So after four months of night-time working and day-time mammying, last week everything changed. For the first time, all three kids are in school and preschool, and I can work in the mornings.
It’s surreal to be at home when they’re not here, and it’s a little bit lonely to think they’re not babies anymore, but it’s exciting too. In the bigger scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal, but to me, it feels huge.
I still remember the first day I realised that there would come a time when they’d all be at school and I could work without the pressure of paying for childcare. I was walking back to work after lunch, news of the upcoming office closure still fresh. Thoughts of CVs and interviews rolling around in my head. Going back full-time or taking a job I didn’t want seemed to be the only options. And suddenly I remembered that my smallest was starting his free preschool year this year. And the germ of an idea formed. Maybe I didn’t have to take the job I didn’t want. Maybe I didn’t have to let head rule heart. If I could bring in some income without paying out for childcare, the pressure was off. All I had to do was bridge the four month gap between finishing work and preschool starting. And now here I am, and I’m excited.
That gap we just bridged was amazing and tiring and fraught and brilliant and rainy. It was four months with the kids that I wouldn’t trade for anything. As everyone says in such situations, you might never get the chance again. But working at night was hard, and while I’ll still do it, it won’t be six nights a week.
Having done my first week, I can say that my kitchen-office is nicer in daylight, my brain works better in the morning, and I am brilliant at ignoring housework. Plus, the coffee machine is more useful at 10am than at 10pm.
I can cram a lot into two and a half hours, and stick on a wash too.
On the flip side, with three kids in two locations and three different finishing times, doing five school runs a day might just break me. I’m thinking of setting up home in the car – running in and out of the house between collections is practically pointless. I mostly make tea then run without drinking. It’s cold when I get back, and I do it all over again. So that’s week one – productive hot-coffee fuelled mornings, and rushed cold-tea filled afternoons. I’ll keep you posted. Happy September.
I had lovely news last week – Office Mum has been shortlisted for best parenting blog in the Blog Awards Ireland. Voting opens today – if you’d like to vote, just click here or the badge below, thank you so much!
On an entirely separate note, if you’re trying to name a baby, here are some unwritten rules along with an account of the names I thought I’d use for my kids – Kisa Blue was one of them – needless to say, it didn’t happen… The Unwritten Rules of Naming a Baby