It’s Monday 3rd April 2017. The new financial year is looming and it’s my first day back in the office after a long (an child free!) weekend in Copenhagen with my Husband (J). As I squeeze onto a packed commuter train to London I think it’s fair to say I have a case of the Monday blues.
But why do I feel so down? I try to remind myself of the positive things in my life. I enjoy my work in policy and communications and I am lucky enough to have landed with an employer who allows me to work from home a couple of times a week and are very understanding of the frequent ‘personal’ and compassionate leave you end up taking as a working parent. As a natural morning person I don’t even mind the early starts, and I’m back at my son’s (H) nursery to pick him up by 17.30 every day. Things aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination.
But there has been something bugging me the past year since I started my new role. Before that I was a post-graduate student with a baby and was continually distracted by money worries, coursework deadlines, exam stress and rushing between home and work so as not to leave still breast-fed H for too long. Since starting ‘proper’ work, I’ve been able to buy healthier food without feeling guilty about the cost, have had more ‘me’ time thanks to the commute and lunch breaks, and H has enjoyed starting nursery two days a week and has built up a much closer relationship with J and my mother and law who both look after him one day a week. For the one remaining day of the week (which normally falls on Friday when everyone else seems to be slacking too), I wing both the childcare and work.
This idea of winging it is relatively new. Before that J was looking after H for two days a week and working Saturday instead. Although this saved us money, we both missed having weekends together. I was also started to resent Daddy-H days (or papadag as we also call them as the idea is very popular in Denmark). This was I get to spend time with him and feel like a proper parent without arranging an even more complex and convoluted working arrangement. For now, it seems to be working. No complaints from work (yet).
So what are your workable life arrangements? I’d like to hear. I hope this blog provides a wealth of inspiration for working parents (or those who have other interests outside of work they pursue) on how to make small changes to their routine that can hopefully make a big difference, although I can’t promise that you won’t be struck with a case of the Monday blues.