I was telling a friend how I used to race from my office to my son’s kindergarten classroom every Friday at 10.45am (thankfully 13 years ago) so I could be one of the mothers who participated in reading group. It was the one school-related activity my five-year-old asked of me. My friend said she wasn’t able to get to school reading groups with her job in the finance industry, but every Sunday between 10.30am and 11.30am she used to read with her son. She was so specific with her timetable and revealed it was literally the only hour in her week that she had to schedule for that activity.
It made me think about my days. Sometimes I go to bed at night having never been able to sit and just be. On those days, every minute feels accounted for in the massive juggle that is my life. This is what one of my weekend days looked like during the Olympics.
6.30am – Eat breakfast, while putting on the washing and emptying the dishwasher.
7.00am – Make sure my son is out of bed so he has time to have breakfast before work.
7.45am – Drive my son to his casual job.
8.30am – Drag my younger son out of bed so he has time for breakfast before his soccer game.
9.15am – Drive my son to his soccer game.
9.30am – Drop my son at the soccer ground and go in search of a good coffee.
10.00am – Back at the soccer ground to watch my son’s game.
10-11am – Multi-task: respond to work emails and text messages via my iphone while watching the game. Tweet where relevant from my personal account and also from the Women’s Agenda account. Tackle a few personal insults from a couple of bizarre characters who follow me on Twitter. Block them. Feel so much better for doing so. Life is too short.
11.00am – Drive home from soccer. Grab a takeaway coffee on the way. I try not to drink more than two across the weekend so I have just hit my quota and it isn’t lunchtime yet.
11.30am – I have a thought for this blog while I am driving home so I quickly write it up before my day disappears.
12.30pm – Lunch. My husband Graeme knows it is unlikely that I will have thought about what to have for lunch (I am a terrible meals planner) so he thoughtfully buys some freshly baked rolls after the soccer match. We take separate cars to soccer in case I need to head off early. I decide that as it’s my son’s second last game of the season and I have missed too many due to Saturday board meetings I will stay for the entire match.
1.30pm – Discuss the catering of my father-in-law’s 80th birthday party with my husband. I have researched a few options for this and decisions need to be made.
2.15pm – Check the websites that I publish: Crikey. The Power Index, Women’s Agenda.
3.00pm – Send a plethora of emails to various people working on Women’s Agenda with questions, suggestions, solutions.
4.00pm – Take the dog to the park. Deliberately leave my iphone at home so I am forced to breathe in the air and just stop. I suddenly remember that I don’t have root vegetables for the roast dinner I have promised my family tonight.
5.00pm – Head to the supermarket.
5.45pm – Start creating dinner. (If I could have anything at all it would be a personal chef.)
6.15pm – Remind my husband to collect our son from work. My husband looks at me like I’m crazy. He doesn’t need to be reminded. It’s been a long day.
7.30pm – Stop to watch my son’s school friend run the 400m Men’s heat and the accompanying chatter in the lead-up.
8.00pm – The post-race commentary coincides with dinner. I let the boys eat their dinner in front of the television. They think I’m the best mum in the world, one of them tells me so. The excitement is too much. Someone they know just won an Olympic race.
9.00pm – Catch up on the week’s banking. Pay bills via internet banking. Panic at rapid reduction of bank balance.
10.00pm – Watch another couple of Olympic events, while tidying up after my messy teenage sons. They can’t see the mess and think I’m crazy. Beginning to think I may be.
10.30pm – Crash into bed. Then start to wonder what I will pack for my youngest son’s lunch tomorrow when he spends the middle of the day at drama rehearsals. Panic.
11.00am – Remember that I forgot to phone my mother back!
Do you have days when it feels as though every one of your hours belongs to someone else? What is your coping mechanism?