Hello again and on to phase 2

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.

home alone selfie
first morning home alone selfie

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!

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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

Her Family babynaming Andrea Mara

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8 thoughts on “Hello again and on to phase 2”

  1. I really don’t understand why kids finish at different times in primary school, it sure doesn’t help parents… When my youngest starts primary school he will finish at 1:40pm and the eldest will finish at 2:40… What are you supposed to do during that hour, there’s no point in going home!! On another note, just read your article about baby names, it was really spot on! The worst thing for me was to find a name easy to say and that wouldn’t sound awkward in French ( We really like Erin but it sounded to much like “pee” in French !). Oh and by the way, good luck for the awards 🙂
    Nearly Irish recently posted…Blog Awards Ireland 2015 – Vote for me!My Profile

    1. It. Is. Maddening.
      So annoying. I still can’t find a good way to bridge the hour long gap.
      But anyway, best of luck in the Blog Awards and lovely to hear from you!

    1. Thanks! I have an Insomnia keep cup that I used to bring to work – time to break it out again for the school run I think!

  2. I was delighted for you when I saw this post the other day. Enjoy. I completely understand how long those few hours can feel.
    This September, after nineteen years, I’m free until 4.15 four days a week. It feels like days.
    Congratulations on your many articles I’ve seen, and I’ve voted in the awards.
    tric kearney recently posted…Malaga as experienced by me.My Profile

    1. Oh that’s wonderful that you have that time – you will get that book written yet!
      Or, of course, enjoy lots of relaxing coffees and well-earned time off. Ahem. No pressure to write a book 🙂

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