Wednesday, October 04, 2006


How do they do it?

I am always comparing myself (unfavourably, usually) to other people who seem to have it all together. Specifically, other mums who have it all together. How do they work - part time, fulltime, from home - and manage all the other STUFF ? All that stuff that I struggle with, and I'm not even working!!

As usual, when I contemplate this, I find that even those who I consider to be supermums are dealing with their own demons. This post (on WouldCouldaShoulda) is one of those... and both Mir's post, and the various comments, made me realise that we're all different, and we shouldn't compare ourselves to others. There is no right way!!

In many ways I think I have it easy. I'm still a SAHM - just a SAHM (and I've done the sob story on why that is still so, and why I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up).

Yet, I do get others who wonder how I do it, when they know just how often Marc is away... and the truth is, I don't know, I just do it. While I have it easy in that there is no urgent financial imperative for me to work, the switching between 'modes' (ie. Marc here, Marc away) modes, is no easy feat. Sometimes I think it only works because I am so disorganised, and that he can't upset the status quo (when he is here) because there is no status quo!

Being a part time single parent/part time normal family isn't easy socially.. It's hard to become a constant part of a social network. (I hate being the single parent amongst other couples.)

While we support each other pretty well in the parenting discipline department, I miss the back up when he is away... and, for an easier life, I might let some things go that are just not worth the battle. It leads to double standards, because he comes home and has the usual high expectations. So the kids end up having to work in two modes as well. (Hmmm - 'Lack of consistency with parenting' issues here...)

I was contemplating all this last night when I realised that my 'evening' behaviour was very different when he is around. Getting on the net and doing whatever I do is my daily escape. (I go through phases... for a while I spent my time on a particular bulletin board; now I'm blogging and surfing the blogosphere). "Stop looking over my shoulder" I said to him last night.. (in a pretty good imitation of Princess Petulant to one of her sisters.) I felt guilty for doing what I normally do... and then I wondered what to do with myself! (I actually washed up, so maybe that was a good thing...)

Him being away so much does make me feel a bit depressed about our 'not so normal' family life. Then I hear of one friend (married with children) who got so cranky with her husband not wanting to go on holidays, that she is taking the kids away herself this week. And another who pride themselves on their 'seachange' by having less high powered jobs, with a fair bit of day to day flexibility so they share the kids activities - yet they are so tied to these jobs they barely manage to get away on a holiday for 5 days in a year.

I realised then, that what I miss on the swings, I pick up on the roundabout (and that is a line I constantly deliver to the kids). Marc may be away all too much, but when he's here we get to do some pretty high quality stuff together. We have some great holidays, and are enjoying this latest mad tandeming passion together.

I don't know where all this is leading. Manic mutterings, that's all. Maybe time to remind myself of the profound conclusion I reached earlier. We all do what we do.. and there is no perfect, right way to do it.

Meantime, I could be just a wee bit better on the housework front. Plan of action for the day: dealing with the flow of (clean) laundry that has erupted from the ironing basket, and has flowed all over the expanse of floor in our room. A domestic goddess I am not.


I still don't know how other people do it. I do it by cooking ahead and hiring a housekeepers. Mir is amazing, isn't she?
Hi Daisy, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to add a comment. So many amazing people out there... and, once I clicked on your profile which made reference to a child with a disability, and a tough year.. then, again, I said thanks for how good I have it.. really...

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