Em Rusciano: 5 Lessons I’ve Learnt on Managing the Juggle

As a parent of three who has survived rangling kids over several lockdowns whilst also maintaining a career, schedules and to-do lists have become my new best friends.

My days are always different as I might be up early to record one morning and then have a late stand-up show the next night. It’s a juggling act, and sometimes I feel like an exhausted juggler who can’t see straight. I’m sure most parent knows the challenges of balancing family time with their own ambitions, a lot of time when you’re doing one you’re thinking about the other and vice-versa, and probably feeling guilty about it.

Image: Instagram @emrusciano

I’m also from a family of neuro-divergent magic brains, so you can imagine the delightful chaos my family and I sometimes live in. I am usually pretty good at captaining the ship but sometimes the captain forgets important dates and times and the ship ends up lost. My kids still give me a hard time about all of us having to camp out at the Rome airport because I not only got the time of our return flight home wrong but the day too. 

I think, like so many other Australian households, I’m always navigating my way through this daily madness, trying to keep everyone (semi) organised, connected or entertained. For my fellow parents, I have a few tips that I now live by because believe it or not, you can manage and still carve out time for yourself.

Keep Speaking to the People You Love

Sometimes I can get swept up in my work commitments, so I need to be intentional about making time to check in with the people in my life. Stay in touch with those you care about — a simple phone call can make the world of difference to your stress levels.

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

We’re all a bit guilty of putting the pressure on ourselves to be perfect 100% of the time. Especially for mums, I hate the guilt society put on women to “do it all” and the expectation that we don’t ask for help. I’m definitely not perfect (re. the Rome airport situation) so I like to just set myself small goals and lower my standards a bit — have I managed to put on matching socks, are there no visible stains on the school uniforms, did I eat something green today, are my kids still breathing…. you’ll love the relief it brings. Because really, you’ll never be able to do it all.

Em Rusciano
Image: Instagram @emrusciano

Reminders, Reminders, Reminders

It can be so difficult to keep on top of it all when you have work or family commitments constantly popping up. I am also the CEO of my company so I like to set up daily check-ins to keep myself accountable. I use an Echo Show 15 Smart Display as a great support. I’m usually a bit of a technophobe but it’s made my day so much easier. I synched my calendar, to-do list and reminders on my phone to it through its Alexa app so I can walk in every day and just ask Alexa what’s on.

Take a Break

Resetting and just having time to yourself is really important. Step out and let the sunshine on your face for a bit, take your shoes off and wriggle your toes in the grass… you can feel the relaxation in your soul. Going back to being in routine and taking time for me is part of it. Sometimes I like to do a virtual yoga session or mindful meditation with the Yoga Guru or Headspace.

Keep the Mood Up

Music is the key to calmer mornings. My kids tend to fall flat on weekdays so we have a before-school playlist and when Beyonce starts singing, the whole house knows it’s time to face the day. Whenever I play our “morning pump-up” list, I can feel the mood instantly lift in the house. And on Thursdays, the family wakes up to mummy’s podcast, because they have no choice.

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