Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Warning! Man Multitasking


Follow my blog and you will know that I was a long term, working from home mum. In my time I have struggled to cleanse and re-nappy the poo-coated bottom of a small baby, whilst discussing a commission with an editor at a national newspaper, tried to negotiate a column at the same newspaper literally as I came out of the operating theatre post C-section.

I have woken up at 5am to try to file a feature before the children got up, I have worked evenings and weekends to make sure I hit deadlines. I have done amends on a feature whilst suffering from particularly explosive 'morning' sickness and I have done a photoshoot in sky high heels, holding newborn twins and hoping to God I didn't leak any unmentionable substances before the deeply fashionable snapper left.

As any mum who works from home, even on an occasional basis, knows juggling children and paid employment is a challenge. Even when you are past the baby stages, you soon learn that fitting anything even vaguely lucrative between the hours of drop off and pick up is nigh on impossible. If you try to do anything silly like the washing or grocery shopping, you can just forget it.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. Thanks to seismic changes on the home front, Mr FDMTG and I have swapped roles. I am off to work every day, suited and booted to hack my way through the corporate jungle, while he is at home, attempting to earn a crust while managing the diaries and vagaries of our four sons.

Guess what? He's finally realised just how tough I have had it for the last 12 years. Finally, he understands why I literally begged him not to take my sons out of after school club despite our declining finances, because it would mean six round trips to school thanks to their packed after school schedule.

He knows now why I would wail like a banshee over the excessive overuse of clothes, leading to near Everest sized piles of 'not really that dirty at all' laundry. Why I would often wonder out loud if we all might be happier if we were to become nudists. While I could never think of what to have for dinner, because after cooking what seems like a million pans of spag bol, you just begin to lose the will to live, let alone think of more creative things to do with mince.

He has discovered just how bloody irritating our children can be, when you have to deal with them on a full time basis and, while he has yet to learn my defensive strategy of ignoring them in favour of fiddling with my phone, he begins to realise its value.

At last light has dawned about how hard it is to manage the cleaner, he quails just as much as I used to at the prospect of either asking her to actually, you know, clean the house properly, or even worse leave so we can find someone else who will.

He knows why, by the time he returned from his office, I was red faced with frustration at being interrupted on a minute-by-minute basis by the boys and their inane and insane demands. He gets why my double G&T habit was purely medicinal, rather than borderline alcoholism (or at least that's what I tell myself).

I know I shouldn't laugh, but I'm sorry my sides they are a-splitting as I watch this rank amateur attempt the fine art of being a parent who works from home. Hopefully he will get the hang of it, or it will be just the incentive he needs to earn enough money to cough up for a nanny once again.

In the meantime read about his exploits at his fab and funny blog Fourboding.


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