Friday, 13 February 2009

Valentine Valentine

"We don't do Valentine's. It is just commercial rubbish. Every day is a day for romance with us" said my deluded can't be bothered husband.

"I think setting aside even one day of the year for romance would be a good idea 'cos believe me every day with you is not romantic," I retorted as I wiped mush off the high chair, loaded the washing machine, answered daughters query about the location of Paris on the map and simultaneously swept the floor with the brush stuck up where the sun don't shine. 

Only once when we were dating did he send me a card on valentine's day. I can't exactly describe it as a valentine's card because it wasn't. It was a scenic view postcard a tourist might buy. He didn't choose a valentine's card because they were in the shop his ex-girlfriend worked in. It was very early stages and I sent him the only card I could find that didn't mention love or sex. 

He did buy me chocolates twice on random occasions while we were dating. The first time half the top layer was missing because he got hungry on the journey and the second time he left them in a woman's car and she thought they were for her. Now when he buys me chocolates he hovers over me excitedly waiting for me to open them. Sometimes, to torment him I say I am saving them for Wednesday or a day far into the week ahead. Then when I open them I eat them quicker than I want to just to make sure I get my share. One Easter, there were no eggs left in the shops so I bought us a large bar of Galaxy each. He polished off his instantly and I ate half and saved the other half. I came home from work looking forward to sitting down with a coffee, a magazine and my chocolate....but...I couldn't find it. I was raging. He had eaten it. How low is that.

Another occasion springs to mind. He popped out one Easter Sunday morning and when he came back called up the stairs ( I was still in bed), "I've got a surprise for you." Excitedly, I bounded down the stairs like a little kid. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when he produced a danish pastry. I cast it up to him every year.

I don't want slush and cutesy but just some old-fashioned cherishing, a bit of effort and undivided attention. I used to think Valentine's was embarrassing commercial nonsense but now I think it is a great idea to have at least one day in your calendar dedicated to romance.

This year for Valentine's day I am leaving him at home with the kids. Daughter has made him a lovely card in nursery and a heart shaped sweetie so he will be happy with that. I will be even happier because I will be in Edinburgh for the whole weekend wandering city streets and bars, getting a city haircut and going to a fancy dress party in the flat of one of my bestest old friends who is 40 on Valentine's Day. Her postie will think her very popular when he delivers a stack of cards to her on Saturday.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

a little rant about being a working mum

I am already feeling a little disatisfied by my new job. The problem is that I'm just not that into it. I had also expected the college to be a vibrant, exciting place to work but it's not. It is disorganised. The terms and conditions are not great and there is no career progression, pension, holiday pay, sick pay etc so there is a high turnover of staff. If you need resources you get them too late, if at all. It is all a bit haphazard and there is no-one who has been there long enough to know how everything works. My boss is always really busy and can't see anyone because she is doing something that involves acronyms no-one has heard of. 

The two days I work are long and the kids are tired and cranky at the end of them. They are woken early and taken to their Granny's where they are happy, loved and well-cared for. We don't get home until 6pm when I try to settle two grumpy tots in to the house after waking them from sleep in the car and make dinner. Husband usually arrives once dinner is made! We're finished dinner by 7pm and then it is time to get ready for bed to start again the next day. Two days a week like that is enough. So when I was asked to increase my days and take on the role of course leader (for no extra money but a little extra paid time for a lot of extra work and hassle) I thought about it. I started thinking about money and almost got sucked in to tying myself up with a job that would take over my time and take me away from my little ones and all for a career path I'm not sure I want. So, I said thanks but no thanks. Two days is enough for me right now. Phew! 

I am lucky at this time of recession to have this opportunity but I need to be available for my children while they are young. It is a decision I made before I had them. I have just had two lovely days at home with them doing housework, playing, dancing, going for walks in the snow and visiting friends which confirms for me it is the right decision. 

Then to top it off I have to study for my new job. I have to find time to fit in 120 hours of study between now and June. I can scarcely find one hour!