What a circus!

The daily balancing act between work and family life

Moms are circus performers. And, depending on the situation, they can be clowns, lion tamers and magicians, too. Whatever they need to be in the moment.

What a circus! Why moms are performers

I haven't been to the circus for a very long time. Somehow, watching prancing horses and exhausted, rubber-limbed gymnasts from all over the world loses its appeal. Not to mention the clowns

I belong to the “IT” generation. The hairs on the back of our necks stand up at the mere sight of greasepaint. So it's all the more astonishing that I myself became a performer. A juggler, to be precise. 

I now have three children, who have made my life richer than ever before - but I still need to go to work to earn money – and I have sometimes felt as if I've had a stick in each hand with a plate spinning at the top of each one. That's not all: I’m also standing on one leg, with a raw egg on the ball of my other foot.

The (impossible) skill of keeping all the kids happy at once and protecting them from life-threatening situations isn’t an easy one to master: when Child No. 2 has finally gone to sleep, I can safely assume that Child No. 1 will immediately jump off the sofa, despite being told not to, and – as they were warned – get a boo-boo in a silly place. No. 1 will then promptly burst into tears of shock (!), waking up No. 2 - and so on and so forth. In other words: both plates have hit the floor. The balancing act is over, and no one is clapping.

The balancing act between work and family life is not always a success. Sometimes, I am bent over like a contortionist trying to satisfy the needs of my kids, career, friends, family and partner. Never mind myself.

Yet, training also has its rewards: you learn from it. And so I’ve become convinced that moms make the best workers. Why?

  • They don't have any trouble saying “no”. Up to 1,045 times a day, in fact.
  • They are efficient: world domination is quickly achieved while the kids are busy or asleep.
  • They know how to delegate. Just ask dads. 

Moms are circus performers. And, depending on the situation, they can be clowns, lion tamers and magicians, too. Whatever they need to be in the moment.

So I do know how to juggle. Which isn’t to say that I’m also on top of my work-life balance. There’s only one thing that helps: getting out. Into the fresh air, to the lake, into the woods. The main thing is to escape the menagerie.

But at least with a double somersault on the way.

An article by:
Andrea
Jansen
I’m a freelance media professional and mother of three living in the Zurich region. On www.anyworkingmom.com, I write about travel, finding a balance and not being able to have it all. The blog is aimed at people with children and anyone who enjoys plain speaking.
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