If you’re a working mom who manages to successfully juggle children, work and running your home, please tell me how you do it …
In my humble opinion, the only women who juggle all three without ending up in a psychiatric ward with burnout, are those with pots of money for cleaning staff, nannies and au pairs…
And the ones who believe it’s easily done must be women who haven’t given birth yet.
The job and the home are the easy parts: it’s the third part of the triangle, motherhood, that takes up most of my time and energy.
The house can go a day or two without being cleaned, I can work in bed at night to catch up if I don’t get enough done in a day, but you can’t ignore children – and their demands – or put them on hold for later … (I’ve tried, believe me.)
The job and the home are the easy parts: it’s the third part of the triangle, motherhood, that takes up most of my time and energy
A typical late afternoon in my house
We’re getting ready to go back to school for my daughter’s public speaking competition (which starts at 6.30pm). It’s only 4.30pm so I figure I have plenty of time.
Emily’s reciting her prepared speech to me (for the 17th time) while I prepare to shut down my laptop for the day. My phone rings. It’s my boss. He apologises profusely for calling me this late, but needs me to edit and publish a breaking news story.
I log on again and sit down to work
“You’re not listening Mom,” complains Emily, as my husband rushes in to have a quick shower and change before he has to leave again to get back to school to greet the parents of the other public speakers. (He’s the headmaster so has to be there before me.)
He can’t find a clean white shirt.
Oops – I offered to iron his shirts on the domestic worker’s days off. Emily goes off to shower, (lucky her – at least two out of three family members are getting time to get ready) I speed iron the shirt, and sit down again to finish the story I’m working on.
Message from boss: Hang on with that version. I’m sending an updated version in 15 minutes
Suddenly there’s not so much time to get ready. I won’t be able to feed everyone before we leave – just the dog. The rest of us will have to eat later.
Husband rushes out the door, I finally hit publish and make my way to the bathroom for MY shower.
“Mom … ,“ is the call from upstairs. “Please will you help me to straighten my hair?”
“Can’t you do it yourself?” is my answer.
“I need help, I’m late and we get marked on our appearance so I want my hair to look neat,” – is hers.
Eventually she’s ready and it’s 6.10pm. I’ve tied up my hair and applied eyeliner (that’s all I had time for).
We rush out of the house, I scrape the under carriage of my car on a couple of speed humps in my rush to get there in time, and we screech into the school parking lot at 6.20pm
I’m impressed: we made it with 10 minutes to spare. I can get some tea in the foyer and relax.
“Mom …,” is the desperate screech from the back of the car. “I forgot my blazer!”
She tumbles out of the car with her speech cards in her hand and I turn around to go back for the blazer.
Just another day in the life of a busy (and frazzled) mom …