Thursday, 23 April 2015

Confessions of a working mummy

Not unlike other paid and unpaid working mummies, my human fuel tank has its needle stuck somewhere between exhausted and seriously exhausted to the point of vague.

My batteries are rarely recharged.  My spark plugs like my home, need a good dusting and once over.

I often leave for work before my babies are awake and return home just before their bedtime. It is awful.

Below are ten confessions that I suspect many paid and unpaid working mums relate to - but perhaps rarely admit to:

1. The ankle biters do not take baths every night
2. I don't know if they really brush their teeth every day - despite threatening them that if they don't brush their teeth, they will fall out
3. I empower my children by giving them options:  'Brush your teeth, or they will fall out. You choose'.
4. I clean only what I can see, on the weekends
5. I iron only the ankle biters clothes because I don't want them going to nursery being the scruffy untidy kids
6. I don't iron my or Mr Lucky's clothes - we have to fight it out in the playground
7. I mix whites and and darks in the washing machine when I am seriously short of clothes
8. The only calm and quiet time is when I comb the ankle biters hair. I still remember how a brush feels when run through outdoor played / wind swept hair.  I am prepared to be late anywhere/ anytime to avoid my cherubs experiencing this
9. We have no routine. Ever. No matter how much I pretend or try to
10. The ankle biters still sleep with us and we love it and they too do

Not so bad, really, it isn't, no, of course it's not, is it???


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Put down the gun

I suffer from PTSD. Yes, another ailment to add to my many. No, I have never thankfully been in the line of true fire, and the following does not intend to be disrespectful to anyone that has ...but being back in work environment occasionally gives me flashbacks to a work environment of a few years ago.  And the story goes like this...

I sit at my desk and feel my heart beat faster each time she walks past my office.

I wonder why, at age with years of experience under my belt I experience such a knee jerk, projectile vomit, knot in my tummy reaction when my eyes follow her as she strides by. I loathe every moment I have to interact with her.

The trenches were dug and war announced before I even had time to warm my desk chair.

This woman had her war cry entrenched in her psyche years before she joined this work battlefield. She has 'Warning, Armed Mean Person' tattooed on her forehead.

I observe her guarding the CEO's office, waiting, watching for her opportunity to pounce.

Despite my many years of experience I am ready to walk out and run back into the loving attentive arms of my cherubs who with every breath make the world a better place.

Day in day out a steady stream of soldiers enter the office, ready to do their best, ready to commit their know how, their experience, keen to present their passion, excitement and dedication - that combined moves mountains. Collectively the professional spirit here is incredibly motivating and positive but that one poacher shoots down any sense of achievement, success or empowerment.

I watch fascinated wondering how and why I allow myself to react so badly to one person, and as try as I may to focus on the many other positive, dedicated professionals I work with, that I allow this one rotten egg to kill my professional mojo.

A bully in her own right, I have had to swallow my insecurities and stand up to her a few times.  I wonder if my reaction is because this woman has little sense of teamwork, team spirit. Is it because I find her intimidating or am I simply off my game?

Having spent the last few years dedicated to encouraging cherubs to laugh, love and explore,  I wonder if I have become so Mummyfried that I have become soft? By cherubs I also include my lovely little team I have the absolute honor to lead, yes I do mean my work children as well as my own birth children.

Each morning I slap on my war paint and get ready to face battle.  I wonder if everyone else feels the same way. I suck it up and face the day determined.  I join the troops with grey, somber faces.  It would be nice if we could all put down our weapons and just played nice. Now that would be a nice ending where we all lived happily ever corporate life after.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Empowerment or power down?

This week I threw caution to the wind and let myself go.

I felt free, limitless, unchained and alive.

I averaged on about three mini snickers bars a day.

I breathed out and let my stomach just hang.

I challenged myself to think on my feet, I forced myself to decide within three minutes, what to wear to work each morning.

I let nature take over in the hair (facial and on head) and nail department.

I worked back - very late, concentrating on work, rather then wondering how the girls and Mr Lucky were coping without me. There was no guilt.

I let the house rest, there were no daily after work whirlwind, guerrilla style tidy up drills.

While on my lunch break, rushing to get another snickers bar, I spotted my reflection in a shop window.

This unkept, tummy hanging over belt, jeans too long for chosen shoes, helmet haired, dangerously close to having a mono brow person had gone too far.

I forgot the snickers, returned to the office with my tummy sucked in. I tied my helmet hair back after slapping on a serious amount of hair wax (I always keep a stash at work for my 'hair out of control' days).  Folded up my jeans, and stapled them so they were the appropriate length for my shoes, ensuring they no longer swept the streets clean with each step. I created a 'to wear' and a 'to do' list for the rest of the week.

The  internal emergency siren stopped wailing. Order almost returned, I still need to make an appointment to lose the mono brow, starve myself for about two years to shed the snickers related ten kilo love handles and work on bringing on a guilt attack for focusing on work and not the family.

I am almost there.

Feeling empowered, dis-empowered or powered down? I am not quite sure.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Missing in very serious and important action

Since 1 January 2015 and perhaps a little before then, I have been missing in action (MIA). Aside from close friends, Mr Lucky and the ankle biters noticing, my MIA status suggests the following state of play:

1. Every one else has started the new year with much gusto and madness and they haven't had time to notice I am missing. Let's face it,  2015 to date has been operating on warp speed - I haven't had time to notice if anyone else is missing too.
2. My stats regarding my readership or followers are incorrect - nobody reads my blog.  I don't really want to explore this further but there is an ever so slight suggestion (I really hope not) that my blogs are.... floating in dead, unread, uninteresting space in the WebSphere.

In January I submitted a public service contract role application and got the job. The job, while mostly in English, requires Greek. This, like my readership statistics is a challenge and requires some attention.

Also since January I:
  • Packed up and moved South
  • Shipped my stuff over from London that has been in storage for close to two years
  • Unpacked it all, then gave most of it away as it was no longer needed
  • Found a new school, doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant etc
  • Registered as a freelancer so I could do the job and get paid  
  • Work a minimum of 12 hour days then come home and work off work with housework
  • Somewhere I manage to bathe the girls, shower, eat (well I always make time for that) and try to relax.
Did I mention I started work three days into our move interstate? We hadn't yet moved into our new home and were enjoying the comforts of a lovely, clean, organised hotel.

Hence my delay in blogging, and explanation as to why I am up on a school night at 3 am- finally doing what I love to do, write.


So while I am super woman coordinator of the year,  a few more things stand out:
  •  I am consistently running on empty / low energy /low attention so need to prepare 'to do' lists to stay organised 
  • This freelance short term full time contract deal is not as empowering or as fun as I thought
  • I miss my girls
  • They miss me
  • I miss writing for fun
  • I don't think any one else misses my writing but I am too tired to notice
  • I have become blonde with a badly maintained regrowth and lets leave any other hair discussion just here at this full stop.
  • I am still not tall and certainly not thin
  • I really really miss my girls and Mr Lucky
  • My girls have grown and I am missing their minute by minute development
  • I marvel at other mums who manage to breeze through it all with good hair, humour, career progression and no guilt 
  • My memory at work stinks. I have an enormous workload, no different to what I  had before the ankle biters, I don't remember names or details and have to write everything down... but I can tell you what the girls are wearing today, what they will wear and eat tomorrow.

Ms MIA Mummyfried is not juggling career and family well, I know something has to give. Between January and now - that give has been me. I am trying to initiate a search and rescue mission for me and will then try to  strike a balance.

It's on my 'to do' list. A delayed 2015 resolution to return to blogging, despite my pitiful readership and writing.

Watch this space (please!).