Now, this is going to be a post that most readers who are working mothers are probably going to enjoy. It would be cursory of me to say that I wouldn’t be surprised if my editor mails me to say that I’ve had such huge feedback from this post, but I’m too modest and realistic for that. Also, I’m not even sure yet what I’ll be writing and how the rest of this post is going to pan out. One thing I do know, as the title has shown, I’ll be sharing my own thoughts on how I manage to schedule my work and family life.
As always, I’m not going to be handing out advice. What is hoped is that my experiences of juggling acts to which all or most of you should be able to relate to if you have similar circumstances, will be of value to others, particularly those that seem to be struggling with the work/life experience, whether they are married with kids or not. Since my high school days, I became a legend in my own time. I was very good at planning and drawing up schedules.
In fact, I sometimes treated it as something of a hobby. The jokes and remarks from my disorganized brothers and school mates did not deter me. In later years, my organizing abilities helped me to overcome the challenges set by uncaring managers who cursorily passed on last-minute assignments to workers without considering their welfare. While I was always miffed by their uncaring behavior, I simply got on with my work. By the time my future husband and I got to know each other well as a couple, this was one attraction of my characteristic personality that he enjoyed.
At one point, he even dreamily suggested that we would make a formidable team. He would manage our finances while I would handle our family diary. And nearly fourteen years later it has been a case of so far, so good. There have been some uphill battles here and there, but juggling our lives has been manageable. It’s working well with my daughter too. The boy, mainly because of his young age, still needs some work. But in her first years of school, she always seemed to struggle to get up in the morning.
I prepared myself for this. So, apart from having a manageable diary in place, I made sure that there were contingencies in place too. It wasn’t all plain sailing in the beginning, she was late for school several times, but as she matured and blossomed into the young lady that she’s fast becoming, she could not wait to get to school. Now she’s the one coaxing my husband to get a move on. Of course, I’ve left long before anyone else has snapped out of their dreamlands.
Unless you are the milkman, no-one gets up earlier than me. Now, whether you are married or single, I’d like to draw your attention to this thought that just occurred to me. Scheduling work and family life, of course, is vitally important. But what about striking a fine balance between work and life? I must admit that my husband and I haven’t got this area of our life sorted out just yet. But we are working towards it. Please excuse that unintended pun.
We are working towards achieving the goal of working to live, and reversing the challenge that most of us are still faced with; having to live to work. I understand completely that there are still millions of women around the world who just have no choice in life but to work in order to put food on the table for their impoverished families. And these are the lucky ones. At least they still have work. What about all the others who have nothing at all? What happens to them?
One can only imagine. And unless you have blinkers on your eyes, have deliberately pulled the wool over your own eyes, or buried your head in the sand, then most of you can surely see just how bad it is for them out there. But for those of us who have that power to make positive changes in our lives, to make a difference and to help create an ideal world, well, we should get on with persevering. Admittedly, as I’ve already shown, it remains a case of; easier said than done.
All we can do is carry on trying, hey. It seems ironic that I’m such an effective planner. You would have thought that by now I would have reached my milestone. But not quite. And in any case, life is not perfect. To get to that desired point in your life requires the enduring virtue of patience. It also requires determination. Otherwise you could be condemning yourself to a life of always saying; if only I had done this, or if only I had tried that, and so on and so forth.
Another great addition to your weekly schedule – I have mine in the kitchen where everyone can see it – and your personal and work diary, is the daily journal. It’s usually a personal one in which only you will be reading from every now and then to review the progress you’ve made in your life or address the shortcomings that still exist. But I think the journal could become an open book if you have the right personality for that. In fact, the blog is an ideal platform for this.
You write always from a personal point of view, sharing your deepest thoughts and secrets. You always write anonymously. That way you protect yourself and your family. But think about it. Somewhere in the world, someone might gain value in her life and be able to address her own challenges by being privy to your thoughts and expressions. You don’t have to be an agony aunt. All you should be is just be yourself.