It’s tough being a working mother. Life is full of compromises. I’m permanently trying to juggle my kids, my home, my work (and my blog!), and I feel like I can’t do any of that as much or as well as I would like to. And yes, I appreciate this is my choice, although I’d argue there’s not much “choice” involved when we’d have to make significant lifestyle changes to survive without my salary and benefits. And yes, I appreciate I’m lucky to have a job at all in this current economic climate, particularly one that is very family friendly and permits me to work a, quite frankly, very flexible pattern. So yes, I’m lucky. But it’s hard work.
Take this week, for example. This week I was only in the office for three days. Yet every one of those three days I was later leaving home than I generally aim to be, and I felt I was scraping into the office just in time, rather than being comfortably on time. Another one of those compromises I guess.
We’ve got a pretty good morning routine going these days. On my working days all I have to worry about is getting myself out of the door – the geekdaddy gets the kids up, dressed, breakfasted and off to nursery. But I have one principle that I try to stick to – I always try to see both kids before I walk out of the door in the morning. Lately that’s been getting more difficult, as the geekson appears to be taking after his Daddy and enjoying his lie-ins more, and there have been a couple of occasions when I’ve needed to be in the office early and I’ve missed seeing him completely. As the geekdaughter appears to be turning in to an early riser like me we’ve gradually shifted the routine so that I am now getting the geekdaughter dressed and making her breakfast while the men of the household enjoy a few more minutes in bed. Which means I now have more to do in the mornings, which is taking me longer, and therefore making me more likely to be late for work.
And that’s why I was late to work on Monday.
Then on Tuesday the geekdaughter decided she wanted to make Daddy a Father’s Day card before he woke up, and I was roped in to help her write the inscription. Her writing is coming on really well, and she was keen to write the whole card herself. I asked her what she wanted the card to say, expecting something simple like “To Daddy love daughter”, and was amazed when she told me in no uncertain terms that she wanted to write “Dear Daddy, wishing you a happy father’s day, love daughter”. She made me dictate each word, letter by letter, and bless her she made a brilliant job of writing it all, as you can see.
I’m counting on the fact that the geekdaddy doesn’t read this blog to ensure this remains a surprise for him on Sunday, so please don’t mention it until then if you see him!
So I was late on Tuesday because I was actually doing crafts with my daughter!
Finally yesterday. The geekdaughter likes to put music on when she gets up in the morning, and yesterday we were enjoying a full rendition of the “Room on the Broom” soundtrack when the boys got downstairs. At this point the geekdaddy decided he’d had enough “kid music” and put his own music on. This resulted in all four of us dancing around the kitchen like loons, followed by a very earnest lecture from the geekdaughter about how her music is better than her father’s. She illustrated her point by making imaginary crabs with her hands.
See, Daddy. This crab is my music, and this crab is your music. See how my music goes “pinch, pinch, pinch” and eats all your music up!
No, it didn’t make sense at the time either. But it was fun. And it made me late for work again.
I wonder what will happen next week…!