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Day in the Life of a very busy mum… how Anna Saccone handles it all

The mother-of-four is in bed by 8pm on most school nights

Ainhoa Barcelona

Anna Saccone is in bed by 8pm on most school nights. And who can blame her? The YouTuber and doting mother shares four children Emilia, Eduardo, Alessia and Andrea – all aged between eight and three – with her husband Jonathan Joly, not to mention the family's six dogs.

Anna is up most days at 5am and despite being a successful businesswoman with over one million YouTube subscribers, and over one million Instagram followers to boot, she says that being a mum is first and foremost her main role.

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Like many working parents, Anna, who features in our Back to School digital issue guest-edited by Giovanna Fletcher, admits that it feels nearly impossible to find a balance and to separate being a mother from her day job. Find out what a typical day for Anna is like in the Saccone-Joly household…

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WATCH: Anna shares a glimpse into busy home life with four children

My alarm goes off at…

5am! Since having four children, it's got earlier and earlier with each child. My first coffee of the day is at… I actually don't have my first coffee until about two or three o'clock in the afternoon, which is probably a bit rare! But I do eat a good breakfast which is really important. I'm a big breakfast fan. At the moment because it's summer, I'll eat granola or granola and fruit. Otherwise, I'll have something like a boiled egg and toast.

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The YouTuber has over one million subscribers on her channel

Breakfast is on the table at…

I'm more of a morning person and my husband is more of a night owl. He does more of the bedtime routine, and I do the mornings – we're kind of a tag team. Some days it can be a struggle! Usually, we get the older ones dressed for breakfast. And then the younger ones – they're four and three – they still make a bit of a mess in the morning, so I usually keep them in their pyjamas for breakfast. It's just easier that way.

I usually have food on the table at around 7am. Because we've got four kids, it's become a bit of a military operation and it has to be like that because otherwise I know how stressful it can be. I have it all planned out so if it's all going according to plan, we shouldn't be rushing. The kids leave for school at around 7:45am so we have a fair amount of time to play around with. Normally they have Weetabix, or egg on toast. But on a school morning, it's usually Weetabix because it's just easier.

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Anna is the proud mother of four children with husband Jonathan

The typical school run goes something like this…

We usually have a five or ten-minute drive to school. My husband and I, depending on who's doing the school run, we both like to leave early to beat the traffic. It just works with all four of them and trying to get them to their different drop-offs. We usually play lots of music in the car where every child gets to take a turn to choose a song to play, so that's really nice.

I tend to do the school run more, but my husband likes to do them in the morning too when he can because it sets him up for the day. It just depends on whether he's busy or if he's going into London for work. But he definitely likes to participate. It's important to him.

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My typical work day consists of…

I work from home so it's a little bit of both – there's housework and then there's work, work. I usually try to get everything done in between the hours of 9am and 1pm because that's when my youngest comes back from school. And then it's kind of all out the window after that in terms of work, work! So I try to get emails, filming, content, all of that stuff done in the morning when he's at pre-school.

And then all the while just doing lots of laundry, because there's loads of laundry with four kids and six dogs as well. A big part of my morning routine is also feeding the dogs and getting them ready for their walk which, thankfully, I don't have to do anymore. I've got a dog walker but I have to get them all ready and get their harnesses on. They're also long-haired dogs so I need to brush them out. It takes a while with six!

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Anna wakes up at 5am on school days

I pick up my kids at…

I do the school pick-up at around 3pm, with my youngest in tow. Usually, I can't even play music in the car because they're all talking at me at the same time. The morning school run is relatively drama-free because everyone's in a good mood. They're not grumpy teenagers.

But on the way back, they're kind of letting off steam from school, where they've had to be really good all day. Usually, there's a lot of fighting and everybody's talking over each other and everyone wants to tell me something. So trying to listen to all four of them at the same time is really difficult sometimes! The way back is usually a lot more chaotic than the way to school.

READ: Andrea McLean's top tips for stressed-out parents and why 'me time' isn't selfish

My kids' after-school routine is…

I actually feed them dinner pretty early at around 4:30pm or even 4pm some days, just because I feel like they are usually a bit grumpy when they get back from school and if I feed them, it settles them down a little bit. They don't usually get homework during the week, which is nice, but if they have reading, they'll spend time on that.

When they get home, they also just want to play. Usually, the older two play together because they're only 18 months apart, and then the babies play together because they're only 16 months apart. But there's definitely crossover and it's so nice that they're close in age. They always have a friend to play with. And then after dinner, we have a bath time routine. The babies then go to bed at 7pm and the older two go to bed at 8pm, so it works out nicely.

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Playtime is very important in the Saccone-Joly household

A typical family dinner sees us doing…

I usually cook dinner after lunch when my youngest comes home because it's quite easy with him. He'll be watching Peppa Pig or something while I cook. I just make sure that I have it done before the school pick-up because that's my cut off time really. Trying to cook in the evening is just stressful! I want them to eat fairly soon after they come back so I usually just cook something after lunch, heat it up afterwards or sometimes it's still warm enough for the children to eat.

It's less stressful, I've found, if I'm just focusing on feeding them and not actually having anything myself. The kids are asking for drinks, or spilling things, or the babies are getting down from the table all the time. So it's just easier if me and my husband eat later after they've had their bath. Because it's nicer – it's more calm! I'm sure it will change when they get older, but at the moment that's what works.

READ: Sarah Ferguson shares emotional memory from Princess Eugenie's first day of nursery

I'm in bed by…

During the week, my husband and I are on different schedules because I wake up so early and he likes to go to bed later. On the weekends we're on the same schedule, but certainly during the week I am in bed at around the same time as the kids, at around 7:30pm. He puts the older two to bed and they'll come in and say goodnight to me while I'm in my bed. I'm such a granny! I can't do it anymore, especially with such an early wake-up, so it's nice because we kind of tag team. I'm still awake by 8pm but definitely asleep most nights by 9pm.

As long as I have my early nights, I'm fine. It's my way of relaxing. It's like therapy for me. It's a chance for me to just lay in bed and do nothing like scroll through TikTok or Instagram and just do nothing for a while. And have nobody ask me for anything! So I actually look forward to that part of my day.

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Jonathan and Anna tag team most weekdays

The hardest part of being a working parent is…

Definitely the hardest part is trying to find a balance. I honestly don't think you can, especially as a mum, because you're constantly thinking about being a mum, thinking about your children and they come first in all areas. So trying to find a balance and trying to separate work from home is something that I really struggle with. When I'm at home, I am thinking about home life, I just can't help myself. I think it would be different if I were in an office, maybe. But even then, I know from working mums who work outside of the home, that they're constantly thinking about their kids, thinking about their PE kit for tomorrow or a packed lunch. It just never switches off.

Once you have a baby, I just don't think you can ever really separate yourself from that. Whereas I think it's easier for dads. Maybe I'm wrong, but my husband feels this way too, that it's just easier for him to see work and home as different. Whereas for me, it's all the same and my kids will always come first. I'm probably not a very good businesswoman as a result, but that's okay!

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The most rewarding part of being a parent is…

There are so many parts, but what I really love – and don't get me wrong, the children fight a lot as well – but when I get glimpses of them being really, really nice to each other, really kind to each other or just playing nicely together, it's a reminder that we've actually raised good humans. It's just a great indicator that I'm doing something right.

Just seeing how they interact with each other, because I guess they're learning that from us, from how my husband and I interact with one another. So when they're really kind and have each other's back and look out for each other when they're feeling down, I think that's just really rewarding.

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