Women aged 35-44 are the most likely to take time off due to work-related stress,...read more
Why is there only one Mother’s Day and only one Father’s Day a year? Surely this is a misjudgement?
It’s Father’s Day this weekend and only son is rehearsing somewhat reluctantly for a rendition of Daddy Cool in the school assembly. Only son is not into performance of any kind. He would prefer to be very firmly in the background.
In any event, his mind is on greater things than Father’s Day. “I am thinking about secondary school and how it is a chance to draw a line under things and have a new start,” he announced the other day. He is in year 4. That is some forward planning. He had begun the conversation by telling me he wanted to talk about puberty. Again, very much forward planning. In his mind puberty is connected to secondary school which in turn is connected to a Sim card and potentially a posh new phone. “I will need to be in contact with you, mum. Will you ring me every day after I come out of school?”
Anyway, back to Father’s Day. Only son has done a very colourful card. He loves celebrations of all kinds. His sisters, however, are too busy watching Love Island and BTS. Nevertheless, my partner has already ordered Sunday breakfast and only son is on the case. Call it male bonding.
Father’s Day comes at a good time of year. You can almost smell the summer holidays. Mother’s Day, on the other hand, comes way too early, sandwiched between birthdays and Easter. Perhaps, just as the Queen has two birthdays, we should have multiple parent days.
This week I could do with a lie-in. Things have not gone altogether smoothly. Firstly, there was parking. I live in a village. Public transport is not good. All roads round the train station in the town next door are parking permit only. If you arrive after 6.45am you have to park about half an hour’s walk away to find a space.
So I got to the station car park at the crack of dawn the other day. It was already heaving, but there were still spaces. I went for a too small one, got wedged in, couldn’t move forward or backward…The car was getting very distressed [alarms start ringing if you get too close to anything solid]. Finally I emerged, by which time all available places had been taken so I drove up the road to the car park off the high street. Which would have been fine, but the payment by card function didn’t work on the machine so six one pound coins were required. I’d used all my change on school dinners. I rang the number of the board. It wasn’t open. I rang the emergency line. The person on the other end seemed to think I was in Milton Keynes. I tried to download the app, but only son had used up all my data. In the end, I got some cash out, got some change and ran the 15 minutes to the station.
The next trip into London began much better. I was up early to drop daughter one at the station, did some news and some cleaning, sewed only son’s trousers, got everyone ready, did the school run and then found a parking place fairly near the station.
Everything was running smoothly even though I had failed to switch on the plug to charge my phone so had to use an A-Z. But I found the place I was going to and was congratulating myself on my efficiency. I sat back and listened to the conference speakers. It was only after the first break that I looked down and noticed that my dress was on inside out. At some point in the near future, surely, I will glide into events, stress free, looking both efficient and wise.