Mary mother of Jesus. I don’t often talk about parenting, but the busiest time of year on my work calendar just happens to coincide with back to school. Which finally happened last week after EIGHT. WEEKS. of school holidays.
Back to school. Not a moment too soon. But not all week of course, because student-free days!!! And no holiday camps because it’s back-to-school week. Except when it’s not.
Fly in grandma from interstate. She covers Week 8 and the not-back-to-school day.
Attempt to plan childcare for new school year. Regular babysitter has enrolled in Uni. Now available only Thurs and Fri. Need solution for other days.
Contact tennis coach and shift Monday lesson time earlier. He can walk directly there and home. Monday sorted.
Confirm equestrian babysitter still available for Tuesday horse riding. Will start next week. Tuesday sorted.
Wednesday is free. After School Care available. Complete booking form and scan/email back.
Regular babysitter can do Thur/Fri.
All weekdays sorted. High five me.
Receive email from class parent. Things to know for 2020.
Wednesday school sports training shifts to Tuesday this year. Or possibly Thursday depending on team. But probably Tuesday given last year’s grading. Confirmation next Monday after Saturday trials.
Contact riding coach and shuffle Tuesday horse riding to Thursday. But equestrian babysitter can’t drive him there Thursday.
Message regular babysitter. Can she drive him to and from horse riding on a Thursday? It’s a long drive. She agrees. Phew.
Friday swimming and tennis comp confirmed. Babysitter secured. Hallelujah!
School goes back Tuesday. Grandma flies home Wednesday. Meetings finish on time to make After School Care pickup.
Regular babysitter not into horses, but Thursday goes well. Swimming and tennis on Friday as planned. We survive Week 1. Champagne corks are a-popping!!
Text message pings on Saturday morning. Tennis grading went well. So well he’s been promoted from Friday comp to Top 10 on Thursday. He’s elated! But horse riding on Thursday won’t finish in time. Can they hold his place while I shuffle commitments?
Need another day for horse riding. Maybe Friday? But swimming is Friday. So maybe Wednesday? Or else move swimming out from Friday and horse riding comes in?
Phone swim centre. Is there a spot at his level another day? Not Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. That would work for tennis. But need to move Thursday horse riding first.
Phone riding coach. Can we change lesson day again? To Wednesday? It’s the only free day. She’s in lessons but says that should be ok. Will phone back to confirm.
Then realise Wednesday is free now, but soon won’t be. Assuming AFL training stays on Wednesday. Which it might. Or might not. Phone riding coach back. Can it be Friday?
Friday is tricky. Horse sometimes away for weekend comps. After-school slot is taken. But could do later in day? Which is daylight now, but will be darkness in winter. I’ll take it anyway. Friday confirmed.
Swim centre now closed. Can’t change swimming til tomorrow. Phone back Sunday. Yes – one last spot for Thursday. Must start immediately to secure. Remember I’m working interstate this Thursday, and regular babysitter has uni orientation. I’ll take it anyway.
Contact tennis coach and confirm new Thursday comp time.
Start ringing around for a stand-in babysitter for regular babysitter on Thursday. The brother of a friend is available. Can meet him at swimming and take him to tennis. But he doesn’t drive and forecast is rain. I’ll take it anyway. Devise contingency in case it’s too wet. Thursday confirmed.
Monday comes and school sports confirmed. It’s definitely Tuesday training (not Thursday). Winner. Tuesday confirmed.
Thursday comes. It’s raining. Teach him how to erect and de-rect umbrella. Pack it in school bag. With swim flippers and tennis racquet. He resembles a Sherpa. Take ferry then train then plane to Brisbane.
Weather holds out at home. Stand-in babysitter messages during meeting: schedule or contingency? Not sure. What’s the weather like in Sydney? All good. Proceed. Husband phones during meeting. Silent phone with auto-responder: Can’t talk right now. Everything ok? Checking on pick up times. It’s in the message I sent you yesterday!!!
Raining cats and dogs in Brisbane. Navigate meetings through localised flooding. Traffic jammed but flights on time. Make it… but flight now delayed by delayed connecting flight. Eventually takes off and makes up lost time. Land before curfew. Home before midnight.
Awake to reminder: it’s swimming carnival today. Seriously?!? Missed last two years and had promised this time. Start earlier and shuffle appointments to finish later. See him win a race for the first time ever. His smile would melt the coldest heart.
Back to the office. Work through dinner. 10pm clock off. Did I mention it’s busy this time of year?
Flexibility works. But the mental load is real.
God grant me no more schedule changes, at least until the next term begins!
Is it only me? Or perhaps you can relate??
HINT FOR PEOPLE LEADERS: Might be a good time to check in with the parents and grand-parents on your team!!