My mother always did quite the juggling act. When I was two years old, my parents built and opened their very own furniture store. It was open seven days a week, except for Sundays in the summer. (Dad wanted the freedom to work outside on his garden at least one full day.) At the same time, she was the organist of our church. That entailed two services every Sunday, choir practice every Wednesday night, weddings and funerals, and any other special services. When I hit kindergarten, my parents decided to keep me in Montessori school. I was already reading and to go to public kindergarten, I would be learning my alphabet again. My sister was also old enough at that point to join the toddler program. So, Mom started to help with bookeeping and billing at the school, to offset the two tuitions.
My sister and I both attended the Montessori school through the sixth grade. Mom continued working there until I had graduated from high school. The day following my graduation, my parents moved to the next county south and closed the furniture store. When Mom left the school, she started working for various accountants in town, eventually landing a position as resident bookkeeper for one particular business.
Despite juggling three different jobs, my mother always had time for us. The store closed early on Tuesdays, so that was Girl's Night Out. On Friday nights, the store closed late, but we would all curl up on the couch to watch Dallas. Saturday evenings were designated for grocery shopping and family nights around the TV watching shows like The Golden Girls. Sunday mornings, we would go to church together and then hang out at Grandma's while Mom played the second service. Sunday afternoons were spent around the house, or playing in the yard or the pool. She managed to make it to all of our parent-teacher conferences and any performances or special events that we had.
As we got older, those times started to drift and change. Girlfriends and boyfriends became more important. But we still snuck in some family time. Holidays were strictly for family. Dinner was expected to be together, as much as customers allowed. And she still came to all of our functions.
Because of my mother's example, I am somewhat of a workaholic. I teach full-time, but also dabble in little things like writing, babysitting, tutoring, gardening, etc. I know that if I need to make some extra money, the opportunities are there for me to do so. It also helps to keep life from being monotonous. When I get tired of one thing, I can often focus on something else for a while. And I always make sure that I leave time for friends and family, like she did for us.