Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Work hard, play like a kid

I’ve never struggled to physically portray lazy.

My laid-back demeanour doesn’t exactly exude ‘work horse’.

Probably less equine DNA than a supermarket burger.

But lazy is one thing you can’t really be if you want to be an effective parent, or get the most out of being one.

As someone who has seen lots of sides of fences I feel I am well qualified (IMNSHO) to judge what can be deemed hard work, and that’s what child rearing is.

Hard but demonstratively rewarding graft.

But it doesn’t pay very well.

And that’s the balance.

I’m not lucky (or unlucky) enough to have a passion that I get paid to follow.  I’ve sought one for as long as I can remember, but the job of chief taster for Swizzles Matlow sweets has yet to become available on a home-working basis.

Which is really where I want to be.

I made a decision nearly eight years ago now to ensure my boy came first, and that he physically felt that way too.

Seeing little point in continuing to earn a very healthy salary if it meant that I’d have to trust a large proportion of his care to others.

Instead I’ve pursued all sorts of freelance work that meant that the times I can’t be at my boy’s side or walking him to and from school are more sparse and sporadic than regular and routine.

The work I’ve found generally doesn’t pay brilliantly nor does it come with anything remotely resembling holiday pay.  In fact during holiday times is when I find myself working the hardest.

It’s great to have my son off school, and I wish I could be with him all the time like we were way back in his pre-school days, but that just isn’t our reality.

But school holidays are hard work, and last week I factored in a day of work, like 16 hours of it, to make sure I didn’t fall too far behind with my various jobs at hand.

It really is worth it for the reward, which can’t be measured in pounds, shillings or pence.

Well, it can, but I'm not counting.