Throughout the year, every 8 – 10 weeks, I approach this time with anxiety and brace myself for the constant juggling act about to rip through my household.
I am a working, solo mother. And like so many others across the sector, when school holidays approach, despite my best laid plans, I am left with an experience of being pulled in every direction imaginable. I find myself wanting to roll in the grass, do bombs into the pool, and make sandcastles (while getting sand in all the places it shouldn’t be).
Now I know that some critics may say that the answer lies in prioritising motherhood, not work. Believe me, my priority is motherhood. But I want my children to have access to high level education, sports, culture and creative activities and this requires an income higher than benefits can provide…. And my dream as a woman, is not to be dependent on the welfare system.
I often reflect on my predicament, and I have come to this conclusion. It is perfectly acceptable, and damn right admirable – to teach your children that to live a healthy lifestyle takes work, commitment, and energy. I want to role model to my daughter that there is more to her life than staying at home and resuming her womanly duties. It is ok to teach your children, that to achieve your personal dreams can take sacrifice. And when you have both ability and education, you have a responsibility to use these privileges to better the society, and the world that you live in. This is what we are about in the social sector after all.
Maybe the next social venture will be a co-working space for working mothers where we can pool our resources together, and achieve a little play time for ourselves in amongst the work.