Its 10pm, and my very unwell 17 year old takes my hand, presses it to his cheek and looks up at me through his watery eyes and whispers “you’re the best, Ma!” I kiss his burning forehead, stroke his hair, lean back and shut my eyes…….
Ask any working mother in the universe and she will tell you these are the moments she lives for. As we go through our days filled with endless deadlines, difficult meetings, demanding clients and endless cups of green tea (Coffee’s not fashionable anymore in the working woman’s dictionary, or so I’m told), the lines between what really matters and what “just” matters blur sometimes. And a moment like this brings everything back to sharp focus.
The working Mum’s life is like the stock market…in constant motion defined by the 7am missing lunch box, the7:30 am bus missed fiasco, the 8 :10am concall, the 9:30 am fight for the parking space……. It changes day to day, minute to minute…sometimes second to second (ask the mother who gets ready just in time after a crazy morning packing off her tantrum engulfed 5 year old to school, spends precious extra minutes tying her freshly starched sari, (make up and hair in car…..so late for a meeting!) and gets baby vomit on her shoulder as she hugs her 1 year old as she flies out of the door for her do or die client meeting)
I use the 10/10/10 principle to prioritize those days when life hands you one unexpected event after the other. Look at each event and ask yourself, Will it matter in the next 10 minutes, next 10 days, next 10 weeks….if the answer is yes to all – Its time to put that event on the top of your priority list.
To all the naysayers who berate your parenting skills and tell you that “you can’t have it all”, I have just one thing to say… you’re absolutely wrong. You can have it all! Of course you can, just not all on the same day perhaps. There are days when client deadlines take precedence over a runny nose and days where skiving off work to take your kid to his favorite movie takes precedence over a packed schedule…….it really is about what’s important at that moment.
So here’s some advice for the newbies from us old timers: “Make the moments count”
By Shailja DuttMD, Stellar