As part of our “Inspiring Working Mums” series, Jane Caro shares her advice to help other working Mums.
Jane Caro: Social Commentator, Writer, Novelist and Documentary Maker.
My best advice for your career is …
Its not a career you are building, it is a life you are living. Work is not separate from work – it is an integrated part of it. Work (including house-work, parenting-work and emotional labour) should never take over from life. Make fun, joy and relaxation a priority. Never, ever, ever feel guilty about demanding time for yourself – from your employer, your husband and, yes, even your kids. Don’t just let others help, insist that they do. You do not have to do everything yourself to be worthwhile.
My most satisfying thing about being a Mum is …
Having grown up daughters who are interesting, independent, contributing members of society (even though I sent them to co-ed comprehensive public schools from kindy to year 12. Save your money, people, you can spend it much more effectively on household help, travel and fun, my kids are living proof). Having a 17 month old grandson is a delightful experience that I am enjoying even more than I thought I would.
My best advice for managing the juggle of work and family is …
Do less. Think about what matters and what doesn’t and only do what matters. Feeding your kids simple, healthy food matters, a tidy house does not. Clean(ish) clothes matter, whether they are ironed does not. Helping with homework matters, a dirty car does not. A leaking roof matters, an over-grown garden does not. Having fun matters, a spotless house does not. Meeting work deadlines matters, having a tidy desk and office does not. Getting enough sleep matters, answering late-night emails does not.
Don’t just do less, be proud of doing less.
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