Routine is the lifeblood of my household. That sounds like a paradox, given what these words connote – routine is sterile and boring, while lifeblood is the essence of what gives something its meaning or joy – but for my little family it is absolutely true. My husband and I work full time in professional jobs, have two small children, a dog and no parents living anywhere near us: mine are interstate, while his are in Sweden and most decidedly off the hook.
I have three sisters who live in the same city as us, but they are all busy working professionals with lives of their own and understandably don’t have time or inclination to babysit my children. As a result, our domestic life is a series of logistical gymnastics and shared calendars, carefully mapped to take us from business meeting to play date; kinder pick up to soccer practice. We seesaw together in a beautiful pattern, weaving balletic tapestries of chores around each other like two artists, and it is truly majestic watching this poetry in motion.
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Until something happens to upset the balance, and the whole thing crashes to the ground.
This reality is something I hadn’t considered as a wide-eyed woman newly pregnant with my firstborn and contemplating breastfeeding, bums and Bugaboos: domestic life with no outside 'spotter' is a house of cards, and it doesn’t just wobble – it falls. Violently. Village support is paramount when the routine gets wrecked, but I’m surely not the only working parent looking around for mine.