On International Women’s Day tell us what your juggle looks like?
Today is International Women’s Day.
It began like any other for me. My husband’s alarm went off at 5.25am. Don’t ask me why he doesn’t “round it up” to the 5.30am mark. I don’t know because I am asleep, having worked late the night before on my blog and this one.
Before he leaves the house to make the two-hour journey to work in the big smoke, he kisses me goodbye and raises the blind to let the morning light into our bedroom. In my head I’m all sexy bed hair and alluring eyes. In reality, I’m all drool and dark circles. Yep, I’m bringing sexy back.
I reach for my iPad on my beside table. I’m an hour behind my fellow Justb. bloggers (damn daylight savings and Queensland’s lack of it!) so I check Facebook to see if there’s something urgent to respond to. I check that my daily Styling You blog post has published on schedule and answer any Tweets that might have come in over night or early in the morning.
I know. I SHOULD be meditating. Or doing a 20 minute weight session in our lounge room. But I don’t. This works for me as part of my organisation of the day. At 7am I’m up and set to making school lunches, dishing up breakfast, finding lost hats, signing notes, with the aim of getting out the door at 8am.
By 8.30 (8.40am if I’ve stopped to grab a coffee or fill up the car because I’ve made it to school on fumes), I’m back at my desk. And most days I won’t stray far from there until 3pm.
Depending on what day it is, it’s then on to swimming, soccer training, a chiro appointment or listening to readers while chopping up dinner.
Dinner is late in our house. About 7pm. This way my commuting husband gets to join in the conversations of the day. Consequently our youngest, who’s six, gets to stay up way later than his big brother and sister did at his age. (And don’t they remind me of that?!).
By 8pm he’s in bed, the teenagers are studying
By Friday night, things can be, shall we say, a little tense. I’m tired and cranky from doing all the mum stuff all week. He’s tired and cranky from the commute. If I’ve stopped at the bottle shop on the way home from school things are a whole lot better.
Friday night is all about the re-group in our house. The catch of the breath. The jump off the treadmill of the Monday-to-Friday.
It’s a routine we’ve been
muddling through doing together for almost four years. In that time, the biggest respect I’ve gained is not for me. Or my husband. It’s for other women and their families doing whatever “juggle” that THEIR life dishes up.
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievement of women all around the world. And today I’d like to celebrate the juggle that women do EVERY day.
Not in a pity party kind of way. More in a wow, look what we can do kind of way. Because that’s what women do. We get on with it and do what has to be done. What we need to do.
In my circle of friends and family, I have stories of juggling that make my Friday night collapse look like a sunset champagne picnic at the beach:
… There’s the mum of two boys, aged five and three, who runs a part-time home daycare business at her house while her husband is away for work two weeks out of every four.
There’s the mum of two school-aged boys, whose husband flies to remote Western Australia for two weeks before flying home for one, while she’s running a successful small business.
There’s the mum from school who found the fly-in, fly-out arrangement didn’t work for her family, so they uprooted and moved to the Western Queensland community in which her husband now works.
There’s the mum I’ve known since school, who married her teenage sweetheart and is now working to keep her family grounded as she starts a new life on her own.
There’s the mum who’s separated from the father of their pre-school-aged child, trying her very best to raise a daughter and run a business …
See, the thing is: we all have a juggle story to tell. A story of how we, as women, keep the balls in the air of this game they call life.
On March 8, 2012, I’d like all women to stand up and take a bow. And then please sit back down again and share your work-life-family juggle.
What’s your story?Photo: Snippet and Ink