If there’s one thing working moms, stay-at-home moms and every other sort of moms can agree on, it’s that work-life balance is a joke. Too often, the joke’s on us.
Today, the Strollerderby team was thinking about bringing you a list of tips on how to balance work and motherhood. Problem: none of us know how to do it.
Unless we’re Carolyn, who practices mother-daughter yoga while her assistant types for her.
At the end of the day, we’d love to have a strong sense of professional accomplishment while we’re reading bedtime stories to our clean, fed, smiling children. But let’s get real. That balancing act never quite happens as planned. So we may as well embrace the chaos. Forget trying to balance and celebrate your natural, disheveled self!
Here are our top 11 tips for unbalancing work and motherhood:
1. Bribery. This works on kids and bosses, both. Sunny offered her kid frozen yogurt if she got to finish up her article. My husband offered to review his grad students’ homework over the weekend in exchange for cutting out early for a parent-teacher thing Friday. Sometimes the same bribe can work on your kid or your boss. Chocolate goes a long way with both editors and four-year-olds.
2. Make “bring your daughter to work day” a daily celebration instead of an annual one. While you’re at it, teach her to use a stapler and the photocopier so she can do office chores for you.
3. Remember that sleep is for the weak. Get up before your kids and enjoy a few hours of quiet worktime before dawn. Just remember not to operate heavy machinery while using this tactic. The sleep deprivation will catch up with you, and it won’t be pretty.
4. Give your boss and your spouse the same cute nickname. That way, your honey will never know that your mind has drifted back to your 4 p.m. staff meeting when you murmur “Honeybear” in bed.
5. The microwave is your friend. Use it for all the meals you “cook” at home. You can check your work email while the veggies heat up.
6. Let your kid pick out your work clothes. Nothing says “fashionable mama” like the fashion choices of a four-year-old.
7. Buy 10 copies of the same outfit for each of your kids. Then give the rest of their wardrobes to Goodwill. Dressing them the same way each day means no one will ever know if they’re wearing yesterday’s clothes!
8. Just throw the dishes out and use paper plates forever. Ditto towels.
9. Give your kid free rein to make “potions” in the bathtub while you take a conference call in peace.
10. Let the kids watch cartoons on your iPhone while you bang out one last blog post for the afternoon. Not that I’m doing that right now or anything.
11. Win the lottery. Hire personal chef, personal trainer, personal assistant, nanny and guru. Achieve bliss.
Note: Madeline would have liked to weigh in with some tips of her own, but she was too busy breaking up a fight between her personal chef and her guru. We all know how it is. Except Carolyn. Her legal team handles that stuff for her.