There's no doubt Tanith Carey loves her family and her children but, like many mothers in contemporary society, she is pulled and pushed in different directions - a dramatic roller coaster that often ends in confusion and exhaustion.
Ms Carey, who spent her teenage years growing up in Mosman and Seaforth, has put her knowledge and practical experience together in her new book, Mum Hacks, encouraging women to banish the dream of being "supermums", bringing them tips on making life less stressful and ways to avoid domestic meltdowns.
Speaking to North Shore Living, Ms Carey says as a mother who had to earn a living following the birth of her two daughters, Lily, 14 and Clio, 11, she wished her brain hadn't constantly felt like a computer with "too many tabs open".
"As the children grew up, I wish I hadn't bitterly observed that 'having it all' actually meant having to do absolutely everything - all at exactly the same time," she reflects.
"By having to work around the clock, I've had to 'lean in' so far that I've almost fallen flat on my face. But this is not another mummy rant about the lack of 'me time'.
Tanith’s Tips for less chaos and more quality time:-
• Never lay the table again - stick a week's worth of cutlery in a glass jar so everyone can take their own
• Don't use too many bowls or plates in every meal. Serve meals and snacks on platters to save washing up
• Keep two doormats: one inside the house and one outside to cut down on dust that comes in
< By 80 per cent
- Teach tidiness: introduce rules about how many toys/games can be taken out at one time. If the house Is a mess, get the kids to tidy up and make it a race against time with a stopwatch
- Save on ironing by taking clothes as quickly as possible from dryer and folding while still warm
"The book and the conversation is about how to find more uninterrupted moments for our children if anyone is ever going to feel good about this escalating state of affairs," she says.
"As it stands, we have economic uncertainty and a long-hours culture - and as much as dads have valiantly tried to step up and share the load, experimenting with the cook book, the workplace just keeps demanding more from ALL of us." Her view is that despite all the good intentions about being the best mother, stress Is the greatest enemy of good parenting.
“It makes us all very reactive - especially when all does not go to plan,” she explains.
Her motivation for writing Mum Hacks has been to assure mums that It's -OK to be seen to be doing less”, with many urgently needing to edit the tasks which are making a tough job even tougher.
Her solutions are often uncomplicated and simple.
“We need more support for raising our children,” she adds. “As corny as it sounds they see LOVE as TIME, and these precious days will always be the emotional bedrock of their lives,” She urges parents, especially mums, to tick fewer boxes”.
“Even If you don't need to work take short-cuts which will mean spending less time running around, cooking and cleaning and more lime having fun.
“The time has come to stand up to the 'too much' culture and let's start saying 'no' to stealing away the best moments of being both a parent and a child.”