Mums are significantly more likely than dads to have lost their jobs or quit as a result...read more
“It’s Monday tomorrow,” said my partner as soon as he woke up on Sunday. The problem with the weekend is that it’s over almost as soon as it’s begun because by Saturday night you are already anticipating Monday morning and most of the time I’ve been checking email on Saturday mornings so the respite between the end of one week and the beginning of the next is about four to six hours. That includes children, although they tend to deny they have any homework until last thing on Sunday night when they suddenly discover they have a maths test tomorrow.
Only son is the only one who still approaches homework as if it was something a little bit magical. “We’re doing pirates this term, mum!” he exclaimed. Not real pirates who are a bit violent and worrying, but the mythical version where they wear eye patches and sing. “I’ve learnt some pirate words, mum. Yo ho ho,” said only son. I can envisage the whole making a pirate ship out of toilet rolls thing coming my way soon. He’s also got a new reading book. He explained that he was allowed to choose his own book. He came home with a stage 10 book, whatever that means, where he was previously on stage five. This essentially means more pages and more words on each page. Only son is nothing if not ambitious. We have been reading the book very slowly every night. It is about ghosts so he is quite enthralled. I caught him explaining the plot to his best friend the other day.
Daughter three has been focused on SATs, but has got slightly distracted by a tooth falling out the other day. This has triggered a resumption of her long correspondence with her tooth fairy, Tamara. Only son has asked to be put in touch with his tooth fairy so he can get to know them before his teeth start falling out. Tim has explained that tooth fairies do not get in touch in advance of tooth loss. Daughter three inquired if Tamara could bring her a “food treat”. Tamara replied that food treats have been banned by the fairy police due to concerns about sugar overload. She is happy to replace the food treat with an apple, subject to availability.
My partner spent much of Sunday trying to install a remote desktop on his computer – and failing, with all that that entails – so he can work from home from time to time. His office has just moved and he is worried about parking. Parking further away could add substantially to his journey time and he’d have to then drop the secondary school people at the crack of dawn or I’d have to take everyone on a one-hour school drop-off trip every morning which would mean way more of One Direction than I can currently take.
It feels like every month or so a new challenge is thrown in the way of the working week, be that inset days, roadworks [which seem to have been occurring throughout Essex for the past year], gymnastics conditions, complex netballing arrangements…Office changes are just one in a long line. On the up side, the cavalry has returned in the shape of my mum who has been halfway up a mountain in Argentina visiting my brother and returned with several copies of his first ever book on the topic of anarchist history in Spain – bathtime reading for the next six months.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.