I’m a plate spinner. No, not the kind you might catch in Vegas or even on a rerun of an old variety show. In fact, my “plates” are not so much objects, but those elements of my life that get me out of bed in the morning faster than the promise of a hot cup of coffee. With five young boys, and a full-time job, I have plenty of plates to spin. My “act”, while not nearly glamorous enough for Vegas (and a little difficult to simulate on a stage), does seem to provoke the same sense of awe in just about anyone I meet who, on hearing that I have five boys, inevitably exclaim, “How do you do it?”
Welcome to the heady world of working parents. In some households, both parents work, and in some, just one parent works. In my case, it’s me.
No, I don’t feel that this makes me a bad mother. Quite the contrary, it’s a testimony to my wonderful, loving mother who worked full-time while raising my siblings and I. She was a plate spinner extraordinaire. The one who taught me that plate spinning, while a stress-inducing and largely under-appreciated skill, is done by loving parents the world over whether they’re at home or at work.
Stay tuned for my perspective on parenting while tending to your career and working while tending to your parenting.