Released On 18th Nov 2019
Freddy's blog: Make the most of it
A new phase of family life will begin in a couple of weeks when my wife goes back to work part-time after maternity leave. With over 13 months off, she’s made the most of it (a line from Elmer the patchwork elephant that has become a family maxim to encourage us that the key to a good life is to try to make the best of any situation, good or bad).
Now after a long time of a relatively simple life of mum being with our daughters and dad going to work, and all of us burning through some more of our savings at the weekend, we get ready for new challenges. In mounting order of magnitude:
First, routine chaos. My wife will admit (I hope) that she doesn’t really like getting out of bed. I will admit that I don’t really stay on top of admin and some of the duller domestic tasks (I’m having an epic ironing session tonight darling, I promise) – although I’m exceptional at tidying up, almost as fast as my dad but never faster because his secret is to break everything he’s tidying and put it in the bin.
Anyway, my wife is about to lose her “lie in” (until 7.40) with a cup of tea because now we both have to get up and get the girls ready, and probably tidy up for the nanny, and I need to do more ironing (going over pleats on tiny dresses to be timed with Champions League match days). This is going to lead to many domestic altercations and a lot of sprinting up the stairs.
Second, trust. We’ve found a nanny so fabulous, took a risk and hired her without ever having met her in person, and despite a FaceTime second interview where our elder daughter got her face as close as possible to the screen and dominated the chat with tales of the cheeky fairies who live in her room, I’m confident in our choice. But we now have to be good bosses (i.e. lay down the rules, in a nice way) and we have to trust her with our children. I’m used to leaving the girls every day and trusting they’ll be happy, but my wife will have to learn to do that – and to do that really she’ll have to trust herself and trust that we made the right decision. That’s very difficult to do when she’ll also be feeling guilty about leaving them.
And that’s the third challenge, working womanhood in 2019, balancing the challenge of children and career – what Cityparents is all about – and avoiding guilt for having to compromise on each one some or all of the time. I can’t say how it’s going to go, but I can say to her: if anyone can do it, you can. (And p.s. I promise I’ll do that ironing.)
Freddy works in marketing for an association in the City and is the proud father of two very clever, determined and funny little girls.