It’s a funny old world. This week I have received a few emails alerting me to something called National Work Life Week which occurs next week. I glanced at my calendar. Every day is crammed with stuff. There is even stuff written in the margins. I’m not sure it is shouting work life balance.
Firstly, my partner is away, meaning that I have to drive all the kids to secondary school before returning to primary school. Daughter three is off on a school trip on Sunday necessitating what I will call extreme planning and Youtube tutorials on packing. On Monday I have a work event in the evening. My partner is back halfway through the evening. On Wednesday I have an event in the afternoon and evening just when daughter three arrives back, helpfully at 4pm, half an hour after primary school finishes and at the exact time I normally pick up from secondary school.
On Thursday I am out at an event all day and it happens to be open evening at school. Daughter three is starting secondary school next year so has to go. She has in fact got heavily into open evenings and is planning to visit “most of the schools in the area”. Apparently one school gives out a goodie bag with a bendy ruler so that is high on the list. Daughters two and one are at the secondary school. It finishes at 12. However, helpfully, someone has “volunteered” daughter two to show people around during open evening due to her skills at public speaking. This means she has to be back at school at 4.30pm. Then daughter three has to be there by 6pm as does daughter one because the sixth form has an open evening the same night. Daughter two won’t be finished until 8.30pm. I can’t get back home till at least 6pm. I have constructed an elaborate plan which I think will work if nothing untoward happens. I have factored in the closure of the road leading to the secondary school for repaving [until 9th October…]. Clearly my plan basically involves my mum. She has sent me a bullet-pointed email verifying the details.
In amongst all of this, of course, is the day to dayness of work. If you take time out to go to events and meetings, etc, you have to make that time up. Wednesday is apparently Go Home on Time Day. But what if you work from home and you’re out during the afternoon and early evening and have to catch up on urgent emails before heading out to another event the day after? I am anticipating a 2am finish to Wednesday, but I will be at home – and likely even in bed – so, strictly speaking, I will be going home on time.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.