Work vs Childcare: The Easy Option

It’s 10pm and the difference is clear.

TheUrbanDaddy has spent the day in the London offices of a multinational media conglomerate, where he is currently holidaying employed as a freelance editor. Right now, I’m in the lounge listening to Doves, writing this.

MsUrbanDaddy, after a glorious week of good food and free childcare with the girls at their grandparents in Somerset, has been looking after them on her own, for the first time in eight days. She has just scraped herself off the floor, where she’s been asleep for the past few hours, and gone to bed.

In a couple of hours from now, MsUrbanDaddy will be summoned from blissful sleep by the new boss and asked to open the Milk Bar for the first of tonight’s sessions. I, in a display of spousal solidarity, will rouse myself for a few minutes to help her re-arrange her pillows, before promptly falling back into loud, mouth-breathing slumber (what else can I usefully do? It’s not like I’m serving any drinks).

Tomorrow, sometime between half-past six and seven o’clock, the bright, warbled nursery rhymes coming from down the hall will be my cue to get up, get the old boss some milk and read her a morning story. This is usually no more than an hour after MsUrbanDaddy has finished the last feed.

Once both girls are awake, MsUrbanDaddy is back on duty and on the Bridge. I take a shower and get ready for another twelve-hour shift at the media coalface: the (relatively) undisturbed reading of newspapers during the commute, the croissants, the coffees (started and finished whilst still hot, oh the privation), the sitting down all day.

And all the while, MsUrbanDaddy is at home with the kids.

When I first had children, one of my old managers said I would end up getting more rest at work. How right he was!

OK, I’m being a bit hard on myself: my job often involves late hours and stressful situations.

Hang on a minute…

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