Archive for the ‘Balancing and Juggling’ Category

Many of us Mums work at home (or are WAHM’s) because we want to stay at home with our kids and raise them. Is it an easy option? No way man! Some days you feel that you are being pulled a million ways and the school vacations are the hardest. Some people choose to get a little extra help such as having an AuPair and some use camps etc. And some go it alone. I thought I’d do a list today of all the things I fit into just one day, though no two days are the same,  just to show what I do!

  • Answer and delete emails whilst chatting to my program director on Skype
  • Check Facebook updates
  • Check Twitter
  • Post recently prepared blog post
  • Start to prepare next blog post
  • Brainstorm other blog post ideas
  • listening to audio book of ‘Trust Agents‘ by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith while doing other things
  • kids wake up –
  • friends kid arrives so my 10 yr old can watch her for an hour
  • friends kid leaves – play date arrives for youngest
  • Update Facebook Business page
  • Put load in washer
  • talk to guy building fence about gate hinges
  • Wait! Realise haven’t had breakfast!
  • Post transition AuPair onto my website and onto Craigslist
  • Got distracted from breakfast so have early lunch
  • Empty dishwasher while making kids and me lunch
  • Load dishwasher and clean up kitchen after lunch
  • Put clothes in dryer
  • Update my business website some more
  • Youngest going to pool with friend, get all her stuff together and sunscreen her
  • Take eldest to music lesson
  • Run home and start doing some work on Social Networking Coaching Club with Ann Evanston stuff
  • Pick eldest up from music lesson
  • Dryer finished – fold clothes quick so I don’t have to iron
  • Put clothes away
  • Youngest phones and asks if friend can come for sleepover
  • Quick rethink on dinner for 5 not 4
  • Start dinner
  • Hubby arrives – needs to talk a lot about his day in his new role
  • Try to be as attentive as possible while feeding 3 kids and getting them helping lay table etc
  • After dinner do some more work on blog post ideas (and yes this is part of my work!) whilst watching So You Think You can Dance
  • Watch news a little
  • Forgot about fielding all the ‘can we have’s’ etc between all this.
  • Fall into bed and read latest book Olive Kitteridge for 1/2 an hour
  • Sleep!

And this was on a day that I didn’t do any cleaning or meet friends or go to the gym!!!!

What’s you day like? Is it as hectic as mine? Tell me about your life.

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Last night I read a blog post written by a new bloggy friend of mine Jess Webb and, as often seems to happen, the blog post really hit home. Always seem to get messages right when you need them!

Things are really happening for me right now. I have been a Childcare Coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair for a year finding new host families and nurturing their relationship with their Au Pair. However, it’s really only since March when I took over the area where I live that this business ‘clicked’ for me. The next piece of the puzzle was my company giving me the awesome chance to take a Social Networking Coaching Course with Ann Evanston. Well I am just loving it – I was fairly (well very) active on social media already but was just messing around really. Now the course is giving me a focus – to build my business.

The problem right now for me is that I am so excited by all that’s happening; sales are coming in, I may get a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, I’m meeting some amazing people through online networking; that I’m starting to get ‘scattered’ and losing focus.

I find it hard to know which job to do first, second etc. It doesn’t help that the kids are on summer vacation too and that I have the guilt of not ‘entertaining’ them all the time because all I want to do right now is build this business.

So, how am I handling this? On a good day (and the lovely Jess’s post has reminded me to do this again) I have learned to do the the following

  1. Take ACTION as per Jess’s blog post. Just do – don’t think about it.
  2. Make lists – I have lists for everything now – lists of must do’s and lists of little extras that need fitting in whenever.
  3. I’m finally using google calender to schedule everything – I’ve never been good at this but realized I needed to have a master diary when I forgot my eldest was being picked up by a friends mum and we weren’t here when they turned up – oh dear! Luckily they forgave me.

Life has got scarily and excitingly busy for me right now and I want to reap the rewards and reach my goals – I just have to remember to do all the above to help me cope and do it all.

What tactics do you use to get focused and ‘get the job done?’ Do you have any other hints and tips?

In the book Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting the author Renee Syler takes a look at how being a good-enough mum has become the new perfect for those of us who juggle raising children, working, keeping house and having some semblance of a personal life. I most definitely see myself as this kind of mum. I’m okay with pajama days, cereal at lunchtime sometimes, not sewing costumes and not baking. I give my girls lots of love and attention but I just am not a ‘super’ mum.

However, there are those days, where no matter what pep talk I give myself, I feel that I am not a good-enough mother. Today is one of those. My eldest went boating on a lake with a friend and her family and came home with horrible sun burn and felt quite ill last night. She had the shivers and felt dizzy as well as being terribly sore. And to top it all I was on a girls night out and got home to find her feeling so sick.

There the guilt starts. I should not have let her go knowing how easily my kids burn. I didn’t tell her often enough about how often to reapply sunscreen. Did she wear her rashie and use the sun screen? She did – but just didn’t reapply in the 4 hours they were in and out of the water and we live at high altitude so the sun is strong here.

No one ever warns you about how difficult this part of being a parent is. You have to let them go as they grow up but you still are responsible for keeping them safe from harm. I know it’s not really MY fault that she got burnt. I have nagged often enough about sun safety but the guilt remains. Luckily I still have a tub of sudacrem which, for those of you that don’t know it, is sold as a nappy rash cream but is the most wonderful antiseptic healing cream and she’s currently slathered in the stuff. Don’t know if I’ll let her go boating on a lake again though….. and I’m learning that the guilt will always be there.

What do you find difficult to deal with at times as your kids grow older and you have to let them go?

My youngest daughter, just turned 10, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up says ‘a mum’ – well actually she is now saying a mom unfortunately ;). Thinking about this led me to think about what influence I, as her mum, have on her and her sister and the whole nature versus nurture debate.

Youngest looking very comfortable with my BFF's baby

I sometimes feel guilty in this day and age for being a SAHM who has never really pursued a career. I wonder what I’m teaching my kids and I often tell her that she needs to find a career before she becomes a wife and mum. But does she? She is a natural around babies and kids just as I was as a kid. I always babysat, I was an AuPair for 5 years, did daycare in my home and always wanted to be a mum. Have I taught her this or was she born this way?  Oh the guilt of it all – lol

Well, I would feel guilty except I look at my eldest who is 12 1/2 and she is totally awkward around babies and young kids and wants to work in  movies as an actress, stylist or costume designer. Whoa! Where did that come from! Nothing in her upbringing instilled this into her she was always that way inclined – we have encouraged it but it’s innate.

Eldest looking rather less comfortable 🙂

So, back to my influence. I’m hoping I am showing them that they can can have it whichever way they choose. I may not have had a career as such but I always worked and provided for myself until WE decided I would stay at home with the girls. Even then I always did something to bring some money in and for my own self esteem. I did the daycare, I ran an ebay shop in the UK and I did some party plan direct selling in Australia. Now they see their mum working her butt off to grow her own business as a Coordinator for an AuPair program so it’s not as if I have sat around dusting and watching soaps all day.

I married a great Dad who allowed me to be the mum I wanted to be by taking on the responsibility of providing for us. Sure we took ‘traditional’ roles to a degree but mainly because I REALLY wanted to be with my kids.

Anyway – the upshot of this rambling is that I think nature way outweighs nurture. Both my kids have the same parents doing the same things and bringing them up the same way and one wants to be a mum, primarily, and the other wants a career in the movies.

What do you think your influence is on your kids with regards to what they want to be when they grow up? Do you think you have any or that their talents and wishes are innate?