Ground Control to Major Mom

Some days I seem to change hats so many times that I can’t remember exactly who Jane is. She gets lost amongst the multiple roles I, we women, shift between each day. Like shape shifters – seamlessly and silently adapting to what is required of the task at hand. Mom, wife, friend, cleaner, chauffeur, sports enthusiast, chef, personal shopper, bank machine, defender of the home ground…

Some days purr along like a sleek Jaguar. I like these. They seem so prepared, so elegant. Other days cascade along like a 1970’s Morris Minor screaming around corners with the wheels barely hanging on, banana peels and grubby hands blotting at the windows. I love those days – they make me feel alive with their energy and urgency.

But, some days, things are so chaotic that I feel as if I can’t breathe. Juggling thoughts, plans, groceries, presents, band aids, birthday wishes, cricket bats, snacks, backpacks and Niknaks on the endless conveyor belt of motherhood. On these days, everyone else seems so together, so Martha.

In order to make it through the week, I rely on a combination of two things: my internal Control Centre and my external manifestation of this – Major Mom. The Control Centre is where all planning takes place. She is a combination of files within my head, my phone, my weekly planner on my fridge, the school calendars for my sons and last-minute lift club changes. She is my autopilot. She helps me shift from one role to the next, ticks off completed tasks and slots information into narrow slivers of space in the cerebral filing cabinet – goodness knows where she finds the space. She holds it together.

Then there is the external face: Major Mom. She makes it all a reality as She puts the plans into action. She holds the face, the voice, the energy of someone in control. Some days She is very efficient. Even if the Control Centre is short circuiting, Major Mom still appears to hold it together. But some days, on chaotic days, there is the danger of a break down if CC and MM stop speaking.

On these days, reminding myself that I exist as a combination of logical organisation and understandable human fatigue helps me to forgive myself the small, and big, mistakes. My home is organised in a way that seems to work for me and for my family; the fridge is always stocked enough for there to be supper on the table; I have time to play games with my kids. These are the goals I set for myself each week when I look at my life’s schedule.

Achieving these seemingly innocuous goals helps me to find the confidence to tackle the bigger things in my life, like resigning from my job, starting a new career track and the leap of faith that everything will be ok. Understanding the value of planning these little goals helps me to see that I am doing ok. I wobble, I trip, I fall but the Control Centre has things under her watchful eye and I can still be a somewhat functional woman who is able to dream and grow and nurture my own life path. Major Mom holds the appearance of this together.

I, the human, may float and feel disconnected at times, but I am doing ok.

Over and out.