The Juggle

Ten days since my first blog…

And I have learnt a lot. First, how impressively organised, connected and supportive is the blogging community. Through my browsings of, for example, Tots 100 and Britmums, I find passion, shared vision, a real sense of community. The willingness to offer ideas, advice and wisdom is a reminder of the best of what humanity can be. It also makes me feel hopeful that I might just be able to turn my small but significant belief in my own ability into something that brings me regular creative satisfaction and a few of the readies… Hats off to all of you who do this week in week out.

The Juggle.

The juggle of parenting, the struggle to achieve a balance between kids and self, between what must be done and what we’d like to be doing, seems to be a major focus of many blogs I’ve started following this week. And I guess that is to be expected. Every generation of mums has hurdles, highs and lows, headaches to ease. I’m not saying that this generation has it any tougher than those who’ve gone before; I would not much fancy my existence minus the washing machine or the dishwasher. But for those of currently in the thick of the jungle that is raising small children, our biggest challenge appears to be fighting our way out of the long grass known as ‘getting it all done and still feeling like you’re in there, somewhere’.

Just a few days ago I had cause to ask my hubby to have the kids for a big chunk of the day. I was gone from nine in the morning till around three in the afternoon. It was a rainy kind of day, and after a busy week, it wasn’t a day for rushing off to the indoor play centre or the zoo. So they stayed at home, played, read stories, kept an eye on the sport on the TV, and waited for me to get back. And just as we ladies would do, in the midst of all this, he got a couple of loads of laundry on and cleared up the debris from our mini fireworks party with friends the night before. No doubt he also had his laptop on as well, checking in with work stuff. Taking a moment, he posted on facebook, (with tongue firmly in cheek), that he was a Domestic God for multi-tasking so successfully. Friends bounced back that indeed he was, and a giggle was had by all. When I got round to reading his post that evening, I commented that this one day of his was just like all of mine, or words to that effect, -adding my appreciation so that he knew it wasn’t a dig. But my point was this;  like most mums I know, I am every day, every moment, switching levels between the nurture of my kids (which has multiple levels in itself), domestic tasks, freelance work (that isn’t writing and isn’t fun), my voluntary position as Committee Chair for my daughter’s pre-school, family administrator, and so on, and so on. And while there is a buzz that goes with getting it all done, and my Buddhist friend would remind me of the attachment one can have to the busy-ness itself; but I am left wondering , almost daily, how a mother’s  life got like this, got so, well, crazed and hectic. After all, I hadn’t been off for six hours having a back massage and a manicure, I’d been holding a meeting with staff from the pre-school, and food shopping. Hardly what you’d call ‘time out’.

So I think it isn’t surprising that bloggers blog about the juggle, not least because it is soothing to know that others are juggling while at the same time wondering why the juggle is such a juggle. If we all keep tapping away about it, the solution might just untangle itself from our blur of words. I look forward to it.

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