When I “applied” for the position of Mother, I didn’t realise quite how much admin it would involve. That red maternity folder with its millions of stickers and forms to fill in, really ought to have given it away. In the throes of a horrendous labour, while I was wailing like a banshee and telling a midwife I wanted to die, I was handed a form to fill in to authorise an epidural. And lets not even talk about the importance of processing the washing. The clues were there, but I was too busy thinking about tiny little socks and cute rugs shaped like owls, to take a measured view.
So 4 years on, I find I have turned into the family PA. It is my responsibility to ensure everyone attends all of their appointments on time. I arrange transport, entertainment and learning and development. I must process all household paperwork, file the clothes, ensure tummies are never under-stocked & keep the team motivated. I was hoping to get promoted soon but I don’t think my current performance really justifies it. I have so far failed to get the office junior to improve his communication skills – although he is brilliant at handling the post. and I don’t think I’ve implemented any cost savings in the last 4 years (in fact the refreshments budget has doubled).
And It turns out that I’m a bit more crap at this job than I had expected. I previously thought I was a fairly organised person. In my own way. I’m pretty messy but I’m not normally late for stuff and I didn’t previously forget to do stuff that often. These days I feel like my brain is overflowing with birthday presents I need to buy, homework, swimming lessons, changing the electricity provider, restocking the fridge and the hectic social life of my 4 year old. I feel a bit like I’m trying to do too much stuff at once. Earlier I found myself enjoying the 30 minutes of spare time I had in the Divas swimming lesson, doing the following things:
- Writing a shopping list
- Sewing name labels in some tights
- Researching disco dancing lessons.
- Smiling encouragingly at the half drowned child.
- Catching up on my correspondence (I love saying this, it makes me sound like I’m in Downton Abbey, obviously I was just sending some texts)
So all this multi-tasking is all very well, but I’m actually just doing a bit of a shit job of everything. I’m not as good an employee as I used to be. I can’t be, frankly I just don’t have enough space left in my brain. I regularly forget the poxy password to get into my work computer, it’s probably been squeezed out because I had to remember who everyone was in Paw Patrol. I feel guilty that this is the case. I get paid to go to work and do a job, but I probably only ever really have half a mind on it.
But does my husband feel the same? I don’t think he does. And he’s not a lame husband. He completes any task that I assign him.If I ask him to hear my daughter read, he will. He doesn’t think to check to see if it needs to be done though. If I ask him to get a birthday card for his Mum, he will. However he will not check the calendar that is clearly there for all to see in the kitchen, and buy the card all of his own accord. And its the carrying the responsibility for remembering to do all this shit, that weighs heavy on my brain. Not the actual tasks themselves.
So I just kind of accept this strange “part time job, part time mum, part time family PA” position I seem to have gained. I made a conscious decision to do my actual job, and we decided together to enter into parenthood but I’m not sure I remember actually applying to be the family PA. However I’ve definitely been appointed so I think I’m going to need access to the company credit card and the petty cash. Oh and I just need to book some holiday, can we get a temp in?