I Don’t Know How She Does It!

Featured on the news yesterday was a review of the new movie ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ starring Sarah Jessica Parker. The film is based on the 2002 book by Alison Pearson and chronicles the life of a working mother of two children who takes on the challenges of balancing both work and family life.

Watching the clip reminded me of my past situation, how as a single mother of four children I was able to work full-time, sit on the parent teacher committee, taxi my children to their various activities, complete a degree and secure a managerial promotion at work.

In Control Of My Destiny

I became a single mother when the children were aged 8, 6, 3 and 18 months.  Although I knew I would face many challenges, what spurned me on was that  I came to terms with the fact that I had a choice. I could either allow my circumstances to take control of me or I could be in control of my destiny. I chose to be in control of my destiny.

I had no choice but to work full-time. The mortgage, bills, children’s clothes and activities still had to be paid for. I believed that I could still achieve my goals and ambitions.

People used to ask “How do you do that?”

Sometimes I would jokingly respond by saying. ” I manage to look calm whilst managing chaos.” I even adopted the name ‘Octomum’ because of my ability to multi-task.

 Structure Is The Key

For me the key element was having structure in the household. This meant that I had to construct a chart of the things that needed to be completed on a day by day basis.

As with all things you must have a plan. You have to know what it is you wish to achieve and break it down into small attainable chunks.

Whilst the children were growing up I always included them in the household chores. For example, I devised a rota for dusting polishing and vacuuming.

It not only helped me but it taught them life skills. I would  schedule time for household chores on Friday evening and became a family activity.

I remember running around collecting the children from school, childminder, dropping them off to swimming, dance and football activities and going home to feed them, bathe them, help with homework and settle them into bed.  Although I may have been tired, I would take out my books out and study.  It was not uncommon to wake up in the middle of the night still slumped on my books.

I am sure many mothers can relate to being this busy and having to juggle the demands of daily life.

Want More? Make sure you don’t miss out!

In my next post I will be sharing with you some quick tips and ideas that helped me to overcome some of the challenges facing women who are juggling family, studying and work.

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  • Reply
    Ingrid Durant
    5th February 2012 at 12:47 am

    I saw Sonia at a conference a few years ago and had every intention of contacting her, and did not!

    She kept sending me emails and for month I did not really read them, but tonight I have and sent her email onto two friends, she is so positively persistent and focused, she is amazing!! when the time is right you see what is there to see and do, and having Sonia is the right thing to embrace, she is just so wise and deep and empowering.

    Im so glad i read the email tonight!!

    • Reply
      Sonia Shepherd
      9th February 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Hey Ingrid, Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am glad that you are finding the videos and emails useful. Let me know if there is a particular empowerment topic you would like me to blog about and I will be happy to do a post. Thanks again.x

  • Reply
    14th November 2011 at 1:19 am

    Sonia I think your amazing!!

    Yes I’d agree structure is KEY in doing everything. At times it sounds so academic to think about structure when all you want to achieve is your housework. But as you said Sonia breaking it down into minute sections, is the easiest way to achieve.

    I used to write everything in a book, it included how much time I spent in the bathroom how, long it should take me to arrive at the supermarket, how long I should spend shopping etc and I made sure I stuck to it.

    If your finding that hard to comprehend just use 30 minutes slots it easier to manage and you’ll feel absolutely great because you’d be able to see progress!!!

    Good luck and don’t delay start TODAY!!


  • Reply
    28th September 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Inspirational and empowering. LvT

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