Work-life Balance

When I was a full time worker I used to look forward to the days of being a stay at home mum. I figured it’d be a nice break from my busy life. Hahahaha. I hadn’t banked on having twins when I used to have that daydream, but even so I was kidding myself. Today is a fairly typical day in my life.

5am – My alarm goes off but I’ve already been awake for 15 minutes. I almost always wake up before my alarm and think about the dream that I’ve just been having. This morning it was about an old guy on a motorbike who was chasing my mother in her car, trying to get a key-drive that I had given her. A fairly standard dream. So when the alarm goes I get up to work. I always get up at 5am to get in an hour before the kids wake up. The early morning hour is for admin. I clear my emails, sort out any problems that happened over night (day for most of you), check for new articles to post on our Facebook page, make a couple of tweets, that sort of thing. I used to do the tweeting later in the day but after a couple of beers one day I made the fatal error of tweeting a personal message on the company account. It went along the lines of “Kids in bed, taking a beer and my laptop out onto the deck. Yup, I DO call this work.” Whoops… So now I do that part of my job in the morning when I’m sharp.

6am – Tuesday is a gym day. I head into the city for an hour of driving my body into the ground. It’s the only time of the day that I have to myself. My favourite part is the drive home. I sit there soaking in endorphins and sweat and watch the sun rise over Auckland city. I never fail to think about how bloody lucky I am when I see that sunrise.

8am – I can gauge how my day is going to turn out when I walk in the door from the gym. I either hear laughing or crying. Today was worse than usual. There was crying… and there was mess. Somehow Shaun had accidentally pulled Hunter’s nappy off with her sleep-suit and didn’t notice until she crapped all over the furniture. He told me that he’d cleaned it up. I asked for clarification on the clean up. He’d given it a wipe with a towel apparently. Hygenic. I grabbed a quick shower before he left for work. Then I did some housewife stuff for a while with the kids helping. By helping I mean pulling things out of the dishwasher and hitting each other with them.

9:30am – I had to do some quick planning for a meeting later in the day. I did that with Israel on my knee because he was the victim of a biting attack. The biting was the result of an argument over one of the dishwasher items. Hunter is a bit feisty – she’s going to be a forum admin one day.

10am – We got in the car and went to Mainly Music, which is singing and dancing for babies. After half an hour of some of the most humiliating behavior I’m ever liable to do (and that is a big call), the kids sit down and have morning tea. We then have the drive home. The drive involves some pretty sharp multi-tasking. I have to keep both kids awake so that they can have lunch before their sleep. My day depends on this carefully orchestrated feat of timing. We get home and I feed them the lunch I prepared during the morning housework session and then put them to bed.

12pm – In a split second I turn from mother to professional and thanks to the wonder of Skype, I telecommute to the office 2600km away for my weekly Team Leaders’ Meeting. I spend an hour debating development priorities and letting the others know that all is well with my part of the business. In another feat of multi-tasking I create and eat a sandwich during this meeting – my first meal of the day.

1pm – This happens to be now. I have decided to spend half an hour blogging since I’m feeling on top of my work stuff. When I’ve finished this, I’ll check in on the forums and make sure that there isn’t anything that needs my attention. Then I’ll make some notes for my next work blog post and put together the details of a campaign that I’m going to run next month. I’ll work on that until one of the kids cries.

3pm – Israel threw a temperature this morning at music so I’m going to take him to the doctor. I think he has an ear infection. 3pm is the worst time of the day to drive anywhere. It’s the stay-at-home-mum’s rush hour because everyone is picking their kid up from school. I’ll give the kids a box of raisins in the car. Raisins are a wondrous thing. They will keep a shitty child entertained for half an hour.

4pm – We’ll be home from the doctor by then and the kids will be grizzly. I’ll put them in the stroller and take them for a walk. We’ll get milk and go for a cruise in the park. Grizzling is much more tolerable when you’re not in the house. When we get home it’ll be time to feed them and bath them and put them to bed. Then I’ll fold nappies and cook dinner before I head out for the evening.

7pm – I’m meeting some friends for a drink in town. When every day is the same, it doesn’t make any difference whether you go out for drinks on a Tuesday or a Friday.

9pm – I’m going to see a movie that was made by a guy I knew back in my varsity days. It would seem that he’s doing pretty well for himself. Perhaps he didn’t drink as much as I did back in those days. It’s hard to remember.

11:30pm – I’ll come home and in theory this would be time to perform my wifely duties but I can guarantee you that Shaun will be asleep. Que cera.

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