How do you manage your working hours? How does your partner manage it? How do you make family & work work?
Man, it’s been so windy this week. The perfect weather for flying a kite. Cue a Mary Poppins singalong…
Hilariously, kite flying was not our friend, despite gale force winds!
We tried on Sunday. Couldn’t get it up. Probably too sheltered on the nearest green space. Looked like idiots to all our neighbours in the process. Perfect.
Andy and the kids tried on Monday. Couldn’t get it up. Not windy enough. This made the kids grumpy.
Andy and the eldest tried on Wednesday – and GOT IT UP!
This was all down to Andy’s flexible work. He’s his own boss. He works bloody hard, long hours. He’s working right next to me as I type this in our shared office. And that’s standard Monday through to Thursday evenings. It’s proper romantic though. Music and muttered musings are always enjoyed.
It’s all good. He works late to make up for the time he spends with us having tea and doing baths & bedtime. That’s how he gets to spend any time with us in the week. If he’s in London, he dictates his hours and gets the 4.09pm so he can be home in time for tea. If he’s working from home, he comes down to join us at 5pm.
In order to have time to fly a kite, he decided to finish even earlier and took the kids to the local Rec for some quality time and kite magic whilst I sorted the tea.
And that’s what really works for us. It’s not right for everyone, but it’s right for us.
And we never take it for granted. There are a fair few squeaky bum moments when you have your own business, but that was a choice we made for the sake of a quality of life that suited us.
But surely this should be a work-life balance that’s open to more people if they’d like it? Shouldn’t a parent be allowed the flexibility to go fly a kite and make up the hours later? And wouldn’t the meaningful moments make a difference to our children?
I can’t pretend to know a lot about the politics or the stats around flexible working, but I do wonder whether a shift in attitude might have repercussions far wider than we could ever predict?