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Dear Family….When did I become your PA?

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:

  1. Writing a shopping list
  2. Sewing name labels in some tights
  3. Researching disco dancing lessons.
  4. Smiling encouragingly at the half drowned child.
  5. 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?

8 Comments

    1. Love this post!!! It’s so true. We are the reminders for everyone. Have you got your crap book/maths pack/pe trainers? Did you pay that bill/call your dad back/buy me a birthday card? () Have you got spare pants/your bike helmet/a snack? It’s endless!! Plus all the stuff for work. I wrote a post that was about all the things we need to remember once. It made people freak out a bit but it’s all true!

    1. It is definitely an extra addition to the job that I never saw anywhere either, not in those blessed maternity notes, or the small print, anywhere!! And some PAs get a really good wage, so there must be a union we can badger, or partake in some kind of uprising, until all mummy PAs get the wages they deserve!! I don’t know how you, or anyone who works and has children, can do it. I can barely keep my shit together with just me and the children to worry about. I know you think you’re not doing a good job, but I salute you for managing to turn up to employment!! I’m a terrible PA, I don’t have a diary, and rely on my terrible brain to remember stuff-which keeps forgetting to buy the diary…! My husband had to tell me to get myself together-I forgot to take the eldest to a vaccination appointment twice, keep forgetting important stuff in his nursery bag, birthday parties, the list is endless… Sigh… I never thought I’d be ‘that’ shitty mum whose children will probably be laughed at for turning up to school in uniform for mufti day, or don’t have the ingredients for cookery and have to bake an apple instead… Really need to up my PA game!! I’m sorry it all weighs heavily on your mind, but I’m sure you’re actually fab at it all. Xx

      1. Ahh thanks lovely, but let me assure you, I am a total loser! i turned up a week early to a vaccination once, and i have a friend who sends me messages to remind me about mufti day as she knows i will not remember. x

    1. I sooooo get this!! I always get overwhelmed by all the bloody school letters and birthday invites, my hearts sinks when I find another one in the bag!! Great post. Tor xx

      1. and school emails, they email me about twice a day, i’m missing important stuff wading through all the messages telling me the lollipop man has the day off.

    1. it’s so true, I actually have to buy the birthday card for his mum and put it in front of him and say write something lol, but when it comes to my birthday he is right on top of it so I guess that gets him some bonus points. I totally feel what you are saying here though!

      1. I have received a total of about 3 birthday/xmas/mothers day presents since having kids (thats 5 years ago folks!!!) however i don’t think i have hoovered or dusted since then, so you win some you lose some!!!

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