Saturday, 5 April 2014

Juggling full-time work and family

I was so tired for the entire week that I didn't have the courage to publish anything. Everything I attempted to write about felt boring, flat and uninterestingNot that I had a particularly busy week -I even took a half day on Wednesday- but I had this feeling of extreme tiredness coupled with neck, shoulder and back pain. 
Maybe I'm just a bit stressed and I need a good holiday. The problem is the holiday is only happening in July. So I guess I still have to suck it up for the next 3 months.
I wonder how the other mothers juggle work and home, especially expat mothers... Sometimes I envy my Irish friends who can drop the kids to their mum whenever they need a rest.  
Ireland really doesn't make it easy for working parents. First, childcare is very expensive. The cost of full-time crèche can be as much as a month rent or mortgage, so you can understand that sometimes families can be better off financially if one of the parent stays home! Thankfully my husband and I work completely different hours  so our youngest goes to the childminder only 3 hours a day. 
Then you have school hours. In France, kids go to school from the age of 3 for the whole day (9 to 4:30). The younger classes even take a nap at school in the afternoon! Here, kids go to primary school at 5 years old only, and it's from 9 to 1.40pm (at least at my child's school). How can full-time working parents drop and collect their kids to school? I know I can't. I start work too early and finish too late for the school run. My husband drops my son and the childminder picks him up, but I suspect everybody think he's a single dad, as nobody ever sees me at the gate.
The truth is, I need to work, for my own sanity. I really couldn't see myself being a stay-at-home mother. I need to see other people and think about something else than my kids during the day. But I'm not a career driven individual either. I work at something that I like, even if it's not my dream job. There's a good atmosphere within my team, and that is mainly the reason why I can still get up in the morning!  To sum it up, work is a break from home, and home is a break for work.
Today, my husband took the kids out for the whole day so I could have a rest. I did rest, between the grocery shopping and cleaning the house. I can't win, can I ?