The Juggler—The World’s Next Superhero!
By Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Telling people I am a time management expert sounds so boring. Wouldn’t it be more exciting if I told people I was a superhero? Superheroes have cool names. I would be The Juggler—faster than a speeding seven-year-old, more powerful than a mainframe computer, able to leap enormous laundry piles in a single bound…
Okay, now that I have all the sillies out, let’s get serious for a moment. This is a topic that is close to the heart of many women. I’ve honestly never heard a bunch of guys huddled around the water cooler chatting about how hard it is to balance their personal lives and their careers. I think it’s that whole guilt thing. We women feel guilty when we spend time working instead of making Martha Stewart type treats and creating Currier and Ives picture perfect holidays.
The only way I’ve found any kind of balance is to admit that I’ll never be Martha Stewart and to allow the edges of my picture perfect holidays to be a little ragged.
Now that both of my girls are in school, I have more time to work than I used to. Once the girls are home, however, I stay off the computer until they go to bed. Then I put in another couple of hours.
Here are a few tips that you might find helpful in balancing your career and your family’s needs:
1. Write a to-do list every week. I write up new goals every January, which I break down into quarterly goals. Then I take my goals and write out a to-do list each week to help keep me focused. It’s also a great motivator when I write “done” next to an item I’ve completed.
2. Plan meals ahead of time. Homemade meals are a must in our house. Our family spends this time together each day, so the one thing I won’t compromise on is cooking. I usually have my meals planned out for the week by Sunday. I occasionally use the crock-pot so food can cook while I work. Planning ahead allows me to write out the grocery list early so I can purchase everything I need for the week.
3. Speaking of grocery lists, I have mine typed up on the PC. It is set up by aisle the way the grocery store is laid out. This way I can just print off a copy, hang it on the fridge, and check off things as I remember what we need. This also makes it available to family members who might want something special that week.
4. Get ready the night before. During school, I have to make three lunches several days a week. I put them together the night before and tuck them in the refrigerator. The next morning, all I have to do is pull them out and stuff them in backpacks. It’s also a good idea to get your kids in the habit of choosing their clothes for the next school before they go to bed.
5. Sick and tired of having to run downstairs for supplies before you can clean the upstairs bathroom. Have two sets of cleaning supplies, one for upstairs and one for downstairs so that quick clean ups become a breeze.
The balance isn’t always perfect. Some days I have to dedicate more time to my family and less to my writing or vice versa. The most important thing to remember is that you need to find a balance you can live with—not your mother, not your mother-in-law, not the neighbor down the street, or your best friend. No one is walking in your shoes, so make sure they fit your style and juggle away.
Bio: Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.
You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.
In addition, you can listen to BlogTalk Radio’s Robin Falls Kids show: Stories for Children with hosts VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham and Tiffany Strelitz Haber who chatted with CherylMalandrions about her book, writing, the publishing industry, and herexperiences with virtual tours on January 3rd. You can tune in atthe RRRadio’s site at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2011/01/03/rfk-stories-for-children.
To learn more about Cheryl Malandrions visit http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/CherylMalandrinos.aspx
Cheryl Malandrinos's next stop is January 9th at the Utah Writer's Blog http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com/.