I thought I’d share what a day in the life of this Working Mum is like…
6:30am: Wake to the sight of Bookworm looking down at me with mournful eyes. Apparently his sore throat is now of gargantuan proportions, and he can’t possibly attend school. Can’t be bothered arguing the point. Luckily Mum already has Little Miss for the day, and can mind Bookworm as well.
6:50am: Picasso upset by thought of catching bus alone. Successfully bribed with a lunch order. Souljourneyboy leaves.
7:29am: Breakfast done, Picasso and I head out the door and into the car. Car won’t start. Mum to the rescue – we drop Picasso to the bus stop, then she takes me to the train station with Little Miss and Bookworm piled in the back wearing their pyjamas. Text Souljourneyboy to tell him car has flat battery, and suggest he call NRMA. He says he will look at it first in the afternoon.
8:30am: At work, all-essential coffee in hand.
9am: Meeting number one. Less than half the people who are supposed to be there turn up, so it’s shorter than usual – happy days.
9:30am: Meeting number two. This one is more interactive; we get to use red markers and butchers paper, which is always fun.
10:30am: Pack up my desk and head to a company car. I have to drive out to one of our work sites and meet a TV News crew to show them around for a story.
10:35am: Start my long drive. I have a confession to make: navigating large roads fills me with a kind of low-level anxiety. Just the sight of big green sign gets my heart palpitations started; I never seem to understand if I’m meant to turn RIGHT NOW, where the sign is, or at the next turn. I either get it wrong, or I’m one of those annoying people who basically stall, undecided in the middle of the road, while everyone is honking at them. Last week I ended up turning the wrong way into a bus-only lane – yeah, that was fun. And I seem incapable of getting onto freeways the right way! I always end up headed the opposite direction driving for miles at a time. Anyhow I digress – despite a rather stressful drive it’s a miracle that I get to my destination with NO WRONG TURNS.
12pm: My phone rings but I don’t answer as I’m driving and concentrating VERY hard on the roads.
12:15: Arrive at my destination, only to realise that, 1 – the person who rang my phone is the journalist and I need to call her back urgently, and 2 – there is no mobile phone coverage at the work site. I make my way into the admin building and ask to use the landline phone. I quickly call my colleague and ask her to call the journalist as there’s no coverage and I can’t use my mobile. There is a pause, during which it sinks in that I am actually ON A PHONE MAKING A PHONE CALL. My colleague asks, “Why don’t you call her using the phone you’re calling me on?” Yes, indeed, that is another option which makes perfect sense. My colleague hangs up, crying with laughter, while I try and regain a semblance of dignity before calling the journalist myself.
12:45pm: The geotechnical specialist who is going to be interviewed arrives. Quick briefing.
1pm: Travel to the site for filming with the TV crew. Geotechnical specialist is interviewed, all goes well. Then the journalist tells me she’d like to interview another person to make the story a bit more interesting.
1:25pm: I am the only other person available. Jump in the car for 30-second briefing on everything I could possibly ever need to know about the work site.
1:20pm: Interview proceeds. Fortunately, there is a spare hard hat in the car. And you know what they say – slap on a hard hat and a fluoro vest, and anyone’s a geotechnical engineer.
2:30pm: Filming’s done! I misplace my phone and keys. Keys are found in one of the work utes. Phone is eventually found – apparently I carefully put it inside the upturned hard hat and covered it over with the fluoro vest before putting it all away inside a cupboard. Go figure.
4:15pm: Home again! Nearly went the wrong way at an intersection but just decided to follow the car in front. Luckily they were headed the same way as me. Quickly catch up on emails and phone calls before anyone gets home.
4:45pm: Jump on treadmill for 20 minutes.
5:15pm: Souljourneyboy home with kids after swimming lessons.
5:30pm: Loud and unnecessary argument between Picasso and Bookworm over a piece of paper. Ipad privileges removed and Bookworm sent to room.
5:45pm: Picasso and Little Miss start a game where they run around the house, occasionally stopping and screaming at each other, then laughing their heads off. It’s really loud.
5:55pm: Souljourneyboy and I suddenly remember we sent Bookworm to his room. I tell him he can come out of room. “Do I have to?” he shouts back. Well, no, actually. It was much more pleasant without him glowering at everyone and everything and I am quite happy for him to stay there.
6pm: Souljourneyboy and I discuss the fact we are literally overcome with exhaustion. Dinner is tuna jaffles and weet-bix, all we can manage.
6:30pm: I read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” to the kids, as well as a book Picasso got from the library that day. It’s a strange tale about potato people and Bookworm has issues with the plot line.
6:45pm: We remember the car battery is flat. Souljourneyboy goes to have a look. It turns out the car is fine – I had accidentally left it in “drive” instead of “park” while trying to turn it on. My feeling of embarrassment is replaced by relief that we don’t need to spend any money getting it fixed. Still, I kind of wish I hadn’t told everyone at work that my car had broken down.
7:15pm: Wrestle Little Miss into bed. Make lunches for the next day.
7:30pm: Begin the arduous process of getting Bookworm and Picasso into bed. Have to convince Bookworm of the restorative powers of Panadol and a good sleep. Have the usual going-to-bed routine of Picasso and I arguing over who loves the other more (I always win).
8pm: Collapse into bed and look at the TV screen for half an hour. Not sure I actually watch anything. Feel like I should be studying for my upcoming Uni exam but can’t muster the energy.
8:45pm: Sleep….love, love, love that feeling of going to bed early and drifting off to sleep knowing you have a whole glorious 8 hours ahead of you.
So that’s it!