On being a working commuting parent.

This is my day*:

6.00am: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
6.10am: Alarm goes off again. Hit dismiss. Close eyes for one more second.
6:13am: Wake up again and freak out hours have passed. Realise they haven’t. Get out of bed.
6.15am-6.30am: Make cup of tea, lunches, and put load of washing on/hang load of washing out/stare at impossibly huge washing pile and despair.
6.30am: Wake child up. Open curtains. Threaten with anything even vaguely threatening.
6.31am: Threats of threatening things not apparently very threatening. Pre-coffee creativity not very creative.
6.32am: Get child’s uniform. Attempt to wrench nightie off child. Stuff limp legs and arms into uniform.
6.34am: Give up uniform application. Give child standard lecture about the rumoured abilities of 7 year olds to  put own uniforms on. Walk out in disgust.
6.35am: Return to child’s room and employ ‘enthusiastic mother voice’ to remind child about daily tasks of teeth and hair brushing, and toileting. Just in case child has forgotten.
6.40am: Get in shower. Forget world. Forget work.
6.50am: Remember work. Freak out that hours have passed. Discover that it’s only 10 minutes. May as well be hours… now late.
6.52am: Run downstairs and express urgency to child. Find child playing with Monster High dolls. Culottes appear to be on body. School polo shirt nowhere to be seen. Abandon ‘enthusiastic mother voice’. Screech a bit. Child moves in slow motion to find other uniform parts.
6.53am-7.00am: Stand over child to ensure DAILY ROUTINE is followed. Contemplate buying espresso machine to feed child coffee. Anything to MAKE THE SLOW MOTION MOVEMENTS FASTER.
7.00am: Abandon child with Monster High Dolls.
7.01am – 7.08am: Attempt to make self presentable. No time to dry hair. Or iron skirt. Hope boss not in today. (Every day.)
7.09am: Fly down Stairs of Doom. Slide down last 5 or so and [mostly] manage to not face plant/knock self out/break ankles.
7.10am: Grab handbag, child, child’s bag, child’s lunch box, own lunch box, and jam all in car.
7.11am: Get in car, ready to break land speed records. Realise phone is upstairs.
7.12am: Trudge angrily, and speedily, back upstairs yelling obscenities. (Wish I was joking. Poor neighbours.)
7.14am: Back in car. On road. Curse need to use driveway next to Evil-Butcher-Who-Hates-Me for lack of time.
7.18am: Deposit child, bag and lunch at before-school-care. Convince child that she doesn’t need cocoa pops for breakfast. Leave whining behind.
7.19am: Jump in car and pull hastily in to car park. Thankful for good brakes in car.
7.21am: Run to path near front of train to smile nicely at driver while running in somewhat uncoordinated manner toward train.
7.21am: Train leaves.
7.21am – 8.01am: Forget to get ticket out. EVERY TIME. Ticket collectors bestow Stare of Deathly Death. Find ticket. Show collectors. Waste life on facebook/twitter, knit, daydream, watch train sleepers enviously.
8.02am: Speed walk to work. Glare at slow walkers. Overtake as many as poss. No time for slow walkers.
8.10am: Get to work and make cup of coffee.
8.15am-4.50pm: Work. V. productive work. Frequency of twitter updates not indicator of productivity. Not at all.
4.50pm: Meant to leave for train. Promise self will leave in 3 minutes.
4.57pm: Look at clock. Freak out.
4.57pm-5.05pm: Run up hill to train station.
5.05pm: Die.
5.05pm: Get on train. Forget ticket. Glaring from ticket collectors. But this time with extra amounts of deathly death as train busy.
5.06pm-5.48pm: Stare out window and wish for teleportation device.
5.48pm: Run to car and attempt to u-turn quickly on busy road to get to child’s after school care on time. V. afraid of carer.
5.52pm: Leap over garden and run in to after school care. Child last one at after school care. Every. day. Sign child out at 5.50pm so don’t look so bad.
6.00pm: Arrive home to sweltering stuffiness that is house.
6.00pm-6.08pm: Open a gazintizillion windows. ALL the windows.
6.09pm: Realise no meat out for dinner. Freak out.
6.10pm: Defrost meat in microwave.
6.15pm: Remember meat in microwave. Half cooked. Half frozen. Marvel at deliciousness.
6.16pm: Stare at meat and will inspiration for transformation plans.
6.17pm: Check facebook. And twitter. And trademe. And email. And pinterest.
6.28pm: Remember half defrosted meat. Browse “What the fuck should I make for dinner?
6.30pm: Marvel at WTFSIMFD?’s genius.
6.31pm: Child appears from nowhere and asks to add malware play games on computer. Oblige. Check facebook/twitter/WTFSIMFD on phone instead.
6.39pm: Start making usual dinner of burritos/macaroni cheese/lasagne/insert generic tasteless meal here.
7.39pm: Remember child still on computer. Realise past bedtime. Freak out.
7.40pm: Kick child off computer. (Reminiscent of own mother circa 1998.)
7.45pm: Serve lukewarm and overcooked meal.
7.45pm: Child whinges about meal. Unless macaroni cheese.
7.45pm – 8.00pm: Child eats in slow motion. Chewing with open mouth. Head explodes. (Unless macaroni cheese. In which case, first plate devoured in approx 30 seconds. Not sure whether mouth is open during chewing. Not sure chewing takes place at all. More plates follow.)
8.00pm: Get sick of child eating in slow motion. Remove plate with half eaten meal.
8.01pm: Inform child of plan. Same as every night. Suspiciously same as morning routine: pyjamas, toilet, teeth.
8.23pm: Find naked child playing with Monster High Dolls.
8.23pm: Head explodes. (Not sure where second head came from after previous head explosion.)
8.24pm: Reverse wrenching of nightie and refusal to read bedtime story.
8.24pm – 8.35pm: Whingeing from child about lack of bedtime story.
8.35pm – 8.36pm: Feel the Guilt of Parenthood.
8.36pm – 8.38pm: Read shortest book in book case.
8.39pm: Kiss goodnight. Threaten threatening things if sleep is not attempted.
8.40pm: Child yells out for water.
8.41pm: Stamp into bedroom with cup of water. Stamp out.
8.42pm: Collapse on couch. Congratulate self on child in bed before 9pm.
8.43pm – 10.53pm: Clock Internets.
10.54pm: Roll into bed. Check phone to make sure alarm on. Glimpse world’s most depressing message “Your alarm will go off in 6 hours and 6 minutes.” Shed tear.
10.55pm – 6.00pm: Snore. Lots.

* Slight variations may exist. Most frequent variation is missing train.


16 thoughts on “On being a working commuting parent.

  1. Having lived in your home for this whole experience – I still think you're slightly underplaying how manic your day is.
    I went home and said to J thank the Lord we live in *smaller city*, if we had that commute I'd be done for.
    You are a superstar Nik. One day, surely, you'll get that medal. Or win lotto and never have to work/have funds to farm devil child out to Mary Poppins's type nanny.

    Miss you all. E xxx


  2. Lol'd here too, so well written!
    Ella just acquired her first Monster High Doll, she says it is the same as one of Hannah's therefore it is AWESOME.


  3. SarahBean: Um, you have THREE children. AND RUN A BUSINESS. My exhaustipation pales in comparison to your own.

    But yes, homework. Uhhh we sometimes remember to do homework. It just so happens that it doesn't start for another couple of weeks so I haven't mentioned that I usually remember about homework right before bedtime so make the child substitute bedtime story with reading me her reader. And this year she has PROJECT BASED HOMEWORK. Oh dear. What am I going to do? Well, probably make the afterschool carers do it for me… that's the most likely solution. *bad mother*


  4. Well, my head did also explode last year so I asked the Boy to help out a bit. He now “cooks” twice during the week. This allows me to bathe the festery, sweaty child and/or do washing/vacuuming/other fun tasks without further head exploding. It has been awesome.


  5. ….. ahhhhhhh….. THOSE were the days!

    I just read Brad Pitt feeds his kids CocaCola in the mornings to get them to move a bit faster hehe.

    I bow to your energy, not sure I could manage that now. xx Maman


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