No one ever said that life was going to be easy. Juggling it all as a busy parent is hard, whether you are working or a stay at home mum or dad. There are so many balls in the air and in our hands all the time. Regardless, the same balls still need to be balanced and juggled and some of them fall on the ground, others bounce down the street never to be seen again.
There are always priorities and things to do, places to be, friends to catch up with, sports games to attend, award ceremonies to clap and take photos at and so on. That isn’t even counting the calls from school for sick kids, grocery shopping, and housework. Often something has to give and it does. The balls drop and we just simply can’t handle it all. There are tried and tested signs that you are doing the juggling act as a parent. Absolute telltale signs that you are juggling it all as a busy parent:
- You are repeatedly running out the door at hare speed carrying 12 things, which generally aren’t yours, even though the entire house has been up since 6 am and had a full 2 hours to get ready for school, work or whatever is planned that day. And someone still forgets something.
- Your lounge room constantly looks just like a washing factory with at least 4 baskets of washing ready to fold and iron. You hope that the pile will decrease because people have run out of clothes and will just simply grab and go. The wrinkled look is in right?
- You and your children arrive at your destination all with milk mustaches from breakfast, and crumbs down the front because no one remembers to clean their face or brush their teeth. 2 hours really isn’t enough time for anyone to get dressed and eat breakfast, something has to give.
- At 6pm you realise the fridge is bare because you forgot to take the meat out of the freezer and who does the grocery shopping around here? Oh that would be you, but there were 25 other things on the list today and that one mustn’t have been important enough. Even the children got the end piece of bread on their sandwich today (shock horror!).
- It’s Friday and you realise that Johnny was meant to have 3 assignments and a space ship built without any help despite having had the information for 4 weeks.
- The family room and kitchen area look like the cupboards and the entire contents of your house just vomited themselves everywhere. You are not quite sure where half the stuff lives and how it is everywhere but apparently, everyone is busy when they get home and stuff needs to be used. Even if you clean up, it will be at least 8 hours until it all looks the same again. Is 8 hours optimistic?
- The fruit bowl has 3 brown apples and 2 mandarins that look like something out of a science experiment on how long it takes to turn from orange to gray to bright green. Best to not risk the mandarins tomorrow.
- You realise 16 days ago your best friend tried calling you and you never returned their phone call. Thankfully she is in exactly the same boat and completely understands. It then takes you a further 2 months before you actually speak and organise to catch up. The catch up ends up being 4th March 2018 because no one has a spare weekend until then.
- You think of a new business adventure which consists of making a CD of repetitive phrases for mums that just scream out “get your shoes on!” and “I’m leaving in 5 minutes and you still haven’t brushed your teeth!”. There is no doubt it would be a hot seller by croaky mums all over the world.
- Your car resembles some sort of food facility where sample pieces of popcorn, biscuit, and banana are left in strange and odd places for someone to perhaps sample later. Every day you curse day care for the endless amounts of sand that consume the car. One day you won’t be able to see out the windows there will be so much sand.
But in between all this, there is a love in the organised chaos, the fine balance that never really ever balances out. The constant war zone living is home. The dining room doesn’t resemble a dining room anymore and the bench tops are all filled with paper, Lego and a sandwich from last week. But you wouldn’t have it any other way, because it is your chaos that at the heart of it is a warm, loving environment that is full of amazing family memories, along with 700 Woolworths Collector cards. Thank you so much, Woolworths.
The children don’t see the mess. They see you. Amazing juggling parents doing everything they can to raise amazing kids. Whether you are working or not working, we do it all because we worry and we care. We are amazing juggling, busy parents and you should give yourself a big pat on the back.