Nine-year-old Grace is like me. She loves a sleep-in. We usually shake her awake around eight am then prepare breakfast.

Watch: Five dry shampoo tricks to cut down your getting ready time in the morning. (Post continues after video)


I’m pretty relaxed about showering. Hubby is a little cleaner (!) but I don’t mind if the kids only have a shower every two to three days.


I usually go makeup-free. If I need to be more groomed, I’ll do a five-minute makeup look and run a brush through my hair.

Outfit choice

I pick whatever is clean [laughs]. If I have time, I hang an outfit on the front of the wardrobe the night before. Today it’s ugg boots, yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Gotta love working at home… (Post continues after gallery.)

The day.

School drop-off

It’s different every day. Hubby and I both work freelance. Whoever isn’t working that morning takes them to school. Afterwards, I drive in to the city to work, or tie myself to the computer at home.

Some mornings we run late, because of Grace’s body clock. (She’s definitely a night owl…) School starts at 8.25am and on several occasions I’ve dropped them off late. It drives Taj crazy. He’s like my Dad – likes to be early.



For me, exercise happens in the morning so I can think straight. It helps to wake me up.


My shortcut for getting through the day is squeezing tasks into the small moments of downtime: waiting in a queue, sitting on public transport; supervising the kids’ homework. It’s amazing how much stuff you can organise in those stolen moments. Also, I listen to a podcast of ABC Radio’s AM program while walking the dog, or driving the kids to school.


Ever since Mum died from cancer, I’ve been pretty strict about what I eat. Breakfast is muesli or poached eggs on toast. Snacks are nuts or fruit. And lunch is a wrap with protein (chicken, tofu, or salmon) and salad.

Often, there’s a boiled egg and banana in my handbag for daytime snacking.


The "organised chaos" of Tracey's handbag. Image: Supplied.

Staying in touch

This is a terrible thing to admit, but I hate talking on the phone. At heart, I’m incredibly shy. Since the advent of email, I prefer to communicate online. I usually chat with friends and colleague on twitter, Facebook or email.

Home time.

The school pickup

Depends on who’s working. Hubby and I share the load, 50/50.

Comfort clothes

When I'm at home, I'm in a tracksuit and uggies or thongs. Yes, I am a bogan!

Nighttime routine

On Monday nights we’re glued to the ABC for news and current affairs. Every other night is different, depending on the kids’ sport/school commitments, and our work schedule.


Jase does the cleaning and I do the cooking. We tend to keep it simple: steak, chicken or fish with steamed veggies on the side. I cook a big lasagne and soup on a Sunday, to freeze in small containers for busy weekdays. My evening 'guilty pleasure' is a glass of red wine. That’s mum’s treat!

The joys of parenting.

Honestly, we fail in different ways every day! Last week, I forgot to fill in the forms for a special test the kids were supposed to have at school – eek. They missed out. Schools send so much documentation these days, it can slip through the cracks.

I used to scream at my kids when they were younger. Not proud of it. They’re easier to manage as they get older. I try to breathe through my frustration now.

What does your daily routine look like?