How much do you see your children during the week? The division of childcare labour between myself and the Lovely Melanie means I see mine for about 30 minutes each morning.
It could be worse: the Lovely Melanie, loving mother that she is, goes to work at 5.30am in order to finish at 3.30pm. She’ll get home, pick the girls up, feed and bathe them, help with their homework and put them to bed.
And despite this ridiculously early start Millie and Amber still have to go to after-school club.
I get the better end of the deal in many ways: I get up about 7, give the girls breakfast, instruct them both to get dressed, ensure they have all their things (harder than it sounds) and walk them to school.
I don’t educate, clean or cook for them during the week.
But this hour in the morning is the sum total of my time with them. Worse still, remove the time spent getting ready myself and we’re down to about 30 minutes a day.
Just 30 minutes a day.
After dropping them at school I get into the office about five to ten, so I finish work at 6.30 which means both girls are in bed and Amber is, inevitably, asleep when I get home.
That’s certainly why so many of the stories I post about them on here are morning stories; not because they’re so spectacularly witty and cute in the mornings (although they can be), but because those are the only time I get to see them being witty and cute.
And that’s why I could never accept a job that demanded a 9am start, which would require the girls to go to both breakfast club and after-school club – because those 30 minutes are far too precious.