So back in May I quit my job with no clear plan what I’d do but with the luxury of having time to think The New Start through. Or so I thought.As always in a small company, the race to the finish was frantic and it only really dawned afterwards that I wouldn’t be going back. I think until that point it had all seemed a bit like heading on another maternity leave – but without a medical reason for having fat ankles and a large tummy.
But by the time I packed up my desk in late July, I already knew I’d be starting a new job in mid-September. So much for garden leave and a little time to get to my endless ‘to do’ lists, eh?
So just six weeks after leaving my job and after our new au pair – an utter joy to the world, had settled in; and Spidey had returned to school – this time taking his little sister with him, I ventured into the world of the massive company, the five-day week and all that goes with it. It’s a different planet. There are many, many new faces and so many names. I’m bad with those details so I’ve defaulted to calling pretty much all the men ‘Jim’ and I’d like to think I’m getting away with. There is office dress-code that’s a million miles from my routine uniform of converse and runners – and has given me the great excuse for a complete wardrobe overhaul. There are mysterious departments that do ‘who knows what’; swipe cards for everything and corridors and stairwells that are a maze. It’s been both exhilarating and exhausting to know where nothing is – though disaster was only narrowly avoided on my first day when I didn’t find the loo ’til just before 5pm. Thanks god my job does not involve a trampoline.
It’s ten years since I worked a routine 5-day week, and that’s another big change. In my pre-kiddie days I worked four-long days so Fridays were used for the jobs I just didn’t want to contaminate my weekends with – like ONE HALF – FULL WHITES AND A DARKS WASH. I spent the next seven years, balancing 30-hour weeks over a combination of short and long days with a very demanding and time-consuming job – somehow finding the time to get through the EIGHTEEN LOADS OF GREY WASHING.
So now, I’m just like everyone else. There are two days of the week for visiting, playdates, cooking and housework; and five where we organise our days around work, school and minders. And so far we’re surviving – and maybe infact doing very well out of it. We’ve not got things going perfectly but so far earlier nights and getting organised have helped avoid most of the predictable explosions. The kids are loving their new minder – as are we, and have fallen head over heels for her enthusiasm for filling their afternoons with art, walks and all sorts of ridiculous adventures. I’ve figured out a few knacks for getting good food on the table 20 minutes after I get home, and we’ve both conceded that to reclaim Saturdays we should shake off our middle-class reservations and get a cleaner.
So far, so good. And absolutely no regrets.
Except maybe the Jim thing.