Blimey. What a week with the Word Up weans. The manic juggling and plate spinning involved with daily domestic duties and working parenthood is, I’m sure, no different in the Word Up empire than it is for any family, anywhere. But some weeks sure do make you want to run off into the sunset, screaming.
At least when I was working for someone else, I had a more or less set routine around which football training, birthday parties, days out and swimming lessons were fitted in. But I swear, since starting my own small business, the great god of mischief has conspired to make my diary, and what remains of my grey matter, go into meltdown when it comes to the kids.
Since the start of P6 (which BTW, was picked on as a simply smashing time to start my own small business), Son of Word Up’s activity schedule has gone into hyperdrive. If it’s not athletics it’s fitba. If it’s not fitba, it’s street dance. And there’s tennis, swimming and pals round for playdates. And we’re not even particularly competitive parents.
If all of that wasn’t quite enough to try and fit in around client meetings, networking, book-keeping, admin and the all-important business of chasing paid work, there’s homework, and The Project.
Back in the day, when T.Rex roamed the land, and Slade were top of the charts, we had to do spelling and times tables as homework, but I don’t remember PROJECTS. Have you seen the scope of these things? Not so much fun, educational research topics for school kids, more like long haul preparation for a PhD, with all its attendant stress, tears and snotters (and that was just from me).
In the course of Son of Word Up’s short life, The Projects have included Clydebuilt Battleships, Viking Longhouses, When Gran Was A Girl, and Wasps. This time round it was Hurricanes, a subject which blew in like the proverbial tropical storm to cost my business yet more hours of neglect. After we’d all battled and tantrumed our way through long hours of research, collation, pretty pictures and writing it all down in his own words, all that was left in the wake was the debris of domestic peace and harmony.
By this stage, I’m way, way behind on tackling the small business task list, am wrung out and done in, but still there’s pesky Parents Night to fit in. We wait for what seems like decades to see teacher, watching precious time slip slide away, (but at least we got a chance to protest passionately about Projects…).
We emerge with a good report for the boy wonder, and the faint hope that there might still be an opportunity to get some bloody work done. But Son of Word Up chooses this moment to embark on a campaign of pre-birthday pester power that even the most hardened sales exec would crumble in the face of. (I swear, if I hear one more word about Nerf guns when I’m trying to get on with my own working wishlist, I’ll ram some of those plastic-tipped foam bullets where the sun don’t shine.)
Then, when calm returns and it looks like there might be a full clear day to attend to business, there’s The Incident with our very own troubled teenager. But no, that’s material for an entire novel, never mind a small business blog.
But even that wasn’t enough to tip me over. That point came later, when it dawned on me, hellishly and horribly, that I simply cannot manage to run a media training day for a lovely new client AND get home in time to transform my own wee Hallowe’en horror from a freckle-faced angel into Freddy Kruger for the all-important school disco.
So, the boy can have a flaky, throw a wobbler, scream, shout and pulverise his pumpkin, but for once this working mum is turning into Word Up Wicked Witch of the West, and taking care of business. To hell with Hallowe’en!
(BTW, I dunno how Mr Word Up is going to get on with facepaints, fake blood and fangs, but I’ve got a funny feeling he’ll be sending the next Project purgatory my way.)