Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time to smell the roses



I work virtually full time, but in the interest of finding some balance in my life, a little while ago I took a small pay cut so I can have one Friday off in every four. I also sometimes take an additional Friday off in that same four weeks, by accruing an extra 8 hours work time. I'm incredibly lucky to work in a workplace that allows me to do this. I call my Fridays off my 'sanity days'.



Problem is, I struggle to make up that extra time - it doesn't seem like much to accrue 8 hours in a month, but all I have to do is take some time off for an appointment or two for me or my son, or have a longer lunch to run errands and then I'm back at square one. Additionally, I feel constant guilt about leaving my son in after school care for that extra half hour or so every day while I'm accruing time, especially when I know he's tired.

I know that I'm not the only mother facing this dilemma - the challenge of giving as much time to your children, while running your home, being committed to your job and financially supporting yourself and your family. I'd be interested in knowing how other women manage to balance this all - got any tips?



Tomorrow is my 'sanity day'. No before or after school care for my son. Touching base with his teacher to see how the week has been. Making a great big batch of pasties for the freezer. Even taking a nana nap if I have time! Little things I know, but pure bliss! I love my days off.

I wish you a happy day.





Best wishes,

21 comments:

Fiona Taylor said...

Have a lovely day off sweetness! Save a couple of pasties for me won't you?

Millie said...

Dear Catherine, what a caring, loving soul you are. I've been exactly where you are, just a few more additional pairs of pleading eyes to avoid! In the early days of being by myself with all the boys I worked Mon-Fri. 9a.m.-6p.m. & it was a constant whirlwind of before & after school care drop-offs, not to mention vacation care. It was hard, but you know, as gorgeous adults, they have never said one bad thing about it.

However, what they have all said is how proud they are of the way in which their Mum managed to get through that time with her sanity intact! So don't worry, take your Friday off without any guilt - it's your time to regroup & refresh yourself.
Millie ^_^

ness lockyer said...

I am agreeing with Millie here. You should be proud to be supporting yourself and your sweet Son, while playing the father figure and Mummy as well. You deserve your Friday off...and your little champ will be so happy to have his Mummy there making him a Pastie for dinner...your so cute!
Ness xx

Lee said...

Catherine, I don't think I could say it any better than Millie has. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself your 'sanity days', from what I can see, you are doing a wonderful, wonderful job as a mother.

mondo cherry said...

Catherine, I absolutely take my hat off to you as a single Mum - I am in awe of how you manage. I hope your Friday is extra specially relaxing and enjoyable and I'm sure your son will appreciate the extra time he has with you, rather than worrying about the times that he doesn't.
My mouth is watering at the thought of pasties - it has been ages since I had one. As it is very late, I might have to settle for chocolate instead!
Clare

pinkstilettos said...

SO Sweet! I am loving all of these photos! Have a nice day. Daisy~

Anne Marie said...

Lovely space you have here-
and for what to do (since you asked)...I would pray for guidance in any matter that arises.
Blessings,
Anne Marie
~nice to meet you~

Becki said...

Lucky you to have sanity days! It's a fantastic idea. We mothers put too much pressure on ourselves with our "imagined" faults. I'm sure that your son appreciates the extras that you do for him and making a warm and comforting home is number 1, in my opinion. Beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing. Becki

Maya@Completely-Coastal said...

I have no children or a job to go to (at this time), but since I meditate I know for myself that even very short moments of focusing inward (on something as simple as breathing or sensing...) throughout the day can be a big help..., sort of like "moments" off, if you will.

Vanya @ Endless Inspiration said...

Lovely post Catherine. I work 9/10/11 hour days very regularly and still never seem to get ahead, however I have no dependents which makes it much easier; I can't imagine how tough it must be for you.

sealaura said...

Dear Catherine,

I am a single working woman and I admire your dedication. I can't say I know exactly what you mean, but I hear ya. My only remedy for more time is getting up earlier. I love being up before everyone else and having some moments of sanity where I can catch up on emails, and some personal stuff, anything that will help my day feel calmer.

Your blog is one of my favorite places to come and search for that sanity. mil gracias

Alison Gibbs said...

Hi Catherine,
Juggling time is so difficult.
This year my daughter has 2 children at school - prep and grade 1. She is a single Mum and is doing a great job of supporting the children and herself. This year she was able to cut back her hours so as she can be there for the kids before and after school. It means a financial sacrifice but she thinks it is worth it.
Alison

MelsRosePlace said...

Have a wonderful, wonderful day Catherine. I know how you feel - i have Thursdays & Fridays off usually - Thu is spent running around but i do try to do something nice on a Friday. I think you having this time off is so worth it! I hope you get that nana nap and get to do exactly what you want to do. Mel xxx

OLIVEAUX said...

I hope you are enjoying your much deserved time off. I know exactly how you feel, like you I only have one & it is always constant - so glad you are also taking care of yourself too & you should be very proud of yourself!! Amanda x

Velvet and Linen said...

i think I need a sanity week!
I really feel that my life is a bit out of control right now so I love that you take that time off to maintain some balance in your life.
As a Mom of three I sometimes feel like their childhood is going way too fast. Thank you for reminding me of what is important.
xo
Brooke

Angela Henrie said...

You seem to be doing a fabulous job...you know your priorities are where they should be. You are doing your best, and that is enough.

A-M said...

You should be so proud of the Mum you are Catherine. You so deserve your 'sanity' day... it makes you an even better Mum when you take time to feed your soul. A-M xx

Terri said...

Catherine, I can't imagine the demands of a single mother and how you balance it all. But I do have chronic headaches and know that I need to pace myself and take down time. All I can say is that when you are at YOUR best (by taking your day off once every couple of weeks), you are better for your son, and more productive!

I fully support taking sanity days for anyone who raises children or works, and you do BOTH! I am happy to hear your work place is flexible.

You deserve your breaks! Enjoy and don't feel one bit of guilt. :)

j u s t i m a g i n e said...

awwwww enjoy your time with your son.....love that last image....you deserve your sanity time.....the goodness that it gives back to you - you can share with your son :)

dwellings and decor said...

I know how you feel when you get a day off and then you just spend it all doing errands and such and then it doesn't even feel like a day off. I don't even have kids yet! Gorgeous photos! I really love that staircase.

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