I've been a bit quiet on the blog this past week or so. I often compare myself to the captain of a ship; a very important person, responsible for countless lives. Just some days it feels like my ship is called the Titanic.
My ship started sinking when at short notice my day care was cancelled, throwing everything out of whack. This in a week that I’d scheduled a huge chunk of work into two precious day care days. I juggled, worked nights and am forever thankful to a beautiful husband, somehow we made it through. Even if you don’t have children, there’ll always be those days or weeks that you think will ruin us. Between work, family, friends and worrying about everything from, “we’re out of milk” to the war in Afghanistan, there’s often not enough left in the tank for us.
So in a rare treat, last night I picked up a DVD and a block of fruit and nut and settled in for some quality ME time. Now with two small children, watching a DVD is a luxury, watching one I’ve chosen myself is pure decadence. I needed a chick flick, I need to cry, laugh and swoon all within a 90 minute window. I chose “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, you know the one, Sarah Jessica Parker makes being a working mum look effortless in a crazy kinda way. Not a new release I know, but refer to afore mentioned statement. My choice of title perhaps was a reflection of my week and my SJP fix start to look more like self-help than self-indulgence.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen this movie, but I was disappointed. Poor little SJP, I’m sure you’re lovely, but I just don’t believe it. Do you think she had to pay her phone bill a week late because her car needed a new starter motor? Do you think she worries about dropping the kids at kindy, slaving away in the office and making sure Matthew Broderick has clean shirts for work?
I’m sure my expectations were a little out of reach, but despite its title, I didn’t learn anything useable about how she actually did it. So I’m going to get the ball rolling, starting a little sisterhood of secrets and tell you how I do it…
I have low standards – this sounds terrible, but honestly, when I lowered my standards the game changed completely. Instead of being an over-achieving neat freak I now am comfortable with dirty dishes in the sink and with things left uncrossed off my list.
Embrace the things you can’t change - Instead of making my children fit my life, I work around them. Life changed forever the day I welcomed two new little humans into my home and I can’t continue to expect that I’ll be able to sleep in, read the paper in peace or basically do what I want for the next few years.
Eat take away – Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure. If you don’t have time to cook, don’t cook. One night a week won’t hurt at all and if you really can’t bring yourself to the McDonalds drive thru, keep your pantry and freezer stocked with lifesavers such as tinned baked beans, two minute noodles and fish fingers.
Ask for help – I think the myth of ‘having it all’ is starting to become accepted as exactly that, a myth. There may be moments of some days where the planets align and things work smoothly, but most days it won’t and you know what, that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with that and you’re certainly not alone. Say yes to the kind offers which occasionally cross our paths and go one step further by repaying the favour to friend in need.
Start spreading the love now by sharing your tips on how you manage the juggle. How do you do it?