I have always been one to vehemently champion the working mother, being one myself and all. And, up until now, everything has gone as well as it can. I have three kids and have always gone back to work through financial need and because I think I might have gone beyond bonkers with boredom if I didn’t.
I thought, as they got older, it would be easier. Not so. My youngest has just started school and (I naively presumed) with all three of them in the same school, life would be easier. Not one bloody bit. I now have three sets of pick-ups, homework, kitbags to wash, snacks to organise, reading to be heard etc. etc. We live about 30 mins from school and by the time we get home (usually around 5:30pm) we have homework, showers, supper, PJs, teeth and reading to do. That leaves about 30s for my kids to actually relax. Be kids. Play.
Bit crap, isn’t it?
And so, for the first time, I am wondering if it would be better if I was at home. I mean, it’s flippin’ manic. All of the above plus 5 lots of washing, the housework, the bills, the food planning/shopping/cooking/cajoling/clearing. We have no babysitter. This not only means no nights out but we have the impending Parents’ evenings to attend, as teachers (yes, both of us in the same school). What do we do with the kids?
Our weekends are a blur of kids’ parties (bloody ****ing things), MORE homework, chores and passing out in front of Strictly. Having made a different home-made pizza for everyone. And cleared up.
My oldest daughter is entering tweenage and squawks at how unfair it all is. My son has Aspergers and needs a lot of attention which former daughter finds unfair (surprise!). My youngest is as feisty as …. and requires taming at any opportunity lest she release the wrath of a four-year-old redhead.
It’s tiring. So, so tiring.
We are trying to do it all and scraping through, but I worry that my kids’ childhood will be gone in a whiffling breeze and when we are finally sorted and good-to-go it will be ‘Where are the kids? Oh, university!’.
Complicated, isn’t it?