THE JUGGLING ACT





Sandy Jade Ridpath



Adulthood...it’s hard. As children we can’t wait to be grown up, to leave school, to get a job, a house, a car, have a family, that freedom. It’s not until you grow up and I would say especially in my case have a family you realise how much your parents did. Or in my case, my mum. How she juggled everything, kept everyone happy, all of the time.


I’m finding it so tough at the moment, mainly realising how I’m just struggling to keep up with WhatsApp messages, sounds stupid I know. But it’s days sometimes before I reply to friends, yes I’m one of those people at the moment.


Since going back to work part time and Spencer growing into a little toddler my little maternity routine and keeping on top has seemed to go out of the window. I’m trying sooooo hard to keep it all together; to keep on top of the house, the washing, ironing, making sure there is food on the table, my job, my business - which is really picking up, maybe not the greatest time to have your own business! Keep up with my coursework for my evening class and not just scrape by in my assessments.


I want to make sure the time I spend with Spencer is special and we do lots of fun things, I want to play and read books and go to the park or playgroup......or both. I want to make sure he has a routine, he naps and eats good food, most of all he has my attention. I want to make sure my husband feels loved, appreciated and cared for, I give him time and we have adult time together watching films or going for dinner. I want to make sure I keep good relationships with my friends, remember their birthdays and big events in their life, we meet regularly - which seems to be a struggle fitting it all in at the moment.


I want to look after myself, and this baby I’m growing, eat well, exercise and rest enough....but when? how?


How do you do it? how did our mothers do it? how do people do it?





I think there is so much pressure, from all angles. I saw this quote the other day that said “they want us to raise children like we don’t work and work like we don’t have children”. What ever you do it’s wrong in someone’s eyes, and I’m guilty of that too, we all have a way in which we want to raise our children, and get fed up when others compare us to other mums who choose to raise theirs differently.


I admit it I’m guilty of snapping about a mother who earns a very good wage, works full time and her little one goes to nursery and her child is very clever and is learning multiple languages....I felt like it was a dig at me for dropping my career to be with Spencer and that if he went to nursery more he would be more advanced. Then I get told from another family member that sending him to nursery isn’t the right thing to do, I’m his mother that’s my job.


So from every angle you will get an opinion, you will be told you are doing it wrong and hell you will think another mum is doing it wrong at some point too! I think it’s all about balance. I’ve not quite grasped it yet but after watching lots of mummy related tv, listening to other mums and watching other mums it hit me.



WE CAN HAVE IT ALL!


We can have that degree and high flying career. As women now we can be anything we want, CEO, director, partner, you name it!

We can have a big house, perfectly decorated, new cars, luxury holidays.

We can have that wedding, husband/wife, children.

We can bring up our children and spend quality time with them, not miss a school play, dance rehearsal or football match.

We can take care of ourselves, we can have that Victoria secret body, long silky locks and freshly manicured nails with a perfect outfit!


Just not all at once! But that’s okay!


You have a whole life to live, your house is only filled with toys and mess for such a short period of time, then your children will be grown and your home will always be clean and tidy. You may sport the messy bun daily now but I’m sure as a teenager you spent ages doing your hair and make up and once they are older you can again.


I have had an opportunity to really enhance my business but turned it down. I gave up a job after having my son which I had worked 10 years to achieve and loved. That doesn’t mean I can’t go back later in life and I’m sure I will get other business opportunities. This may sound crazy but right now my priority is Spencer and the baby and they are the most important things, I want to do what ever I can that means I can be with them when they need me. That meant taking a step back in my career and doing a little job....that actually suits us down to the ground. That means the house not always being amazing and the washing basket not always being empty. And finally after a long time of trying to figure out the equation of doing it all and having it all, I’ve realised I can’t, and I’m ok with that. One day I’d like to buy a shop and push my business and give it 100% but I can’t give everything 100% right now. But that’s ok! I will get into shape and go back to freshly manicured nails but I’ve had that and now it’s about focusing on growing a baby and not beating myself up about not working out enough or making career moves.


It’s taken me a while but it all makes sense now. Of course we can have it all, and be happy and not be stressed and overwhelmed, we just need to understand it all hasn’t got to be done all at once!


Take it one step at a time, enjoy that moment and this part of your life, I think if we had it all it would be too much and we wouldn’t cherish that moment at that time, you are doing a great job, stop telling yourself it’s not enough because it is!