Sunday, 19 June 2011

It is all a balancing act.........

I returned to the workforce this year, last having been employed in paid work in 2003 - it was a nice long break and gave me the luxury of being a full-time stay at home mum to M1.  Unfortunately, with everything going up, finances were getting a little too tight and a work opportunity came up that seemed just right - almost too good to be true. Time to take the plunge and become a "Working Mum".

Wow!  What a steep learning curve!  After six months, it is still all about juggling and balancing.  Balancing the desire to be at home with M2 (who now does "school" 2 days a week), balancing wanting to do a better job at work but not wanting to increase my hours, finding the time amongst it all to spend with hubby, washing, ironing, school commitments etc etc.  You all know what I am talking about.  I didn't realise it would be this challenging.  I have come to realise that in this world of being constantly busy - we seem to spend a lot of our time being busy "being busy". 

That is to say - will the world stop if you have to order tuckshop today instead of making a lunch?  Will it end if you really don't send that work email out today or return that one extra phone call.  No, it won't.  Quite simply we have ourselves to blame for a lot of this busyness.  Technology doesn't help either.  We are always available (I will be on email, facebook, mobile if you need me).  Well guess what, business's were able to thrive 5 years ago without their workforce being constantly at their beck and call.

Is it time we said, "my business hours are 9 - 5" and actually meant it???  I don't know, as I am as bad as the next person.  I hate not (dare I say it) over-achieving at my job.  I hate having a pile of washing left unfolded (but I often do).  What I need to remember though, is my stress level impacts everyone around me.  It is up to me to say STOP.  If M1 or M2 ask me to, and I am in the middle of trying to do something, unfortunately I am likely to snap at them - something that is not their fault becomes a sad thing for them.  They didn't ask mummy to go to work.

So from now on I am trying to slow it down to a reasonable "busyness".  One that suits the whole family.  M1 and M2 are not going to remember that suddenly I could afford tickets to the Ben 10 Show - what they will remember is that as a parent I was always available to them.  That is a much better legacy.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Importance of Friends

Recently I returned home after a night out with some dear girlfriends and started to reflect about just how important these friendships are.  I was still feeling sick and had a definite case of  "poor me" syndrome, but with the encouragement of hubby, went out anyway.  I ALWAYS feel so much better after a catch up with "the girls".

I feel very fortunate to say, I have at least 6 "girls" who I would call "friends for life".  You know the ones, friends that, no matter what, would always offer a helping hand, cup of coffee or glass of wine - or all three at once, depending on the situation.

These friends have all come into my life at various times and in various ways and are all important to me in different ways.  Some live a long way away, some almost next door and some I don't speak to more than 3 or 4 times a year.  BUT whenever we get together, whether for the aforementioned coffee/wine/chat or sometimes just a brief hello at school drop-of, it is like yesterday - and like we have never been apart (and not in a scary stalker kind of way!).

What always strikes me about these encounters, as we invariably end up talking about the latest challenge we are facing in our lives as mums (we are all mums of children from 6 weeks through to almost teenagers) is that at any time in our lives we are all facing something difficult.  It may be that one child is having trouble with homework or someone just can't get time to do a decent grocery shop, or someone is facing a very real and life altering sadness.  Whatever it is, this is making their life that much harder. 

Without my girlfriends, life would be a bleak place.  The importance of these friendships should never be underestimated.  We provide each other sounding boards, pats on the backs, kicks up-the-bums,advice and sometimes just a hug and a smile.

So what is the point of all this rambling.  It is to say THANK YOU to all my wonderful girlfriends.  You enrich my life, keep me focused and help me maintain my sometimes shaky grip on sanity.  You make my world (and the life of my children) a much better place to be.  Thanks!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Just another day....

So today was meant to be about me and M2... but as it turns out the whole family is feeling very under the weather and that meant a day at home fror M1, after a trip to the doctor.

What I am wondering however, is what DOES is take to get my children to have a sleep through the day?  They are both so obviously unwell and tired (M1 last night even told us he didn't have enough energy to go to training - unheard of for him) yet, when it comes to rest time, suddenly they can't go to sleep.  I GIVE UP!  I have tried every trick in the book, but to no avail.

Today I needed to threaten M2 with "grumpy mum" (more on that another time) if she did not stop playing with her toys and just close her eyes and go to sleep.  Eventually she did, but by then it was after 2.30pm which means, even if we delay her bedtime she will be up late and then up early again tomorrow morning.  Arrgh!!!  How do you cope with the non-sleepers in your house?  I would love to hear....