I run an online magazine called The Raphael Project and I'm also doing an MA (I really enjoyed flashing my student card the other day to get my student discount at an event!!)
On top of all that, we're moving back to London (our house is under offer at the mo, fingers crossed!) and of course, most importantly I have two small children that I love to run around with!
Now please don't hear me as complaining about this because I love a full life, I absolutely love it and I'm very fortunate to be a student with a great job (ha ha!) but ALL of us as working mums tussle with the guilt, the plate spinning and the never ending lists that surround us.
So I thought I'd share this little gem with you, written by Shirley Conran (some of you will remember her from the days of her book "Superwoman" )…
A 12 step, girl's guide to personal work-life balance
The key to personal work-life balance is time management and realistic expectations, plus life coaching and mentoring, or self improvement courses that include self-identity and assertiveness.
Very few women, even high-fliers get ten out of ten for self-identify. Have working mothers ever been made to feel guilty? Yes. Do working fathers feel guilty? No. Do you see any articles on the problems of working fathers? No. Have you seen any articles on the problems of children with working fathers? Never.
That's why these 12 steps are for women only…
1) Be realistic. A woman can have it all, but probably not all at once.
2) Dump the mother guilt. Remember you are dumping it to protect your psychological health, your partnership, if you have one and any children.
3) A woman needs to make sure that she isn't a closet Queen of the hearth, who intends to keep domestic power to herself (You don't need a pair of breasts to take a child to the dentist). One parent mothers need to remember that no man, however wonderful can replace a child's father, so help your child to see as much as possible of his father and have a bit more time to yourself.
4) Keep a bit healthier than you are at the moment. Any higher aim is unrealistic.
5) Never buy a handbag that isn't A4 size.
6) Plan on paper. Keep a diary and plan your weekend and evenings as carefully as you do your weekdays. Use an index card to plan your day, with not more than three things to do and three telephone calls to make. If you add something, cross something else off. Use lists, and cross off items with a joined up central vertical line rather than a tick. List everything that needs doing and delegate all except five major items. Separate housework from responsibility for children, which is a separate job.
7) Don't take on too much. If you do, get out of it firmly. Just say no. Keep saying no.
8) Keep tough. Don't be delegated to. Just say clearly and politely and in good time, that you can't do it. Leave it undone.
9) Plan for domestic democracy. This is no problem before you have children, which is the time to make it a habit.
10) Plan a crisis routine for taking on your partner's chores in an emergency. Make sure that you have just as many emergencies.
11) If you feel constantly tired, openly take a day off away from home to re-think your goals. Go away alone, except for your notepad.
12) My gran told me that you can't get a quarter out of a pint pot and this is the key to self-management. Things haven't changed. To get through life you need a fast, adaptable sense of priorities to achieve your particular work-life balance.
It's good to take life tips from each other and I've noted a couple here from Shirley Conran, (first stop, a chore list to share with Hubster!!) so I hope that helps a little with your day, even if just one or two of the points ring home for you.