I can’t remember where I read it – Twitter probably – but there’s a theory that you can be a good friend, a good family member and a good worker. But you can’t be all three at once.
I don’t know how scientific it is, but God, it feels true.
Lately, though, it feels like I’m not doing a terribly good job at anything other than work.
I always feel a bit fraudulent saying I work hard.
I mean, I’m not working down a mine, or anything. And I have far too much fun at my job for it to be too much of a hardship. Besides, a huge chunk of my work involves talking to people and drinking coffee. It’s barely even a proper job, if you think about it.
But it’s hectic.
Driving home from the station tonight, I realised I haven’t seen Flea since Wednesday morning – and I won’t see her again until Sunday. Working long hours when you’re a single parent means your child spends nights away from home. This week Flea’s spent a night with her Dad and two nights with my parents because I’ve had to leave home early for meetings and couldn’t take her to school, or I’ve been at meetings and got home too late to collect her, and put her to bed.
The one day this week I did the school run, I dropped Flea early at school breakfast club, and didn’t collect her until the end of the school’s late club. Hardly Mother of the Year material.
I’m not sure how much Flea minds. I know she loves spending time with her Dad and with her grandparents, and we’re lucky to have them around, and so happy to help out.
But I mind. I hate that I seem to be failing at the most simple of parenting duties – being there when Flea wakes up in the morning, and tucking her into bed at night.
It’s passing so fast, and I’m missing it.
I’m not sure what the solution is. I’ve considered a husband but they’re just so much bother, and they never really understand the importance of a well-folded towel (thirds NOT quarters) and a properly-organised mug cupboard.
I’m morally opposed to lotteries, so an unexpected fortune that renders paid work unnecessary seems unlikely.
So, yeah, I suspect this post just falls under the “self-indulgent whining” heading.
Long-term, we will have to move back to the South. But short-term, life just is going to be about compromises and making the best of a slightly chaotic family situation.
Anyone else struggle with this one?