Nobody goes into the working parent life expecting it to be easy. We know it’s going to be a juggle. We know there will be sacrifices, and we expect that there will rewards if we get the balance right.
The juggle is real
That’s the thing though, we hardly ever feel like we’re getting the balance right, and it’s actually okay. Letting things slide can actually save the day!
Sound familiar? Here’s a few more things about the working mum life that you’re bound to recognise if you’ve ever done the juggle …
1. You have lists listing all the other lists you need to write
Organisation is key to success. Or at least to survival. If you’re going to split yourself in two, you need to know what each version of you is doing, and when.
Work lists, house lists, school lists, grocery lists, bills lists … the paper stuck on your fridge door weighs more than the fridge itself.
2. The kids could care less about you being organised
So you’ve got an early meeting which means the whole morning has to go a little smoother than usual. You’ve got your work bag sorted, your clothes ironed. The kids outfits are laid out and ready to go … this should be a breeze.
Except that little Annie could not possibly wear the red shirt, not when she has a filthy Elsa dress in the washing basket.
3. Your car interior looks like a dump site
While your childless workmate glides into their parking spot in their gleaming, two door coupe, you screech into yours, opening the door of your minivan and unleashing an avalanche of sultana packets, drink bottles, socks, crayon art and the permission slips that were meant to be handed in last Tuesday.
4. You count mundane tasks as ‘me time’
Stuck in work traffic for two hours? Me time! Getting a haircut in your lunch break? Me time! Getting the groceries alone? Me time! Toddler falls asleep on you, pinning you to the lounge when your lists say you have 75 other things you are meant to be doing? Me time!
5. You utilise the school ‘kiss and drop’ zone with military precision
Betty with the enormous people-mover gets there at 8.45am and always parks and gets out to kiss the kids goodbye. You need to get there at 8.43am, or she’ll block you in for at least four minutes.
There’s no time for get-out kisses in your schedule. Kiss and drop? More like “dump and roll”, baby!
6. Gym? What gym?
Between work, home, school, sports there’s little time in the agenda for you to use your active wear.
Fear not, after the sleep you got last night you can still make up your 10 000 steps in trips back and forth to the office coffee machine.
7. Dinner begins with good intentions
You’ve joined the slow-cooker groups, you have all the 15 minute meals bookmarked, and your grocery delivery came full of veggies.
You also have the local pizza joint on speed dial, and have regularly approved a breakfast-for-dinner menu.
8. You now know that it does indeed take a village
Your kids are probably as familiar with your neighbour’s pantry as they are with yours. Because there is as much chance of a fellow school mum taking home your kids as there is of you taking home theirs. This is the real reason parents drive people-movers.
9. Hustle is your middle name
You are a multi-tasking demon. You’re catching up on podcasts on the work commute. You’re finding jazz shoes on your lunch break. You’re helping with homework while folding the laundry. You’re cleaning toothpaste off the bathroom mirror while bathing your toddler. You’re writing work pitches at 11 pm while watching Real Housewives and baking cupcakes for the class party …
You’re a hustler, always on the go. And while it feels like your task list is never ending, somehow all of the things that need to be done are getting done.
You’re doing it. And you’ll do it all again tomorrow because while it’s tough, you wouldn’t change it for the world.
(This is a sponsored post for NAN Toddler)