According to my extensive research/what I see on social media, there are two groups of parents: those that stay at home and those that have to work. I do not fit in to either and there must be others like me, right? *hollers in to cyberspace*
My income isn’t relied on to keep our family ticking along and yet I still send my children to nursery and after school club so I can schlep through parents’ evening and I have to reschedule doctor appointments so I can teach y9 drama and I’ve been known to add an extra day’s nursery so I can spend the day at home marking.
But I can’t justify it by a reliance on the income: I’m bloody lucky, but it makes me recoil in guilt.
In more glorious moments, I tell myself that my family’s loss is the gain for the 150 kids I teach but I think that marginally over-reaches my chalk ‘n’ talk abilities.
In less glorious moments, I think I am throwing my family under the bus so I can put on a pencil skirt and not get snotted on for a few hours*
Mostly, I just think my kids are happy and I love my job and it’s a privilege to work with young people who are, on the most part, cracking company. I also start to eat myself during school holidays so think there are mental well-being issues to factor in.
So thanks to the husband who does the AM school runs and thank you to my school for allowing me flexibility when it’s needed and thanks to my mum for covering when I need her and thanks to my gorgeous job share and, mostly, thank you to my friggin lovely children who wave me off at 7.30 and wish me a good day at work.
I think I’ve thought of the third category:
- Parents who stay at home
- Parents who have to work
- Parents who need to work and reconcile that how they can
May we all understand and support each other’s decisions, which ever one we make.
*I teach secondary: big up the primaries who do get snotted on at home and work. Shudder.