As part of the re-invention of this blog i am going to do a series on various ‘mums in stilettos‘ from different parts of the world and how they are managing to keep all their balls in the air. This week I will feature a mom based in Brisbane Australia. Unlike our part of the world (East Africa and Southern Africa) househelp does not come cheap down under, and yet this mom shows us it is possible to navigate motherhood and career.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Rudo, a mother of 3 wonderful children and wife to a generous husband. I have an 11 year old son, 8 year old son and a daughter who turning 3 years soon. I have always been employed full time from before I got married up to when I had my precious daughter. I returned to work six months after having my daughter and reduced my working hours by 8 hours a week so I could spend a bit more time with my family.
I work on shift basis since I returned to work after my daughter’s birth. I do not have the luxury of a structured day which I love because life easily gets monotonous if one follows routines and rituals. My day sometimes start as early as 5am and sometimes ends as late as midnight when I finally jump into bed.
Do you actually have time for yourself, like me time?
Me time? Well to be honest I do have my me time where I try to pursue my hobbies despite my very hectic life and these days I am sewing. I must confess that I am a wannabe fashion designer turned into nurse. I know most of you wouldn’t call this “me time” because I will have the kids around me asking if they can help with sewing or asking, “how can I help?”.
I rarely have a nap during the day even when the kids are at school or day care because for me it’s time to catch up with cleaning the house, washing and ironing. I appreciate uninterrupted ten minutes to myself where I can sit and do nothing except close my eyes.
How do you balance all the demands placed on your time?
Managing time for me requires that I plan every little thing. Planning for me is absolutely important and short notices for a coffee with me don’t work because I simply can’t do it. My other strategy is discipline and I believe discipline is an absolute necessity for everyone to achieve your goals especially if you have multiple roles. I am also a passionate learner/student and study most of the time. I have to be disciplined so I can submit my assignments on time. I love learning and studying and that is kind of “my me time”. I know some of you are thinking what a boring life but to me that’s where I get my adrenaline and my excitement is when I am learning new things. That’s my entertainment. Another time saving trick I use is to politely declining those activities that do not add value to my life or family life. I have come to understand that I don’t have to attend every social gathering.
So in closing what tips can you share with us?
1. ‘Be authentically you’ and don’t be afraid to have a messy house especially if you don’t have a house keeper like me or receive any form of help. For me the housekeeping and children responsibilities fall all on me though I must confess that I receive help from my sister and my husband when he can chip in of which I am extremely grateful for.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help whether be it advice, or physical help make it known that you need you need help because you will be surprised how help is not that far!
3. Time saving is a necessity when you are a working mother and I often take my kids to a play park that has an exercise park as well. That way I mix play and exercise for mum at the same time. I also choose activities that I can be involved in which the kids love and that way I have done my exercise for the week! Lol!
What Rudo did not mention above is that she has two Masters Degrees and is currently studying towards her PhD. Infact she got all her degrees after becoming a mom when she had already moved to Australia.
After talking to Rudo I felt two things. On one hand I thought she is such a superwoman and I can never be like her….. But then after thinking about it more, I was so encouraged and convinced that if Rudo can do it, then so can I. I really have no excuse…
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