Being a parent is hard work whether you chose to ‘stay at home’ or to work full-time, it is equally demanding, challenging and ultimately tiring. As a parent of two I felt that part-time work would be the more suitable option for my family and work-life balance. However, it seems when working part-time everything within your life also becomes part-time.
The So Called Perfect Balance
As you may be aware I work four days a week, three of which are evening shifts. This creates a beautiful balance in terms of child care as whilst Paul is out at work during the day I am able to care for the children and then come tea time we swap roles as I leave for work and he looks after the children.
Unlike most people who have a busy day at work and return home to relax, I have a busy day at home then have to go out to work. It can be really draining at times, especially when I’ve had a rough day or have a turbulent shift. I usually get home around 10.20pm and after a quick dunk in the bath and getting ready for bed there is very little time to wind down and relax. Nobody seems to understand that being a part-time worker actually results in having more plates to juggle with less time to focus upon each plate.
Oh How I Wish Fairies Were Real!
Paul will often ask me what I have done whilst he is out at work. I am fairly sure that he thinks I lay back and relax on the sofa while the fairies crack on with the day-to-day jobs.
I tell you, those fairies must be bloody knackered with having to tidy and organise the house, arrange appointments, load the washer, empty the washer, load the dryer, empty the dryer, load the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher, hoover up and downstairs, collect the kids from Nursery and School, sit and complete homework with J, do the shopping, send and collect various packages and ferry the kids to and from random activities to name just a few of the things that they magically seem to get done.
Staying On Top Of Things
I once relied upon using a single paper diary to stay organised and now find myself having to use a family diary, the calendar on my phone and a wall planner to coordinate each day without being late for something or other. It’s endless and often exhausting but without my many lists, schedules and plans things would probably fall apart fairly quickly in this household.
Being the lady of the house Just call me Mrs Bucket I seem to be the family PA, aka the one that is relied upon to keep our shit together. I have casually suggested to Paul that perhaps he could book his own appointments for hair cuts and such like to lighten my load. He seemed rather adverse to the idea of being without his PA and so I have continued to keep the ship sailing single-handed. Don’t get me wrong Paul works hard ‘on deck’ but he doesn’t wish to stand behind the helm.
The Little Things
There are certain jobs which without being sexist I find women tend to be relied upon to carry out. From organising appointments, buying birthday presents, writing cards or rearranging the children’s wardrobes, us women are usually the ones making sure that things tick over with very little if any acknowledgement from the blokes.
It’s the ‘little things’ that blokes simply don’t seem to notice and I think that quite often it’s the ‘little things’ that make such a massive difference.
Finding The Time
I found myself being asked to ‘find the time’ to do something other than what I already pack into the daily grind this evening and rather than responding rationally and explaining that there are only 24 hours in a day and that I simply cannot fit anymore into that amount of time, I found myself shouting and soon after in floods of tears.
There is only so much that one person can achieve in a set amount of time and whilst I am aware that we have a shit load of jobs to get done in order to complete our extension I just cannot fathom how to fit it all in without having a mini-melt down.
If fairies did exist then I bloody wish they’d fly around right about now as I have a list the length of my leg to get done. I realise that most of the jobs are currently being handed to Paul to work upon once the children are tucked up in bed. I know this isn’t fair and that I should be helping him more but I don’t understand when I am supposed to do this.
If only there were a few more hours each day then I could finally become Super Woman but as that’s not possible I can only do my very best.