No time to work

I work on Tuesdays. I don’t usually blog on Tuesdays. I have no time. I go from work to swimming lessons to my own dance lesson with barely chance to breathe.

But, look! It’s Tuesday. I am not working. I am blogging. But why?

Today my son has a hospital appointment about his peanut allergy. At 11.15. The hospital is ALWAYS running late – 10 minutes late is early, half an hour late is standard and an hour late is nothing unusual. I live 10 miles away from work. The work car park is a 15 minute walk from the office. You do the maths. There is absolutely no way I can fit in even a half day’s work at any point during today. And could I change his appointment to a more convenient time? Of course I couldn’t. Allergy clinic is Tuesday or nothing.

Last Tuesday I had to take a morning’s leave. For his violin exam. Again, I had no choice about the date or time and fitting it in with my life. It’s this date and this time. Take it or leave it.

Sometimes I wonder if I even have time to work at all.

If you are reading this and you have small children at nursery and you think that’s hard. I hate to tell you, but just you wait! It gets so much more complicated.

The school day is approximately 9am until 3pm, not the work-friendly 8am (or even earlier) until 6pm of the nursery day. There are school holidays – approximately 13 weeks of the year. And how much leave do most people get? Four weeks? Five? Six if they’re REALLY lucky – and I’m one of the lucky ones. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that there is a big un-filled gap there. Oh yes, there ARE holiday playschemes. But lots of them are only school hours too.

And this is before we even get to the meetings, school plays, sports days, assemblies, the school trips your child wants you to help out on… You feel guilty. Guilty for not being there for your childn and guilty for not being there in the office.

A few years back, a friend of mine with older children said ‘Your children need you more when they are older’. And clever old me who knows EVERYTHING thought ‘yeah right, of course they do’. But they do.

It’s a different kind of need of course. They don’t need you to change their nappies, spoon food into their mouths or dress them. But they need you to help with homework, they need you to go to the school plays, they need you to take them to rugby matches and hospital appointments and music exams.

And when you’ve got three of them, all in school, all with these needs, it really does get difficult to find the time to work.

So here I am, using up a valuable day’s leave, which should be to benefit all of my children, not just one, sat at home waiting to take my son to the hospital and wondering how I ever have time to work.

No time to work, Parenting, Work-life balance

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I don’t work as such and I struggle keeping on top of things! My OH often says that he has no idea what’s going on when as it all gets magically done by me. But what you said is so true about the extra commitments and then there are the mass illnesses you get in large families. I have decided to supply teach next year as it means that I can still have a couple of days at home and not be committed for all this other days when I am ‘needed’

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  2. Good luck with the supply teaching! That sounds like a good way of getting some flexibility and working and earing some money. My husband thinks I don’t do anything – he thinks I have ‘days off’, not days doing the things that need doing with the kids!

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  3. Hope you don’t have a long wait for the appointment today. I often think that work just gets in the way 🙂

    Lesley x.

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  4. Thanks very much, Lesley. He went into his appointment almost on time! But then we had to wait 20 minutes at the hospital pharmacy for his stronger antihistimanes. He was out of school for two hours! x

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  5. sounds horrendous! I stand by my work and children are not compatable! I don’t work – one had to go!Oe has to give. Also you didn’t mention the strike, inset days not to mention when one is sick. More proof if ever needed x

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  6. Hi Sarah…did you get some answers to your questions about George’s allergy? I often get anxious thinking about Holly’s teenage years with her peanut allergy as well! Did the doctor mention anything to you about an epi-pen? Here in Canada most kids with a peanut allergy carry an epi-pen with them. Let me know if you found out anything interesting! Take care. Emily xo

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  7. Tell me about it, Natasha! Touch wood, we have been quite lucky from an illness point of view – I reckon I’ve only been sat at home three days with poorly kids this year. Inset days are normally tacked onto holidays, but used to be Fridays (good), now Mondays (not good). Thanks very much for commenting 🙂 x

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  8. Hi Emily!
    It was a good appointment with the consultant. She hasn’t given him an epi-pen because he doesn’t have asthma, but would be willing to review it in the future – especially if he was going on a school trip abroad, for example. He’s got to have blood test for other nuts next week, but think he should be OK as he eats pistachios and has eaten chocolate with nuts in before we knew about his problem with peanuts. x

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  9. Thanks very much – appointment was really helpful. They can do the basics for themselves, but a whole new world of other stuff they need you for opens up! Thanks very much for your comment, I really appreciate it. x

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  10. Eeeek, my son starts school this September! I found this post from the Oldies But Goodies linky… I hope that your son’s allergy is under control x

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  11. Thanks very much, it’s fine. He just has to be careful not to eat any peanuts. He carries Piriton just in case but we’ve never had any accidental consumption.
    I think you’ll be surprised at how everything changes when your son goes to school.

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