Thursday, 14 January 2010

Losing Time and McMondays

Helen said something to me the other day which made me quite sad. We were talking about Jack now going to nursery on Mondays during the school terms in preparation for going to school in September. We were listing through the things that had changed as this is just a term-time thing what we were going to do. After a conversational 'It'll be fine.' I said that part of me has been looking forward to it, it means not having to battle with trying to work and keep him entertained to which Helen replied, "It means there aren't going to be any more McMondays."
The more I thought about it the worse I felt. The McMonday was something that Jack and I started way back on my first Monday home with him, as you can probably guess it's a Monday lunch trip to McDonalds. It's a relatively cheap meal and Jack loves to get the free McDonald's toy and a balloon. We'd sometimes go spend twenty minutes at the park while we're at it. Even with me working from home it's been time that we can get out of the house and away from the TV. The 4th of January Jack started Mondays at nursery marking the end of this weekly tradition.
Working from home has been a challenge for me. While, given the situation, it's really the best I could have hoped for I'm still struggling to make it work and feel good about it. Mostly the challenge has been the switch to full time. For over a year now I've been working 24 hours a week leaving me time to spend with Jack. Mondays and Fridays, Mondays especially, have been our days together for what seems like forever. Anyone will tell you that after working part time for a little while you start to wonder how people manage 40 hours a week.
My decision to go part time was based pretty much on one thing. I don't like my job. When Helen's return to work began to draw near I was in a dark place with my job. On top of that the child care bills for 2 additional days a week we're going to be barely affordable. I remember saying to Helen that I outta just go part time and look after him myself for two days. Long story short, after crunching a few number that's exactly what we did. With my switch back to full time I find myself back where I was mentally, November and December have been difficult not only in my having to self-motivate to doing a job that I don't like but I've also got to ensure that being home with Jack doesn't have any affect on my work.
Monday's have been pretty rough. I'm usually quite busy on Monday's catching up from the weekend so Jack is more or less left to entertain himself, which he does quite well most of the time. We put on his favourite shows or get out the play doh or anything that will keep him entertained and effectively out of my hair while I work. It's quite a difference to our trips out to the local high street for a visit to the park and bakery, Jack doesn't seem to like it very much but he makes due.
Fridays aren't as bad, they haven't changed much at all other than I disappear every time my phone rings. Usually there are enough people around that I can sit in the corner and work while Jack runs around playing with the other kids.
It isn't just McMonday, it's Monday, a whole day with Jack that I'm losing. In the summer last year Jack and I used to spend almost every Monday at a Thomas Land or the park. We'd send Mommy off to work, watch a little TV and then discuss intellectually what we were going to do for the day. Normally Jack's only suggestions would be to go to the park or to a kids play area. We'd stop and have our McMonday on the way out, or the way back. I've had two Monday's on my own so far and I've really missed him.

I take some solace in knowing that I'll still have him on the school holidays. I'll probably take the days off as holiday. After May I'll be out of work all together so we'll still have the summer together before we both go off to school in September, then things change all over again.

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