Rather remarkably I managed to survive week 1 of work. I say I only worked three days but they all felt like running a marathon might have been easier (and since I actually have run a marathon (just one, I’m not silly enough to try it again – yet) this is a big call). In the marathon, it’s all you. In getting to work, there are a lot of unpredictable, almost completely uncontrollable and extremely temperamental moving parts.
Yes, it feels like each limb of your body becomes independent as you get more and more fatigued. Yes, you are racing against a relentless clock that seems to pass so slowly through each second, yet suddenly when you think you have all the time in the world, you are already running (literally) behind – though this isn’t exactly a great example of time flies when you are having fun, but time certainly flies when you have so little of it!
The exit from the house
Time seems to act similarly in the course of the ‘exit from the house marathon’. Every second where V1 and V2 aren’t eating breakfast and aren’t helping me to get ready is noticed. Yet before I know it, no-one is ready and it’s almost time to leave. In a marathon, your limbs fail you, but somehow you can will your limbs to respond and finish. In this marathon your failing limbs are replaced by several variables (who appear to be immune to exertion of will):
- an incorrigible puppy who simply doesn’t understand ‘no’.
- a spirited almost 3-year-old V1 who thinks ‘no’ is always a starting off point for negotiations.
- V2 who, dare I say it, is a relatively straight forward element of the exit from the house marathon since as long as she’s eating something, she’s content.
- my better half, who looks after himself almost completely, but does often need assistance finding his keys – which, are never in the key jar.
All exercise (only on a good day!), dog walking, breakfasts, coffees, face and nose cleaning (kids in daycare – the nose is just relentless), weet-bix clean up (seriously, why does it have to set like concrete?!) and dressing has to take place by 7.26am. This allows exactly 4 minutes to drive to daycare. 8 minutes for drop off (or 9, depending how cooperative everyone is and how much spit is required to remove the residual of breakfast off their faces!) before I race (I mean drive calmly) to park at the station, walk (I mean half run depending on which shoes I’ve chosen) up the hill and catch the train (with usually 60 seconds to spare before it arrives!)
At this point the day has only just begun.
Now that I’ve returned for week 2, I feel definitely more settled and after chatting to the other mums in the office about how they manage (and hearing everyone’s routines are just as crazy), Monday seemed to be a little easier this week. However, week 1 was such a whirlwind of remembering so many things and catching up with everyone that it feels now, as if it was a bit of a blur. There were however some definite perks of ploughing through the above stressful routine, in order to get to the office.
Highlights of the week:
- Having actual adult conversations;
- Yelling a lot less;
- A lot of extra reading time on the train (reading The Red Queen (Victoria Aveyard) and absolutely loving it. Kind of a more fantasy oriented version of Hunger Games!);
- Drinking hot coffee – and lots of it (at least two a day – I’ll definitely have to curb that one when I see the credit card statement);
- Chocolate croissants (this will have to be addressed for financial reasons – having just purchased a return to work wardrobe, I best endeavour not to grow out of it too quickly!)
- Going out for lunches, without having to pick up most of mine and my kids’ meals off the floor (again, this might also need a correction for above reasons);
- Getting paid (hard to deny this one!)!
While I was very daunted about the return it’s definitely enjoyable to use the old noggin for more. My brain feels like it’s just beginning to warm back into things and it’s a pleasant feeling to know that I’m capable of multitasking just a few more things into the day. Speaking of which, those pumpkin fritters aren’t going to make themselves.