Diary of a Working Mum
Does the word ‘multi-task’ leave you shuddering and cowering in the corner? No, seriously? Do you ever feel like Rumplestiltskin (no…I don’t mean like a short person with stockings and a hood from a fairy story. I mean like you’ve got to turn a roomful of straw into gold by morning and still be awake to make packed lunches and do the school run!)…..I am just wondering if they might start presenting ‘multi-tasker of the year awards’ at no 10…..and if so, then all mum’s deserve one…whoever said ‘stay at home mum’ was easy! My very rough timetable goes like this….
7am: Wake up husband and 14 year old, make sure they’ve got all they need and keep nudging them till they get out of bed/drink their tea/clean their teeth/make sure they have their bags/train tickets/money/phones etc etc.
8am: Drop them at station/school…..
8.15 am: Race back to find 11 year old lying on sofa with one school sock on and looking for a tie…..3 year old is in high chair eating oodles of ‘choclite serial’ (yes, I know lots of sugar in Coco Pops..thank you…).
8.20: make packed lunch and gently ease (with a sledge hammer) 11 yr old away from TV and up to clean teeth.
8.30: drive him to school….arriving only just on time..(Teacher did once say – couldn’t you leave earlier….I turned her to stone)…
8.55: Turn around, race home and then either: tidy the house (seriously my house looks like the Gaza Strip after ‘the boys’ have left or try desperately to finish copy/phone calls/ captions etc…As I work from home – freelance (nothing free about it actually?).
On a good day:
12pm: give Antonis his lunch and then take him to nursery……
On a bad day, (and this is the worrying bit where I might get arrested)…have to make phone calls and sound all like a professional stylist/journalist, whilst Antonis amuses himself……Recently this was not so amusing. As I guffawed in work mode, chatting away to someone I wanted to work for, I walked out of my ‘office’ into the kitchen and found Antonis feeding himself! Having obviously foraged for food, he was standing on a chair, (needed to reach the peanut butter in a cupboard) and was spooning it in his mouth with a screwdriver!! This was startling enough – but there was worse to come….he was washing it down with cupfuls of water from the sink – where I was rinsing Spaghetti Bolognese saucepan – eww! (Mental note to oneself – NEVER leave child alone)…
So having learnt this rather awful lesson…I do try not to leave him alone at all – EVER! If he is in the house and I am on the phone (working), I try to make important calls when the older boys get back – that’s when the trouble really starts.
Sometimes I make business calls and whilst I am chatting trying to sound like the most together person ever, I casually walk into the living room to find Pavlos lying on top of Joe, strangling him. Joseph who is turning blue and kicking with just one leg (less energy with each kick on the floor) is in need of resuscitating. Still in, ‘I’m the stylist/journalist for you’ mode. I race over and pull them apart (whilst still smiling down the phone) I hold their foreheads and force them apart with anything available, elbows/legs/head etc. Whilst doing so I notice I start to emphasise my conversation when I am forcing them apart.
Like this: ‘Oh! That would be GREAT (am holding Pav off Joe with my leg)…I would LOVE (trying now to make sure Joe doesn’t retaliate so with free arm am forcing him off Pav by pushing his forehead with my elbow)….and so it goes on. Does anyone else have to do Kung Fu whilst trying to clinch a deal?
Anyway – back to timetable…once people have stopped listening to me on the phone (probably as I’m out of breath from wrestling and can no longer pretend I’m normal), it goes on.
6pm: I start bath time and cooking (this is on the days that they don’t have tennis/football etc. Don’t ask about those days…I become rather anti-social…like the girl in The Exorcist)…
7pm: pick up husband from station.
8pm: put Antonis to bed (and lie with him – try very hard not to fall asleep…not always successful)
9pm: put other two in their rooms (Joe goes to sleep, lights out at 9.30pm….. Pav not sure when he goes as I’ve usually passed out myself).
Sometimes I go to watch TV with husband and he will say ‘so, what have you done today? Did Ant have school? ‘No’ I gasp. ‘Ahhh, that’s nice so you had a lovely relaxing day!’ he smiles….Then I really do go to bed as I’ve had enough wrestling for the day and the temptation to ‘whack him’ as the Mafia would say, becomes too much to bear!