09 February 2012

How My Other Half Lives

So there's Bloggy Me which you may feel you know quite well. And you might even think the same about  Mummy Me.

Of course, then there's Wifey, Daughter, Sister, Friend me. To be honest, they're not so different to Bloggy or Mummy me.

And then there's Work Me.

I sometimes feel a bit like a trespasser in a foreign land - caught in between two worlds. The world of being a mother and a worker. Amongst my real-life friends and sometimes even in blog world, I have to admit I sometimes feel like a bit of an alien.

If you ask me, I'll always be a mummy first, always. And that will never change, whether I work 'outside the home' or not. But it's a juggling act, trying to do both well, and frequently feeling like there's always a ball about to be dropped if it hasn't already.

I often feel like I am two different people or a split personality at best, and some days there's a blurred line between where Work Me ends, and Mummy Me begins.

Glimpses of Bloggy Mummy me are easy enough to come by when you stop by long enough in this space called MNM's.

But there is this other side of me. And right now, it is as much a part of me and I can't ignore it or dismiss it, no matter how much I might try and compartmentalise or separate it, it is part of who I am. And I guess it's time you got to see a little of how that other half lives.

So.....a typical day goes a little something like this:

The alarm goes. I read The Word for Today (my bible reading) delivered by email and then see if there are any new blog posts in Google Reader. Skim reading blog posts at this time of the day is as much about waking me up enough to force myself to get out out of bed than anything else!
I'm up, and changed into my exercise gear. I quickly get out the hair straighteners to tame any random bed hair that has sprung up overnight and go downstairs.
I finish packing my bag - my work clothes are already in it, and my lunch and breakfast were prepared the night before and left on the bench or in the fridge ready for the morning.
I don my headphones to listen to music or a sermon podcast, and then I'm out the door for the half hour walk to work.
I arrive at work, and get changed into work clothes/apply make-up/put lunch in fridge/fill up my water bottle etc.
I'm at my desk ready for the work day!

Now a blow by blow of the next 8 hours would be a little pointless since every day is pretty unique, but here's a few of the things I get up to in no particular order:
  • Preparing papers/reports to the Board of Directors and sub-committee about our current and forecast financial performance
  • Budgeting and forecasting in liaison with the senior management team
  • Managing daily/monthly cash flow
  • Completing income tax returns and managing provisional tax payments in conjunction with external tax advisers
  • Managing the company's internal policies, updating, consolidating and ensuring policies continue to be fit-for-purpose for the business
  • Managing the relationship with and providing information to the external auditors, both at interim audit (1/2 way through the year) and final audit (year-end) where the performance of the company and our internal controls are checked to ensure all is in order and our financial statements present a true and fair view of the company
  • Producing the financial statements in the annual report (see here for last year's example starting page 23)
  • Regular reviews of external suppliers in various categories and seeking better value for money under each, e.g. office supplies, rental cars, travel management, printer/copier, postage/couriers
  • Managing the company insurance programme and any claims made on policies
  • Co-ordinating the emergency management team (planning evacuation exercises/ensuring business continuity plans are in place and tested across the business)
  • Ensuring that monthly financial reports for the senior management team and the Board of Directors are produced in a timely manner and information contained in the reports is accurate and informative for decision making
  • Producing quarterly, half-yearly and annual reports for the Ministers and for Treasury
  • Managing the Finance team of 3 (a Accountant and 2 Accounts Administrators)
Other than sneaking out daily at 8am to grab a takeaway coffee at Mojo, I rarely leave the building until it's time to go home. It's a full-on 8 hours from start to finish and I'm certainly never bored!

It's time to go. I get changed back into my exercise gear, and walk up the very steep hill from the CBD to school, usually arriving a couple of minutes before 3pm. My heart rate is pumping!
A happy (sometimes tired) boy comes out to meet Mama, and we stop to chat with other mums/kids or just start walking (sometimes he scooters) home. Sometimes this is a fun walk and a chance to catch up on the day, other times it's 'I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm hot, I'm cold, Mum can you carry my bag, Mum can you carry my scooter' etc etc.
We arrive home and the first thing I do is make Noah eat all the fruit left in his lunchbox before he's allowed anything else. This is the story pretty much every single day. Then we do his writing homework (Mondays) and his reading homework (on other days).
4.00pm (ish) 
I get changed again (I reckon I end up changing about 5 times a day) out of exercise gear back into work clothes or casual gear and we jump in the car to go to daycare and pick up Mylo.
4.15pm (ish)
We pick Mylo up and depending on what the time is by now, we sometimes have a little outing (the park, Te Papa or the library) before going home to prepare dinner.
5pm (ish)
We arrive home and start preparing dinner. Mark has usually cut up all the veges in the morning and they're in the fridge which is a fantastic help. During this time, the boys get to blob in front of the TV for half an hour.
5.30pm (ish)
Mark arrives home and finishes off dinner, while I put on washing, make my breakfast/ lunch and pack all our bags for the next day.
Dinner is done, there's sometimes time for a little more TV, and then it's bath/shower time. The boys and I usually bath/shower all together, right now it's so much easier!
A little bedtime milk is drunk (Mylo), teeth are brushed, stories are read, kisses and cuddles had, and then it's nighty night to the little people, and we then finish off the chores like hanging out the washing or putting it away and ensure everything is totally ready for the next day before sitting down to a little TV/blog/relaxation time.

Actually to be fair that really only describes some days.

The Wed/Fri variation has me getting up at 5.30am as usual, but instead I bike on the indoor bike trainer in the garage for 40 minutes whilst Mark goes out at the same time for a 10km run. And on those days I drive in to work around 7am so that I can pick Mylo up straight after work at 2.30pm and have a couple of extra hours with both the boys where we like to get out and about or just hang out together at home depending on both the weather and our energy levels!

And I feel I must account for the other unseen part of this equation which is that every morning Mark drops the boys off to daycare and school. And for this I am truly grateful as I know that getting out of the house at 8am with 2 kids and all the various daycare/school/work gear remembered is a challenge even on a good day, and he does this all on his own every single day! Honey you are my hero, mwah!

And of course, the picture wouldn't be complete without also fitting in:
Monday nights - Mark has a 30 min indoor football between 6-9.30pm - the time changes every week
Tuesday nights - we take turn about each week to go to Life Group (church friends where we do 'life' together, sharing, studying God's Word, praying, chatting)
Wednesday nights - I have a Pilates class at 6.30pm

So there you have it. A slice of a previously unseen side to life. Of course I wish it were a little less hectic than it is, but it is I guess like anything, a season. One which we muddle through the best we can. One thing is for sure, I know eke out every last little drop of quality time we get during the busyness of that week, and it really makes our weekends very very precious to us.

Saturday mornings where we wake up and start the day gently and leisurely, knowing we have a whole 2 days ahead of us together as a family are without a doubt my absolute favourite time of the week.

So if you made it this far, well done for hanging in there. I'm glad to have been able to share a little more of this crazy life with ya.


Megan said...

wow what a day! cool that you can start work early so you can finish early, certainly one long day though, i felt tired just reading that hehe ;)

jacksta said...

wow! I knew you had a busy life but whoa!
Good on you! I admire that you make the most of every minute. And if its working for you...then go hard!
And what a great team you and Mark are together. A great Husband who is also a reliable dad is a rare thing.
Thanks for a look into a real day. Now I feel a bit lazy...you have inspired me!

Gail said...

Meghan, you are AMAZING! You do all this and come up with well-thought out posts too!! I agree with Jacksta - you're a great team!!

I'd be twitching.

Ange (Tall, Short and Tiny) said...

Impressive! I really admire people like you who work hard at a full-time job, and come home and still have the energy and inclination to spend so much quality time with their kids - inspirational.
No wonder weekends are your favourite time :)

Dee said...

WOW! ok, so i just feel exhausted reading that!! that's amazing...i honestly don't know how you do it.
and a big HURRAH for awesome husbands :)))


PaisleyJade said...

You totally rock - and I loved having a little peek into your real world. Now that I've entered back into the workforce I can totally see what you mean about blogging being one side of your/our life. xoxo

remaliah said...

I was just wondering to myself the other day what your work-self is like. I can echo the 'wow' of the others. It sounds like a fascinating crazy-busy job description! :) I'm really impressed with your time management and how much awesome, quality-time, fun adventures you fit in with your boys. Thumbs up :)

Sammy said...

Loved the glimpse into your world, you working mama, you! Love it!


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