Linda's blog: It's Just a Phase
"It's just a phase" I said last week, hoping to reassure my friend with a newborn baby who was worried about not managing to get dressed before 2pm. It was my wise mum who first shared this nugget with me when I was worrying about my first born not putting on weight, despite every feed taking an hour and a half.
My current worries centre around the fact that longer hours in my new job mean that my husband and I have entered a new phase where I am nearly always dropping the children off at breakfast club and he is picking them up from after school club. I miss chatting to them after school and reading to the youngest at bed time and I worry about them interpreting my absence as a lack of interest or love for them.
When I first returned to work after maternity leave, it was my husband who applied for flexible working so he could leave at 4:45pm and pick up our daughter from nursery. How I pined for those bath and story times, cuddling our baby in the nursing chair. After a year I left life in a law firm for a job in-house and was suddenly able to leave work at 5:30pm and do pick up every day. We flipped our arrangement and I was filled with joy. 4 years later, the oldest started school and the youngest started nursery but there was a tube ride between them. Whilst it was possible to drop both off or pick both up, the stress it caused (leave work, get on tube, change tube, pick up from school, get on tube, pick up from nursery) meant we avoided it like the plague and we both dropped off one child and picked up one child every day. After 3 years we were thrilled and relieved when the youngest started school and we moved to taking it in turns to do drop off or pick up, as best suited our work diaries.
Whilst I wouldn't say we've knocked it out of the park during every phase, I do know that, save for a little grumbling from time to time about missing bedtime, the different phases have not registered with either child which is reassuring. Next time I'm worrying, I will try to remind myself of this, especially because whilst we have just entered phase 5, in less than a year our oldest child will start secondary school and we will enter phase 6!
Linda is a lawyer who has two primary school-age children. She and her husband work full time and juggle the school run and everything else between them.