Age: 9 1/2 months
I like: Trying to climb the stairs, big plastic bottles, boobs, blueberry mush
I have been back at work for four weeks now and I am realising that more than anything else being a full time working mum is a juggling act. There are lots of balls that need to stay in the air, all of them important and trying to figure out what to do and when is the real challenge.
There’s all the commitments of work, which at their simplest require things like being in on time and being awake and answering important questions about complicated things. Sometimes I feel like I am doing this quite well. I make good points in meetings, I have interesting insights, people ask for my opinion. I Other times I feel like I am away with the fairies when I am at work. I lose my train of thought in the middle of sentences. I drink lots and lots and lots of coffee. I sometimes read back my emails and think, “what on earth was I getting at?”. I hope I am getting away with it. So far no one seems to be too bothered. Maybe I was just as scatty before I had a baby…
Being mum also means being at home on time, which means leaving work on time. Little O is normally pretty tired when I get home so I only really get to feed and bath him and then put him to bed, which means I spend very little time with him during the week. He is always super excited to see me and he still seems to love my company so I hope that I am juggling that ball too. I do feel a bit sad that I am not his number one person anymore and that I never have any new discoveries first. Whenever I think I have discovered something new, like the latest tooth, Mr O already knows.
On top of work and mummery, there is housekeeping and all the random personal admin I need to get done… silly things like buying shampoo and getting my nose ring changed before we go on holiday so I’m allowed to do tree climbing. Mr O does loads of the housework but since Little O is so lively it’s hard to do it while he is home alone with him and once he goes to bed at night cleaning upstairs is pretty much a no go or we’ll wake him up. Plus… tired. I guess our house probably looks like that of most people who have a small child… organised chaos on the brink of disorganised chaos?
And of course the last thing in the mix is my relationship with Mr O. He also works, but around my job so it often means evenings and weekends. This means our time together is quite limited and it’s very rare that we’re alone for long… and we’re knackered. It’s not always easy and the temptation to take out frustrations about the other parts of your life on your partner is massive. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we really don’t.
I think it is impossible to keep all the balls in the air at once and inevitably a few of them are going to end up on the floor. The hard part is learning to let things go and not expect all to be perfect all the time. I am working on it. Some days are better than others and I am quietly ignoring the balls I am not even trying to juggle… like exercise…