After three years of maternity leave, I had my first meeting lined up with Proper Important Business People. I was both excited and nervous. Jenni and I had been talking about our new business and were finally putting it into action. I was looking forward to conversing with actual grown-ups and not being interrupted by someone pulling at my clothes and whinging. I planned to get out of my thongs for once and take a proper handbag that didn’t contain sultanas or a disposable nappy – hoorah!
I always read the posts in the Hills District Mums Facebook group with great tips when starting back at work. So here I was, putting them into action myself. I mean, how hard could it be right? It’s just getting dressed, dropping the kids off and getting to my destination on time!
The night before, I laid out my outfit and worked out my plan of attack – yep, it felt like I was preparing for some form of military mission. My alarm was set early so I could shower in peace and get ready before the kids woke up. The plan was to seamlessly glide through the breakfast routine then finish with a drama- free drop off at my in-laws before 8am, giving me two whole hours to switch from mummy mode to ballsy business woman prior to our 10am meeting. Piece of cake.
Here’s how the morning ACTUALLY played out:
• Toddler woke at 5.30am and carried on until baby woke up too.
• Tried to have a shower but toddler didn’t like that the routine had changed. Apparently “Mummy isn’t allowed to shower until Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom comes on”. Cue Tantrum Number One.
• Successfully get dressed but baby managed to get a mixture of snot and Weet-Bix on me (I know, I know, rookie mistake – don’t get changed until you walk out the door).
• Perused wardrobe for another appropriate outfit. Discovered that my business clothes had mould on them and that I haven’t worn anything other than harem pants and a singlet for the past three years. Find something vaguely suitable and slightly tighter than I remember it pre-children. Sigh.
• Ready to walk out the door but toddler intervened with Tantrum Number Two because I made her go to the toilet before we left the house. Realised that baby has done a poo (why, WHY do they always do a number 2 at the wrong times?! It’s quite an art). Baby was now on a roll and, as I disposed of the dirty nappy, bit her sister for no apparent reason (as you do) and toddler now had a legitimate reason to cry.
• Finally we were in the car. Major achievement. We arrived at the in-laws at 9.15am. Who was I kidding? Two hours to myself beforehand??!
Seriously, it just took me the best part of four hours to get to a one hour meeting. But I decide that instead of beating myself up about it I will be proud that I managed to get there at all, without Weet-Bix in my hair and wearing footwear other than thongs. However, I make a mental note to suggest phone conferences going forward and if that’s not feasible I’ll be sure to wear one of those disposable plastic ponchos you wear in a downpour at a major sporting event until the little people are out of my sight!
What are your tips for getting to work with kids?