OMG! I am so AWESOME!

A friend sent me this and I don't know the source, so I'm really sorry I can't cite them..but how could I not use this picture today!?
A friend sent me this and I don’t know the source, so I’m really sorry I can’t cite them..but how could I not use this picture today!?

Today,  i had one of those days when everything seemed to fall into place …and I’m not afraid to say it..by geez, I am good,  I am ON FIRE people.

Yep, it’s true.   Get up and exercise?  Damn right I did,  6am and I’m running like the wind,  sweat beating my brow, muscles straining, I am strong.

Home, clean the kitchen,  make breakfast, make the lunches (except for my husbands because his is already made because I am so awesome I spent my Sunday afternoon cooking a large batch meal, labeling it and putting it in the freezer for him this week), tidy the bedrooms, pack the school bags,  pack my work bag,  shower and make up,  break up kids argument,  walk them to school on the school bus (because peeps, I am a community minded school team player),  navigate peak hour traffic,  arrive at work….  a small mouthful of cottage cheese and green smoothie…because I am ALL OVER my health and well being.

Presentation complete…YEP, I nailed it.   I have now been given responsibilities for a new project based on my clear awesomeness.  Led meetings, updated my priorities lists, posted on my social networks.  Connected with people in the office.

Home again, pick up kids, start making dinner.  Husband arrives home and asks if I need some help.  Me?  Help?  NO WAY!!  Because I am so damn amazing, I can do it all…just WATCH me go.  Set table, clean up after dinner,  check diary, read school notes, reply to my emails,  check in with my friends on Facebook, put the washing on, pick up the toys that have magically appeared across the floor in the short time we have been home.

Get kids ready for bed, read stories…give them my undivided love and attention, included a lengthy discussion about YU-GI-O cards which I still don’t understand but I listened attentively because that’s how great I am.

I HAVE DONE IT ALL.  I am woman hear me ROARRRRRRRR

The crowd cheers…well…actually,  no crowd,  husband is down tinkering on his car,  kids are in bed rooms (not asleep,  whining,  but in their rooms because I got them into their room precisely at bed time as required).

So,  what award do I get for my great achievements, you ask?  Well…er…um…I don’t do it for the rewards.  I do it because it makes me feel good.  Do I feel good?  Well…yes…kind of, in an absolutely exhausted, overwhelmed, kind of way.

But…excuse me, I think you are missing the point,  I did it ALL,  I DID IT.  I succeeded in effective work and life balance?  didn’t I?   DIDN’T I ?!?!!?!?!?

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I totally need a wife…

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I was lying in bed this morning reading a magazine and drinking my tea (I know…blissful, right!), and stumbled upon an article by Annabel Crabb in Marie Claire about women needing wives.   Now, I don’t get on my soap box very often about women’s issues and I really don’t want to start complaining (which incidentally was the other article I read about in the magazine, but hey we’ll talk about that another day) but geez did this hit a hot button for me.

Oh my goodness, how I could do with a wife!

It really is incredible when you think how much women in the workplace has changed over the last 50 years, yet men in the workplace has not shifted much at all.   Pretty much every woman I know is the one who has made some compromise on her work in order to juggle her children.   And I have never thought about it in the context that Crabb presented.     I do feel sometimes like I am working with one hand tied behind my back (literally, sometimes, like the day I presented a plan during a teleconference whilst simultaneously holding a bowl for my son to spew in…again, a story for another day).

When my husband needs to work late or travel overseas, it is one quick phone call to the household manager (e.g me) and so it is done. Yet, when I had to travel recently for work, it was a major production, there were spreadsheets, child co-ordination systems and incredible pre-planning (on my part).

No wonder women find it so hard to get ahead.

I can’t sit here and blame my husband. I do work slightly less hours and have an incredibly flexible workplace and boss. And at least in part, it is my fault. Yep, I confess, I’m a control freak and there is a part..deep down inside of me…that feels proud when I manage to successfully juggle it all.   Mission accomplished. I am woman hear me roar…all that!

But this morning I imagined a world where I came home to a beautiful clean house with food smells wafting from the oven. The washing done, folded and put away.  Where my children had been picked up from school and cared for by someone I love and trust.   Where if I needed to work late I could just do that, instead of mentally trying to work out when I might have an hour free that I could squeeze in that last bit of work (10pm perhaps?).   Would I be more successful at work?   Would I be happier?

Ok..time to wake up, ‘cause that ain’t happening.   However, perhaps it is time for us to revisit priorities in our house. Maybe it is time for me to let go on some things and push a bit harder on others, and not let the guilt eat at me. Maybe things have shifted a little too much out of my favour.

I don’t have a wife…but I have a husband and a family…who are pretty awesome, and capable and amazing (just like me!!)…so maybe they could do a little more to help even things out so that we are all capable of succeeding.

claire2

Being fair doesn’t mean being equal

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I was watching an interview on TV today about women working from home instead of in the office once they have had children (revolutionary topic!?!?).

It reminded me how fortunate I am working for a company which has provided a flexible working environment which has changed from working full time in the office, to full time at home and pretty much every combo of them both in between throughout my career. Whilst I have been afforded this luxury, I know that not every workplace can be this flexible and on the flip side, there are some employees who exploit the flexibility provided to them. Making it a very tricky subject.

In the interview today they also talked about how other workers often look unfavorably upon women with children being given flexibility that they don’t feel like they are afforded.  Like the non-smoker who curses the smokers who get extra breaks, there are always those who will strike out with “..that’s not fair”.  Infact, I remember watching some of my colleagues coming into work at 9.30am and leaving bang on 5pm while I slaved away into the evening,  thinking “i’m never going to be one of those people”.

There is a great sign up at my kids school is says “Being fair doesn’t mean being equal.  It means everyone is getting what they need to succeed“.   I love this statement and annoy my kids with it all the time now.  Because it is so true.

As a Manager,  you need to work with everyone in your team individually.  To understand what is important to them, what do they need to lift them up higher and make them fabulous?   And what one person needs, is not what everyone needs.  And those needs can change dramatically throughout someone’s career.  Great Managers execute on this for their team because they know they will reap the rewards ten fold.

Now I am that person who sometimes comes in at 9.30am and leaves by 5pm.  I work from home a lot and walk the dog in my lunch break.   And I am 100 times more productive than I ever was when I was sitting at my desk for long hours wasting time judging my co-workers.

We need to stop comparing ourselves with others.  It’s not whether you have children or don’t. whether your a woman or a man. If the person in the seat next to you (or working from their office at home), isn’t getting the same as you,  that’s OK…infact, that’s just how it should be.