As 2013 comes to a close, I finally realise that I am not wonder woman, and it’s quite ok
This past year has been a year of change – new opportunities, new challenges and a year of goodbyes to some very special people, who were an important part of my life. Life can be so short and I need time to enjoy it – my family, friends and job – I want it all – I want it all – I want it all – and I want it now .. Freddie Mercury had the right idea.
Someday, when the years have gone by, I will look back at what I have done, and hope that it will be with a smile in my heart, knowing I did the things that made me happy and gave me joy. And with affection for the people who loved me and made it all possible.
On finding an imbalance between work and home
I am learning that there is no such thing as balancing home and work, but just different kinds of imbalance. You get more stuff done at home, and you have less resources to focus on your work – it’s as simple as that! These wonderful multi-tasting women who do it all, that I read about seem unreal! It’s just so free-ing, to realise, after years of trying to do everything, that there’s no way to succeed. So I am now striving to find an imbalance that works for me and my family
Maid in India
I have fond memories of the maid and cook we had before we moved house. I found it easier to deal with leaving my friends, but missed the house help terribly. After moving, it took time to get help at home. The maid I got was really very honest, and nice – she would turn up either when I had just woken up, or when I was leaving for work, and the new cook took 3 hours daily to cook a dal and 2 veggies (that takes me 45 minutes on a bad day). So, when I finally ended up doing it all AND paying for it and figured that i could just do it all and not pay for it! I do sometimes dream of having a maid or a cook, but right now am finding, that it’s less stressful without them. At least this way the house work gets shared, since everyone knows there’s no help at home.
If something can wait, just leave it be for another day – procrastinating is an art and it is well worth learning
Keep a couple of hours a week to deal with pending stuff
Spring Clean and give away unused stuff regularly, it reduces the time taken to clean up at home and getting rid of junk somehow let’s good energy into a home
Keep the vacuum cleaner and mop easily reachable, so small spills can be taken care of quickly
Look around – you will see a lot of other women in their 40s, like you, trying to do it all and not succeeding, and you will feel much better, when you know you’re not alone
Be an imperfectionist at home – it is better to be an average housekeeper who is relaxed, than an amazing one who is always upset that something at home has not been done
When things get too much, sit down with a cup of chai, put your feet up and think of something else – this takes practise, but works. You will feel much better after a little while and will be to handle it all when you’re done
Is it important to do everything for everyone else in the family, or let them learn to be self-reliant
Is the woman who does everything for everyone wonderful, or is it the woman who teaches her family to look after themselves and be less dependent on having help to do their work? I am sure every family has different thoughts about this. It is worth thinking about.
While it is nice to have help with the home chores, it is also quite a relief to know that the family can survive comfortably even without it, when necessary. I do think people who do work a little bit at home, keep much better health than those who don’t.
There’s a time for work and a time to rest
There’s a time and place for everything under the sun, and for me, this is the time to do my own house work. I know that when life thinks I really need a break, the most amazing maid and cook will come knocking at my door (like it happened when we were moving house earlier) and help will just come my way. Until then, it is important for me to accept that i have no house help, be flexible and do my best and simply leave the rest. At least that way, I’m still smiling and relaxed at the end of a busy, busy day.