BPM Childcare - Christine LeMaitre
Marketing manager Christine LeMaitre's home truths.
Things can go a little crazy when you're juggling a job, managing a home and keeping three little boys happy all at the same time. Sometimes, something falls off, despite your best efforts.
That's what happened to BPM Childcare's marketing manager Christine LeMaitre's laptop. It fell off when she was juggling swimming bags, school bags and her handbag on the way to the car. And then she drove over it. Aaaghhh.
But Christine is philosophical. "It's just an awful lot that I'm managing and occasionally things are going to fall off. I can't do anything about it."
She works three days a week at BPM Childcare, a Sydney-based distributor for the likes of Baby Bjõrn, Silly Billyz and Isoki. Her two elder boys, Nathan, eight, and Marshall, five, are at school, and four-year-old Braeden is at preschool.
"It's a pendulum - I can feel totally out of control in a busy week, and then at other times I think, 'This is great.'"
She's been at BPM for six years and at times still wishes she could be a stay-at-home mum, but realises it may not make her completely happy. She loves her job.
"I'm happy at work because I'm in control. I can sit in my office and I can go to the toilet whenever I want."
And she's good at her job. Her boss gives her flexibility to make sure she stays.
"I love the autonomy - to have ideas and make them happen. I love the advertising and promotion and I love being back in the business - having meetings and getting dressed up, and feeling like a real adult."
Even if, occasionally, she turns up at work with her cardie on inside out.
She keeps to a strict schedule at home to keep the chaos at a minimum. After the boys go to bed around 8-8.30pm, it's time to pack school bags, make as much of the school lunches as possible, fold washing and so on.
In the morning she tag-teams with husband Paul to get the boys ready for school. Three times a week she goes for a run and that's her "me time".
"I crave time alone because I never have it," she says.
She and Paul hire a babysitter once every three months for a special event but that's it.
On the plus side there are all the times she gets to snuggle with the kids.
"My favourite times of day are mornings and nights when I am snuggling with all my kids in our big king-sized bed. When my four year old turns to me out of the blue and says, "Mummy, I love you - you are in my heart!" It just melts me and makes everything worthwhile."
As all mums know, those moments of family fun are over in the blink of an eye.
"When they say, 'Mummy, come and jump on the trampoline with me,' I try and make a conscious effort to stop whatever I am doing and do it, as there will come a day when they stop asking."
Family photograph: Advanced Life Photography