It was a really, really busy week this week. Monday being the Queen’s Birthday holiday didnt help any either, although I suppose my house did start the week relatively tidier than normal, as I did a lot of catch-up stuff on Monday.
But then the rest of the week was short, and packed with meetings and commitments. Each night I would take a deep breath before launching into plans and preparation for the next day. And it didnt help that Captain Scarlett had his final two exams for the semester on Wednesday and Thursday and was home the rest of the week (and expecting to be taxied places, as well).
Last night saw me out on the back verandah assisting Gorgeous Girl to papier mache the nile valley – my fingers were frozen solid by the time we got the first layer of one side of the river done. I see a few more days and evenings of cold glue mix & newspaper ahead this week.
Thank goodness Monday is back to normal school for a whole week before they break for the winter school holidays.
Because Captain Scarlett hasnt been going to school regularly for the past two weeks in exam block, he has missed a few rugby training sessions. And he had an interesting conversation with his rugby coach (who also happens to be his form teacher, swim team manager and water polo manager – so we know him quite well…) who was remarking on the lack of attendance at training.
Apparently ‘Coach’ said to Captain Scarlett – ‘you havent got any excuse, your Mum could have brought you in – she doesnt work’ (or words to that effect).
Of course, Captain Scarlett quickly set him straight.
Mum works all right! It may seem she has all the free time in the world to play taxi driver and support team, but really, it’s all an illusion!
I made the decision along the way, amidst having babies, that working from home so I could be here for my children when they needed me was worth any sacrifice in terms of career progression and social interaction. I got the social interaction outside work hours, and career progression – well I went as far as I wanted to go, rather than as far as I could.
I never regretted that decision. But, I guess that is a story for another day when I have a little more time to spare.
What occured to me, though, when I heard what Coach thought was, because I appeared to be available to my children it was automatically assumed that I did not work.
It made me think about the impression I give people who know me outside my business-woman persona. And I realised that as a Mum, I’m giving the impression of being a dedicated full-time presence for my children. And I guess turning up to the school gate in jeans and t-shirt would do nothing to dispel that notion.
And you know, now I have thought this through, and got over my initial indignation that he thought I didn’t work (the "how dare he??" reaction…) I realise that it really is OK that people see me as fully there for my kids. Obviously I am doing a good enough job of being present for my children and juggling my responsibilities that their teachers see me in that way.