Friday, November 26, 2010

friday forte: how

my in tray tonight, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

I'm sure it's unintentional, but have you noticed how many mums who appear to "have it all" never seem to mention how they actually do what they do? We hear about scheduling, and flexibility, and nods are given to equal parenting and quality time. Mentions are made of delegating automated tasks like housecleaning, laundry and even meal prep. Date nights are written in dual diaries. Good night calls are phoned in on business trips.

But very little about who's looking after the children, though the childfulness of the mum is repeatedly stressed.

This is a complete assumption on my part, but I'm reading between the lines and guessing there is a burden of guilt here in having your own business/career and contracting out your parenting. I'm betting that the price of "having it all" is "having to appear that you are doing it all" ... and that includes all the mummy stuff.

Women in general, and mothers in particular, are open to ridiculous amounts of judgement in their daily lives. Everyone, it seems, is an instant expert on what they are doing wrong and why it is all their fault. Avoiding criticism and judgement is a natural human trait ... but come on ladies, 'fess up!

In the interests of full disclosure from someone who is not remotely "having it all" but would like to think she is on the way to it, here is my "how".


back door kid
childcare circa 1960's; indoors = one v frustrated mummy

You will get very little done if you try to be a parent day in day out with no break. Multi-tasking is wonderful for laundry, food prep and diapers, but it's crap for writing anything more than a "more milk" note or throwing toys in the toybox. Get real and get childcare if you want to get anything meaningful done while the littla darlings are underfoot 24/7.

Once naps vanished (phoot!) I've had at least one full day of childcare in my arsenal for the last five years. It's let me build my tiny craft business and concentrate on longer projects. There was a brief and dreadful period with no after school care earlier this year (shudders at the memory) but now we've ramped up to two full days, yippee!

Prior to this, we made use of childminding at local gyms and pools for sanity time (him and me) but this was before I became a mompreneur (gee, I do dislike that word). I could not have managed to develop my tiny business without this external help, and conversely I think I would be a worse mum now (is that possible?) if I hadn't set this time aside.

wee guy asleep again
the only work i could do during naptime was to sketch the Wee Guy

Yes, you can work during nap time (but this stops too soon).
Yes, you can work in the evenings (and into the wee small hours while your husband languishes ...).
Yes, you can work alongside your child (we do this sometimes but it only works for certain projects).

Childcare. It's not a dirty word, and it's not a sign of defeat.

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