Please forgive me that I haven't blogged in a while. I have been mega busy and all will be revealed in time...
In a household where both parents work in regular jobs, child care is both a challenge and costly. In a household where both parents don't know when or where they will be working from one week to the next and there are no family members living close by to step in and help, child care is virtually impossible and every day is a potential 'take your child to work' day!
Of course Ayden cannot take Phoenix on set with him but because of the irregular hours and unpredictable nature of his work it also means that we can't really plan times that Ayden can be daddy day care while I work and quite often our worlds overlap and I end up taking Phoenix to work with me (as I really don't see why I shouldn't work).
Yesterday was one of those occasions and I did not think it through very well at all...
The day started pretty hectically and just got crazier really. Ayden was supposed to be done by 10 am, so we thought he could come with me and help out but as it often does, that changed the night before which meant suddenly he was working and couldn't come along to help, meaning I would be doing a photo shoot followed by a meeting for my work, alone with our one year old.
As you may know from other posts, Phoenix is the dream child that rarely wakes up before 10am. He's been like this since he was about 10 weeks old and yes, please do feel free to hate me. I know I am extremely lucky that I have had sleep in the first year of my sons life and I rejoice every morning I roll out of bed at 10am that he has inherited my lazy gene. I'd love to pretend I get up early while he's asleep and get my chores done - but that would be a bare faced fucking lie! I do not. I snuggle in to that duvet until I hear his little chirrup to tell me that he is awake and then we start our day. I am a lazy cow!
The only draw back of a late rising child is, if I have to do anything early in the morning he's just as grumpy and useless as me at waking up! With Ayden at work, we had to get up super early just so I could get us both ready and fed so we could leave the house on time. This did not go down well with 'the child' and so the challenge of the day began on waking.
I had booked for him to do his one year old celebration 'cake smash' photo's with the Amazing at 'Bundles Of Joy' by Georgina.
The lovely Georgina did his absolutely stunning baby photos 3 weeks after he was born and when I found out that she also did a cake smash session, when your little ones turn one, I of course wanted to make sure I marked the occasion this way.
Here is Phoenix in Georgina's pictures a year ago.. and please do click on the picture to see her website..
As you can see her pictures are absolutely stunning and for me it was the best way to celebrate his year old milestone with more lovely 'Bundles Of Joy' captured moments to treasure forever.
The session wasn't booked in until 12 mid day but the reason for the early start was because it meant a trip from Liverpool to Derby yesterday morning to get to Georgina's studios, so we had to get up at 8am, which is basically the middle of the night for us.
A trip well worth making though and it just so happened I had a meeting in Derby that I could tie it in with, it couldn't be more perfect. Of course it did mean taking Phoenix to an important meeting but I didn't give that a second thought, I can be very naive like that.
Even though Phoenix began the day a little grumpy, he fell asleep the whole two hour trip so when we finally got to the studios he was breezily blowing raspberries and dancing to the music as Georgina snapped away.
The cake smash session is loads of fun and I can't wait to share the pictures with you. We both had a ball, who doesn't love smashing up a birthday cake? What I really didn't think through very well though, was the fact that, not only would Phoenix be covered in cake (he had a change of clothes) so would I (I had no change of clothes and a meeting to go to).
After a pit stop at a pub to feed my child we journeyed on to what was 'work' for me. Covered in cake I found myself getting my baby boy and two huge boxes of paper work up on to the second floor of some very snazzy office buildings.
What an entrance I must have made as I kicked two boxes through the doors of the reception, covered in cake with Phoenix on my hip and his Nickelodeon Slime Fest back pack/change bag on my back. I don't think I imagined the director of the company and his secretary stop breathing as they saw that not only was I covered in cake but I had also brought a baby to their offices!
I decided I wouldn't apologise for either of my offences. I plonked Phoenix down on the floor so he could crawl round their offices like I'd just unleashed Speedy Gonzales and went straight in to the meeting and the reason I was there. They listened to me with wide eyes, nervously looking at the baby that was terrorising their plants and putting his jammy hands all over their clean floor length windows as I chatted at them. Occasionally their eyes drifted to the cake in my hair and all over my clothes as I earnestly answered their questions. At one point there was a phone call from another office to see who was making all the noise and it tickled me as the secretary tried to whisper there was a baby in the office and it was at that point I realised I may as well have brought the whole of London fucking Zoo with me to that meeting and they clearly wondered, how dare I bring a baby to their sacred work space and what sort of deranged lunatic would do such a thing.
Reputation in tatters, I left that office not really giving a shit about that but instead reflecting on the whole experience and everything that was wrong about it.
Why shouldn't we be able to take our kids along to work if we have no choice. Who cares if he made a bit of noise in the office for the 20 mins I was there? If there were no kids.... there would be no us. Shouldn't it be celebrated that someone is trying to work with and for their children?
I can't say I was raging mad about their reaction when I left the office, more amused, with questions whizzing around my head. I'm rarely a feminist but I couldn't help thinking, if it wasn't such a mans world would we be more accommodating around child care in the work place and in so many other places where children and babies are just not allowed but for no real reason as far as I can tell, just for stuffy reasons, like they're noisy and messy - but really, does that always matter?
I think maybe children over 4 are easier to find child care for because then you have regular places to take them but from birth until 4 it's a minefield if you are self employed and both parents are working with very few relatives around.
I have to do a speed awareness course this evening... Yes I was stupidly doing 36 mph in a 30 zone, which I am not proud of, in fact I am very ashamed as I do appreciate that speed costs lives and is just plain idiotic of me and I'm not even going to give you an excuse for it as there isn't ever a good one.
The reason I'm telling you though is because at one stage this morning we thought Ayden might have to work tonight. Luckily he doesn't but if he had been called in to work, then I would have had to take Phoenix to that course with me as we have no one who could have taken care of him this evening and that got me wondering what they would have done? Would they have sent me home and made me have 3 points on my license? Would they have let me do it? Would they have called social services because I'd taken him along with me? Who knows but surely something needs to change to help parents out with child care,surely work places and the government need to come up with ideas that don't cost the earth...
So many parents live far away from their families and work weird hours that don't always fit in to a neat little box, surely businesses have to have a more understanding attitude towards babies and children. Surely the government should reward parents for doing whatever it takes to work and be there for their children too and why are there so many places, in a world where babies are vital for our survival, that absolutely have no flexibility when it comes to helping parents with child care issues. I understand we can't just rock up with our babies on our hips everywhere but if it's not dangerous or detrimental to your child's welfare or emotional state, does it really matter and wouldn't it make the world a much more fun place if children were allowed in!