I was so caught up in how big a deal returning to work was for me, that I underestimated how big a deal it was for the rest of my family.
For 2-days a week, I will not be around for after school pick-up. Mornings will be more hurried, with an hour less to play / shower / find the book bag / dress / accessorise / drink tea / straighten my fringe etc. And, afternoons will be more condensed with homework / bath / meltdown all to squeeze into the hour before bedtime.
I have always been available to my son and now for 2-days a week, I will not be. I am messing with ‘The Routine’.
As soon as you become a parent, you become aware of the importance of the routine. Everyone who has ever had a child before you will tell you how much you need to be in one. As boring and predictable as it can sometimes feel, the routine does make life a bit easier. Gradually, and through much trial and error, I found a way to make weekdays run a little more smoothly for us all.
There are some routines I am even grateful for.
Such as, the bedtime routine. Different in every household, but in Chez Grenglish this is very much the Greek God(zilla)’s domain. It is the part of the day that belongs totally to them. Sometimes, they read 4 books, sometimes just the one. Sometimes they talk for 5-minutes, and sometimes for 15. The duration of each task is not as important as the order in which it comes. Miss a step and he will be up and down the stairs all the way through Eastenders and beyond.
Then, there are routines I am slightly more reluctant to let go.
Like, I will have to rearrange my wine drinking schedule to avoid the eve of working days (bye-bye Wednesday is the new Thursday) and I may even have to consider letting the Greek God(zilla) back into the kitchen (hello sausage fecking cassoulet).
I’ll have to find a new time for golf lessons, Pilates and showering.
Also, to maximise efficiency and space, I had been dedicating the hour before school pick-up to clearing our TV planner. This is my only opportunity to watch the shows that the Greek God(zilla) refuses to – Nashville, GBBO, The X-Factor, Downton Abbey and The Real Housewives of Somewhere; and then obviously The Good Wife, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy when they return to our screens. Meaning, I will have to devote more time on my free days to ensure the planner is organised to the same standard.
Anyway, it will be an adjustment and we will all have to work to find our place in the new order.
Although, some of us are finding this transition period easier than others.
‘Oh, I have to get his breakfast ready too?’ said the Greek God(zilla) on his first morning shift.
‘Is he dressed?’
‘Has he brushed his teeth?’
‘I thought you just wanted me to walk him to school, not do EVERYTHING?!’
‘When am I supposed to get dressed?’ he muttered under his breath while air-drying horizontally on the bed after a 20-minute soak in the bath.
On my next working day, I dropped our son off at breakfast club instead (and proceeded to burst into tears from the emotion of leaving MY BABY), while assigning the Greek God(zilla) to pick-up duty. I returned home after a long day to find them both on the sofa plugged into devices and seemingly oblivious to the TV blaring in the background.
‘We haven’t had time to do any homework, love. What’s for dinner?’
Well, clearly not sausage fecking cassoulet then.
There are some things that will never change at all.