For the past couple of months I have been asked one question time and time again, in various different forms.
It goes something like this, “I just don’t know how you do it”. Or, “I couldn’t do it, I don’t know how you do”. Or, “You should really take care – I mean, I just don’t know how you manage it”.
In each situation, the person is talking about my work.
I say “work” rather than “job”, because I actually have several jobs. I juggle these around the regular duties of motherhood, just like hundreds of thousands of other women up and down the country.
The thing is, this juggling and racing around at a hundred miles an hour has become the norm for me now. I get up at 3.45am, drive 45 minutes to work, present a breakfast radio show, do post and pre-show prep, then drive 45 minutes to the childminder and collect my child. I spend the afternoon avoiding tantrums and attempting to make my motherhood tiara sparkle like a disco ball, before putting my daughter to bed and starting the next run of work.
The other work involves sitting at my computer and writing. It may be writing copy for clients, writing features for magazines or websites, writing blog posts or just writing a million and one response emails. Either way, writing is very much a part of what I do and how I put money in the bank.
This isn’t particularly exciting, but I want to keep a record of my life as it is right now, because I know it won’t be this way forever.
At some point I will either have another baby, burn out or win the lottery.
Or – and this is the thing that really keeps me going – the work will dry out. Because when you’re self-employed, there’s nothing like the fear of having no work to keep you battling on.
So, to those that ask me “How do you do it?” my response is this: I do it because I can, because I love what I do, because I have to, because I don’t know how long I’ll be doing it for and because I want to purchase my own home eventually.
But, above all else, I do it for this: