When did I join the circus? Iím guessing it started about five years ago when I had my daughter, followed by my son two and half years after that. As all mums know once kids come along so does our ability or lack thereof sometimes, to juggle.
On the red ball we have our careers and how they may have changed since we were given the extra professional title of mummy. On the green ball we now have our beautiful children and all their needs and wants, on the orange ball we have our husbands and what use to be known as romance and a sex life. Then letís not forget the blue ball with washing, cleaning, cooking, lunch packing and ironing. We may often drop the last ball but Iím going to include it anyway, itís the purple ball, ourselves.
We canít deny it, when children come into our lives things changes and like any change some of it is good, some of it is hard and some of it is absolutely amazing. There is no right or wrong when it comes to work life and children, whether you are a full time mum, work part time or work fulltime it all involves a juggling act.
I currently work three days a week, and from my point of view I find three days is not enough professionally and yet itís more than enough as a mum. I struggle with the balance all the time. There is no right or wrong just what is right for your family. I also acknowledge that for some mums it is not always a choice either and we just have to make the best of an undesirable situation.
Iím going to share a couple of tips that work for me when juggling the red, green, orange, blue and purple balls:
Tips for the juggling mum
1. Be Organised Ė I know there is a few people reading this point and laughing at me but I really believe that it helps. If you can prepare things the night before a work day it really helps with the morning rush. Whether that is making lunches, packing school bags or just getting your outfit ready so you donít have stand in front of your wardrobe for fifteen minutes in the morning. You will find that that if you are calmer so are the kids.
2. Forewarning children- Iím a strong believer in routine for children. If my children know what is happening the next day and what I need them to do things always go more smoothly. I always make the tasks sound exciting and my daughter in particular loves to be prepared and organised.
3. Find time to talk- Make sure that you still find time to talk with your husband and do something together even if it is something as simple as completing the Who Weekly crossword together- yes, thatís what we do over dinner!
4. Let things go- It is ok if some weeks the washing piles up and the ironing isnít done. It is ok if the house work has to wait and beds are not made. I have to admit this is the ball I drop the most as Iím a self-confessed neat freak and I like everything perfect but Iím going to take my own advice and try to let this ball fall occasionally just so I can keep the others in the air.
5. Make time for yourself- I know sometimes this is difficult but I find that if I have some time for myself Iím better at juggling the other four balls. Sometimes it just taking a bath on my own, or a glass of wine and a girlie movie on a Friday night and I always make sure I get to at least one fitness class each week.
You deserve it!
Just remember it is ok if we drop a ball sometimes, in fact itís ok if we drop more than one ball at a time. It is all part of being a mum. Be kind on yourself when you drop the ball and be proud of yourself when you manage to hold all five balls in the air at once.