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Wednesday, 11 July 2007

"I don't know how she does it"

Today for, oh, about the zillionth time since I had kids and went back to work, a Bright Young Thing said to me "You remind me of that woman in Allison Pearson's 'I don't know how she does it!" I *think* and hope I should take this as a compliment. I hope I'm as humble and as humorous as her character is about the role she plays in life as wife, mother and busy top level executive. If you're a Working Mum like me and you haven't read it yet, get a copy. It's absolutely hilarious and captures to a 'T' some of the absurdities of the modern phenomenon that we have become; largely brought on by the insane pressures that we exert upon ourselves to be perfect in every aspect of our lives.
When the Bright Young Thing enquired, "So, how do you do it?" I thought for a moment, then replied, "It's about the ability to compartmentalise, to switch in and out of work mode and mother mode; it's about having quality childcare in which you can completely trust; it's about not beating yourself up and it's about having a sense of humour as well as perspective."
The perspective thing is really important. When I got home from work today in my usual crumpled state of exhaustion, I almost missed Ava (now 10 months) who was sitting up on the sofa chewing a spoon quite contentedly, I was ignored entirely by Eden (5 1/2) who was playing with her fairy dolls upstairs happily in her room, and was waved to merrily by Nathan (2) who was careering up and down the back garden in a plastic car. It just struck me at that moment how absolutely happy they all are and how assured they seem about the fact that I work. I wish the guilt would go away.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Keep up the good work!