I am finding it quite a stretch to balance my life. I know it could be far worse, and in a lot of ways I have it easy, but still.
It seems as if the sum total of output required for Tertia the mother, Tertia the wife, Tertia the employee and Tertia the individual add up to way more than a 100%. In other words, somewhere along the line, some thing has got to give.
Perhaps it is possible for some women to achieve total balance, maximum output on each of these roles, but I doubt it. Or at least I am not able to.
Some of these roles will have to suffer, and life becomes a matter of priority and urgency. There are roles that I can compromise on, there are roles I can cruise by on with minimal effort and there are roles that require my full attention.
The mothering role is a role that requires most of my energy. It is not forever, I will be able to redirect some of that energy back into other areas of my life as the babes get bigger, but for now, they need me most. I am very fortunate in that I have Rose to bolster my efforts in this role. With her help during the day, I feel as if the babes are having their needs met. I know some of you might disagree, those that think that only the mother should look after the babies. I don’t agree, lets agree to disagree.
At the same time, I cannot totally let go of Tertia the employee. I need my salary, and being in a ‘managerial’ role means that I have to add some form of professional value to my organization, I can’t afford to slack off. I look in amazement at some of the highly focused, career-driven women and wonder how on earth they manage it, how do they manage the mother-career woman balance*? I can’t work late, I can’t attend social functions. My ability to travel on business is also severely curtailed. Where as I used to work 10-hour days, I am now working 7.5-hour days. I am the only woman in my division and all of the guy’s wives stay at home, which means they can put in the long hours, do the travelling etc. I do feel as if this puts me at a disadvantage for career development, but that’s just part of the whole deal I suppose. I need a SAH wife as well.
Then there is Tertia the wife. This is one area where I have cut back, where my role has changed quite a bit. Again, not forever. Thank goodness I have a very low maintenance husband. Honestly, I am very fortunate. The man is practically self-sufficient. He doesn’t need a cooked meal every night, he doesn’t need me to pamper him, to stroke his ego etc. Of course he still needs me to stroke something else. Haha. A women’s work is never done. Seriously though, I know from hearing about other marriages, I am very lucky that Marko isn’t one of those husbands who are all needy and stuff. Hell, he is so low maintenance, he doesn’t even take up much space.
Unfortunately, it is poor old Tertia the individual that takes the biggest knock. Again, not forever, and Tertia the individual is the most understanding, she doesn’t mind being last in the queue for a while.
Most days I manage my life quite well, but there are some days that it seems that every one wants a piece of me – my kids, my husband, Rose, my employer, my family, my friends (thank gawd my friends are also v low maintenance). It has been a particularly hectic week – work is so busy, I have an event that I have to put together for next week with international speakers, the babes have been a bit sick’ish, Adam has been keeping me awake, Marko is stressed cos he is about to start his new job, my parents left for overseas this week etc etc, then my sister sends me a note saying that I am being a crap friend. Sigh. I know its true. It’s just that I feel all shared out. Everyone has their piece, there is not much left to go around. And to be honest, that makes it hard when, after a long day, my darling husband feels like a bit of action. I feel like saying ‘not you too, please! I have nothing left to give’. But I don’t.
As I say, I have it relatively easy. I have help at home, I have a v low maintenance husband, a supportive family, a great job. And I still find it a stretch sometimes. I don’t know how people who have it worse off than me do it. I take my hat off to them, especially the single moms.
Do you sometimes feel like this? Like every one wants a piece of you, and sometimes there are not enough pieces left to give.
*The whole career/work/mother thing is a post that is brewing in my head. Watch this space.
(If I sound unhappy, I am not, I wrote this during the week when things were a bit rough. I am actually damn skippy at the mo’.)