The Circus of Life

To all you sporting mums out there who are also working mums, ever feel like you are constantly juggling to keep all the balls in the air?

Just when I feel like I have it all under control, homework, housework, wife work (yes sometimes it is hard work), cooking, shopping, sports training, sports competitions, fitness training and of course the work I actually get paid for…occasionally something will happen that throws the juggling of balls all out of alignment.

I have adapted my life (and family) accordingly to balance as much as I can so that everyday life will flow as optimal as I can get it. Things like buying clothes that don’t require too much ironing (if at all), training my kids to do set tasks each day and week (yes I am still old school and believe in pocket money for set jobs around the house), a 15-minute cooking preparation time limit and a larger sized mobile phone so I can read emails and social media in the “quiet times” like waiting around for my kids training sessions to finish. Call it what you may, but that’s how I keep my “work: life” balance!

Last week, however, was one of those weeks that had me madly shuffling things to make sure the balls were kept in the air. Two teenagers in the household ended up on crutches needing x-rays and extra doctor appointments, these things of course were not nicely factored into my juggling routine. My balancing act went slightly skewed and I am sure at least one, if not a couple of balls almost fell.

Apart from a little bit of tightness in my shoulders from carrying the extra stress, it actually had some positive outcomes. It put extra responsibility onto my son and he had to lift his game around the house. It proved he could help out more than what he was previously doing (even if he was doing the tasks with his air pods in and totally non interactive). It also reinforced the fact that sometimes things happen in life that you are not ready for, but you work out how to deal with it as best you can and things at some stage if you are lucky enough will go back to normal (well as normal it will get in this family). I liken it to an aeroplane hitting a bit of turbulence. Last week our lives hit a little bit of turbulence but now we are back on track and enjoying the flight.

It’s funny though, on reflection, the ball that I almost dropped momentarily was the routine I have that makes sure I am alright. With the focus even more on the kids and making sure they were okay, I wasn’t paying attention to basic things like getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, doing my exercise routine and all the other “optional things in life” that make me feel good. There were other things that I have simply put off or completely forgotten to do as the priority was and always will be my kids, especially in times of need.

It is almost ironic that we hit turbulence the same week R U Ok? was promoted. If anyone asked me that question last week, I would have replied “I am getting there”. But this week is a new week, and everything is starting to get back on track. In retrospect it wasn’t so much as turbulence as a little bump, I know that there are a lot more people going through worse things in their life at the moment. My question to you is, what are you doing to make sure U R Ok?

Being a mother, wife, house cleaner, money earner, cook, coach …and all the other jobs or “life roles” you have going on each day, make sure you take time for you!. As Stephen Covey would say, take time to “sharpen the saw”, rather than trying to cut with a blunt saw. Look after yourself like you would your car. After all, you cannot get from A to B without petrol.

Yvette Audet

Yvette Audet

Sport has been an integral part of my life, both work and personal. I grew up with sport, met my husband through sport and now as a mother, am involved more than ever in sport!

As a trainer and consultant in the industry I work with sporting groups and councils to create community facilities and partnerships aimed to increase sport participation.

I have created a range of articles from the perspective of a SPORTING MUM. The articles relate life skills and messages that we can get from being involved in sport. It’s uncanny how Sport can mirror life.


Involved in gymnastics, netball and athletics from an early age, Yvette experienced being part of a team as well as the unrelentless discipline in individual sport – in particular her Heptathlon days.

First became a mum in 2005 and remembers having the inner debate of how long should I play netball while pregnant? Doing quick breastfeeds in between netball games and hoping her uterus wouldn’t feel like falling out when she jumped for the ball.

Funny anecdotes aside, she has worked in the sport and recreation industry for almost 30 years and holds several certificates and degrees around the management and training of sport, community recreation, aquatics and fitness.

Through her various roles in profit and non-profit sectors, she has helped plan for programs, events and facilities to help get communities active through sport and recreation.