This mother of four has one hell of a parenting mantra.

Being the mother of four kids is enough to keep anyone busy. But for Randa Abdul-Fattah, busy doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface.

The Sydney-based mum has a string of jobs to her name: author, academic, lawyer, columnist, and human rights activist.

She’s written ten books, including the award-winning novel Does My Head Look Big in This?  – which is currently being adapted into a movie.  Her latest book,  When Michael Met Mina, was squeezed in at the same time she was doing her PhD on issues of race in Australia.

The 37-year-old uses her platform to express her views about racism, multiculturalism, human rights, Islamophobia, the occupation of Palestine and asylum seekers.

So when Holly Wainwright interviewed her on the I Don’t Know How She Does It podcast, she had to know. How does Randa balance it all with four kids at home clamouring for attention?

Easy. She makes no apologies for the fact that she can’t do it all.

“Having it all is nonsense,” Randa says.

“There are nights I go to bed crying thinking ‘it’s too much, it’s overwhelming, I’ve taken on too much, are my kids suffering?'”

I Don’t Know How She Does It is the podcast where work and motherhood collide:

We’ve all been there. So how does the bestselling author do so much without reaching that breaking point?

She writes when the kids are in bed. She utilises her large family support network. She adores her husband and sees parenting as a partnership – not something that has to be done alone. And she accepts that sometimes, things fall apart, and that’s okay.

Listen to the full interview here and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or the Mamamia podcast app