Having it all

You might have realised over the past year how much I struggled to get used to having a second child. It’s not Robin I had problems getting used to (she’s the easiest baby I’ve ever known) but getting organised enough to be able to handle the needs of a very demanding seven year old, the obvious round-the-clock needs of a baby, housework, writing/proofreading and the small matter of my relationship with the husband. For a good ten months, I was completely overwhelmed. Things started looking up when we sleep trained Robin to start having two naps a day (the nights were never a problem) and I had a little more time to dedicate exclusively to Maia and to catch up with the housework.

Just when I started feeling a little more in control of things, my workload started increasing. This was something I had been working towards and I couldn’t be happier about the way things are going BUT I recently started feeling overwhelmed and very frustrated again. Robin wakes up the same time I do and all day I’d be cooking, feeding, cleaning up the constant mess, driving them around, washing them and playing with them. By the time both girls were asleep I’d be exhausted and frustrated. That was the time I could sit down and concentrate on doing some writing or other paid work I’d be lucky to have to do. Time with the husband was very rare and precious. He’s juggling two jobs and the little time we had together I was itching to do some of my work and he’d be thinking about the photo editing waiting to be done.

The girls are experts at inventing new ways to create mess (and more work for me).

So I knew I had to address the problem, before I imploded from pent-up frustration or my marriage fell victim to this routine. This is where other blogs came to my rescue. I started looking at the way other mothers who seem to have it all spend their time. How could an accomplished blogger like Design Mom raise SIX children while working on so many projects at the same time and find time to travel all over Europe with the whole family? How could a homeschooling mother of four manage to teach her children, take care of the family’s needs, have a relationship with her husband and work?! Well, I didn’t have to wonder for long because one of the very persons I admired and studied from afar wrote a book explaining just how!

Her name is Anne Bogel and she writes the blog Modern Mrs Darcy. In her new ebook called Work Shift, she explains all about the system she and many other women use to cope with the many roles they have. To start with, she insists that it isn’t a matter of having it all. Rather, it’s about keeping a balance and doing what’s best for her and her family. Something else she writes about is flexibility, something I am working on (and I’m not only referring to physical flexibility here). I sometimes forget that this phase in my life won’t last forever. Already things have changed dramatically in the space of a few months and they’ll continue to change as the girls grow older and more independent of me. *sigh*

Something else I liked about her book is that it is full of practical examples, resources and tips. No unsubstantiated theories and ideals. It’s also not too long so I managed to finish it within a few days (something I hadn’t done in months). This is one book I’ll be referring back to again and again, I’m sure.

If you are interested in buying it or getting to know more about it, click on the link in right column of this blog. Work Shift launches tomorrow, 13th September 2012.

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