Paid Work and Parenting: helpful links
All of these provided me with helpful advice and/or a sanity-saving morale boost.
Career Mums http://www.careermums.com.au/
Job boards and career advice for working parents and parents returning to work. See the excellent Resources section for really good articles and advice on the more personal and psychological aspects of working as a parent.
Australian Multiple Birth Association http://www.amba.org.au/
Penelope Trunk Blog http://www.penelopetrunk.com/
I have only recently found Penelope Trunk, though she is utterly famous. Her blog is split into different sections on Career, Parenting and, um, Homeschooling, and it is sometimes shocking. But I think she offers some great, realistic career advice, such as "Don't Do What You Love" (do what you're good at for work, do what you love for love), and this one:
"the truth is, the odds are overwhelming that you are average, and the things that set you apart are negligible when it comes to research about career happiness. So start running your life according to what people have already discovered works for the average person. Otherwise, the real barrier to your career happiness is you".
SmartWorkingMother [no longer operating - but hopefully will some day return?]
Here it is! I have found one - a website devoted to helping mothers who are working outside the home, and whose curator has worked full-time for the 12 years she has been a mother.
This is what I was looking for when I started this blog - there seemed nothing around for full-time working mothers at the time. It's new, but already populated with some helpful articles and resources, plus a tantalising FAQ page which lists all the questions working mothers have. Can't wait for the answers!
Read Juanita Phillips' wonderful book, A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life: How to Have It All, Do It All and Keep It All Together (ABC Books, 2010).
This book is part memoir, part self-help, part cookbook. You might think you couldn't relate to Phillips' juggle as a highly paid newsreader, but you'd be wrong. Read it and see, you will be nodding along as you go just as I was.
Also, like me, she is married to a European, so her book is peppered throughout with a lot of cultural and historical perspective on parenting and juggling, from both sides of her family. I am always interested in this as I think so much parenting advice in particular is very culturally specific and we don't always realise it.
On our crazy juggling act:
" You can find thousands of books that tell you how to micro-manage every conceivable aspect of your life, from relationships to career to having a baby and cooking healthy meals. But, as I found, there's nothing that tells you how to do it all simultaneously."
(1) simplify your life. I love the suggestion to get rid of loyalty cards etc, as I did this too! Declutter your life, and keep your obligations and accoutrements as few as possible
(2) get rid of false time savers and use only the true ones - hence the pressure cooker [though I'm not in agreement on getting rid of the dishwasher - there are labour savers as well as time savers!]
(3) manage your time in 15-minute chunks. I like this one a lot. I know to those who don't have kids that sounds like an utter nightmare, but I'm sure most parents will identify with this one.
"The Working Mother Myth" - article by Michelle Griffin in The Age, November 4, 2011:
"...the reality is that very few mothers can afford the option taken by the novel's heroine, Kate, who quits her job to save her family. And the brutal truth is that even fewer should consider it."
"Balancing Work and Motherhood: What Will You Tell Your Daughter?" - blog article by Mary Hasson at words from cana, April 11, 2010:
"...The reality of modern family life is more fluid, as moms move in and out of the workforce according to their personal desires and family needs...."
"Third of working mothers hold down full-time jobs" - news article on Mail Online, 26 February 2008:
"...there are growing incentives at work for women with young children to continue to work full time..."