HomeWorking MothersThe Juggling Act: Why You Are Doing Ok As A Working Mum
Posted in Working Mothers on 26th July 2011

The Juggling Act: Why You Are Doing Ok As A Working Mum

“I’m currently trying to prepare for a week’s break in York. with the first three days alone – no kids, no husband! My husband should be making sure that all is in order whilst I’m away for the first three days before he drives up to York with the children to meet me. The reality is somewhat different! It is me who has done their packing, prepared their meals, drawn up lists of all the bits and bobs they have to remember for the few days of school. I’ve even written up an itinerary for their journey. Once I’ve done all this, I need to prepare for a client meeting just before I leave. I wonder if, after all this, I’ll remember my own packing for the break?!”

Whether you’ve ever been for a break without your kids and/or spouse or not, I bet you are familiar with the list of things that one of my clients wrote about above! As a coach who specialises in life coaching for women who juggle and spin (i.e. working mothers!), I receive this sort of exasperated “I end up doing it all” email frequently.

Let’s look at one or two of the things on my own list at the moment…

– Today I’ve put the flour in the middle of the kitchen table to remind me to make up pancake batter for tonight (oldest son reminded me it’s Shrove Tuesday)

– I’ve got 4 pieces of paper from school on the notice board, each of which require action and/or planning:

BikeIt Day – Wednesday after half term – put reminder in diary to take son to school on bike that day.

Cross Country (4pm Thursday after half term – parents must transport children)

PTA Events – School games evening (n.b. volunteer to help), kids’ cinema night, donate prize for school games evening(something beach themed! ???! ) Non uniform day (I’ve lost the note with the date on that – must find out)

– I need to speak to youngest son’s nursery carers about his “Learning Journey” as I missed Parents’ Evening (OH was away – and I wasn’t allowed to go to the parents’ evening with children)

And the above is just a tiny selection of life right now! This isn’t an exhaustive list of the upcoming school dates and activities.

Then there are the things like “chase up Jim for quote to get fence fixed”, “chase up bathroom shop about replacement bath panel”, “get quote to have front door fixed”

It goes without saying that there are chores to be done daily, weekly.. the shopping, the meal planning (or lack of planning), the washing, the ironing (I delegate that), da di da di da! On and on it goes!

And we won’t even go there for the never ending business to do list!

But the point is, I cope. You cope. We cope. More than cope in fact – most of the time, mums just get on with it, apparently gliding like swans to the casual observer, but quite probably paddling frantically just below the surface.

We juggle all our ball so well, whilst still finding some spare time to wallow in guilt and get anxious about not having fed our kids their fivefruit and veg a day – phew! That’s 2 down, 3 to go, but 1 will do..)

And so, in this article, I simply want to reassure you:

“You are doing more than ok. We are all juggling and spinning together”

And today, I acknowledge each of you for all that you are and all that you do.

Last week, one of my professional coaching clients sent me one of those emails that do the rounds and, having just read it this morning, it seems appropriate to include it here to remind you of all the things you achieve each day as a mom – and to make you smile.

Fellow juggling, spinning, remembering, forgetting, succeeding, failing, being, doing mums – I salute you! ….


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of ‘pretend’ bills with not enough money.

Each man must also ensure that they have allowed sufficient budget to buy the weekly groceries.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time–no emailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor’s appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Emergency Room.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a school function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished, and eyebrows groomed .

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, backaches, headaches, have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings and church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting. They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:30 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: Each child’s birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size, doctor’s name, the child’s weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child’s favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear, and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off theisland based on performance. The last man wins only if…he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment’s notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years, eventually earning the right to be called Mother!”

Right, I’m off to make pancake batter! Enjoy your pancakes if you’ve got the batter, but if you haven’t, then cut yourself some slack and buy ready made. You are doing more than enough!

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