How do you do it?
January 26, 2011
I’m the mother of two school-aged kids. My day starts at 5:45 a.m., and ends around 11 p.m. I’m often asked, “How do you do it?” I wish I had a magic answer, but all I can come up with is, “I just do it.”
I’m very fortunate to work for a company that understands the demands of being a working parent, and the struggle to balance work and home. I’ve worked for MP&F for more than 18 years, and one of the reasons I’m a happy employee is that I can do my job and be an engaged parent.
We PR people are planners – events, media conferences and story budgets. So, my life outside of the office involves a lot of planning, too – meals, laundry, kids’ schedules, and the list goes on and on.
I’ve learned over the years that you can be a successful parent and a good employee. It takes a bit of planning and a touch of organization, all skills I put to use for my clients on a daily basis.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit to my husband, who does his fair share to keep our house running. Here are a few examples of how we do it:
- Divide/conquer: I get the kids fed, clothed and out the door in the morning; my husband has the afternoon of homework, practices and dinner. My husband goes into the office early; I stay late.
- Family dinner: This is probably unheard of, but our family eats dinner together at least five times a week. On Saturday I plan our menu for the week, and Sunday is cooking day. (Credit goes to MP&F partner Katy Varney for suggesting this to me years ago.) It takes some planning, but it’s worth it to sit down together to enjoy a home-cooked meal.
- Housework: If you can afford it, hire someone to clean your house. It’s worth every penny, and the free time you gain on the weekend is priceless.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself: It’s not easy trying to do it all. If there’s a day when you can’t get the laundry done and you leave a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, don’t sweat it. Find something else to wear, and the dishes will still be there when you have time to load the dishwasher.
To all you working parents, you can do it all. It just takes a little planning and organization, a supportive spouse/partner, an employer who understands that a happy employee at home equals a productive employee in the office; and don’t forget to cut yourself some slack.