So I say ‘The day of rest’ with a shovel full of sarcasm because yesterday was birthday party day for my six year old daughter. The invitations had been out for just over two weeks, not too long that a parent might forget and not too short of notice so that they would have enough time to get a little card/gift, so I thought. I’m one of these mums that is very last minute with pretty much everything, so the fact I felt my daughters party would be any different showed I was looking at it through rose tinted glasses from the beginning. Just like me parents either turned up with out a RSVP, or left it until the day before the party, by which point I am elbow deep in cheese and pineapple sticks and birthday cake frosting! So I told myself not to worry how many children showed up, my six year old would have a great day and she did! I on the other hand, after a day and night of baking, cooking, preparing party bags and so on, spent the two hours multitasking to the extreme.
It started with the second or third child arriving, before the adult left she said “oh her mother will be picking her up.” Wait, you’re not her mother?! I sort of smiled/panicked and asked she leave a number. You see, my daughter is in a new class with mixed year ones and twos, I don’t know most of the parents and children and didn’t think this to be a problem until my earlier worry of, I hope I’ve made enough sandwiches turned into, I hope child goes home with correct adult. It happened again with a relative/family friend/who knows at this point, dropped off two little girls and told me that their mothers would be picking them up. Argh! The multi tasking picked up pace as my coffee went cold (what was I thinking, of course I wouldn’t be relaxing by the side with a coffee!). I found myself having words with a young boy who was violently pulling a timid little girl around the ball pit, helping children in and out of costumes (costumes in a jungle gym??) mediating between girlish squabbles and all whilst keeping one eye on, thank fully, the only door in and out. Soon it was time for food and my daughter excitedly blew out the candles of her puppy cake with pink frosting, before jumping back into the ball pit for ten more minutes of play.
I’m almost certain every child went with a designated adult, so that was a relief! And luckily as I was busy thanking parents and forcing my reluctant birthday girl out of the ball pit to come out to say thank you and give out party bags, I had several helpers clearing up. A new party was arriving and some parents seemed to linger so it was a struggle to wave them out politely and in that time with a sad sigh, I remember waving my hand in the air to my partner and telling him yes, just throw it all. I’m referring to the trays of food I had lovingly prepared, cooked, baked, some were not even opened but all were thrown out. I mentioned it to my partner when we got home and admittedly sulked a little as I pretended to not remember telling him to throw it all. All in all, it went pretty well I think, and as I took a break from washing and cleaning at home I took a nice big chunk of the birthday cake (thankfully saved) and had a big bite, the three vanilla sponge layers were nice and fluffy, the vanilla frosting and jam delicious, the icing layer (a photograph of our pet pup I sent of to a lady who makes them into icing sheets) Erm, hard and not yummy!
At which point should I have realised something was wrong? When applying it to the cake and thinking, ‘this is a bit firm and hard to stick’ or the part where I trimmed the edges and it felt like cardboard? Maybe I should have realised something was off when I had to poke it with cocktail sticks in order to insert the candles! Or maybe my partner should have realised when rather than slice the cake, he had to saw the top layer!!
Either way, I’m secretly glad there’s a bug going around as today I don’t have to face the wrath of parents at the school gates, who’s children ate cardboard cake! The shame!! I will never live that down as my giggling partner tells me.
Oh, and I have to do this all over again next month for my youngest daughter, what fun!
Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be thinking seriously about a job offer I had at the beginning of last week. I’m looking to go back to work, this was a 9-5.30pm job, at first I was excited as I phoned around child minders and imagined myself being free and independent and wearing something other than jeans and baggy jumpers, but the following day after a long chat with my partner I realised it may not be for us after all and that it needed more thought.
After a week of ups and downs and emailing the company to say I am thinking it through, a lot of tears and a continuous headache, we have realised as a family, a part time job would be the more realistic approach, at least for us.
Today is the day I email to turn down their job offer and I will do it with a heavy heart.
After I put my beauty business behind me I was sure I was ready for a full time job and I was sure my children (aged 4 and 6) would be ready and it could quite possibly work out, but do I really want that life when I’m fortunate enough to be able to choose part-time hours? I know a lot of parents would love to be in my position of choosing hours to suit family life rather than family life working around job commitments. Can I really see myself picking the kids up near to 6pm every evening, quick dinner, bath and bed? Would my partner who works long hours help with the housework, the story time, the bath time, walking the dog, making dinner…? Realistically it wouldn’t work for us. So I have made the decision to enjoy every part of being a full time mum until a part time job offer comes along that would suit us.
You never know, this time next year everything could change and I may not be in a position to choose. Right now I am, so I have unashamedly chosen to put my family first and to enjoy every moment of it until the time comes. Happy Monday, I hope you all find the light at the end of a tough decision also 🙂