I go to bed on Sunday nights more knackered than when I finish on Friday evenings. My weekends start with me schlepping my daughters to stage school and horse riding (which is all done and dusted by Saturday lunch time) and like millions of other parents, I “sacrifice” my free time at the weekends to do this because, a) I know they love their hobbies, and b) it makes me feel like I am a good parent.
The rest of the weekend is usually a mix of washing (PILES of the stuff, despite me smugly thinking I am ahead of the game by doing mid-week washes at 6am), begrudging treks around Tesco stuffing my shopping trolley full of healthy ‘whole foods’ and honestly NO ready meals or fast food for an easier life for me Mon-Fri. The only concessions I make for this are Heinz tomato soup and tortellini pasta so yes, I try to be a very honourable new age parent who cooks from scratch all week.
Fun, fun, fun
Also on the weekends we endeavour to do fun stuff, whether that be trips to theatres, cinemas, county walks, birthday parties (which thank God I don’t have to stay at now, seeing as they are older) and relaxed family time.
By Sunday night, having nagged my kids all day to complete their homework, persuaded them to get out and have some fresh air and pretended that watching David Attenborough is cultural enough for them to stay up a bit later, I sit down to prepare my Monday list for my recruitment business…
Work, work, work
Yes. I prepare what I am going to tackle the following day and always have done. It means that on Mondays I can focus on getting my kids out of the door to school, by preparing the night before; I am able to then speak to candidates who may need to catch up before they start work. There’s no mad rush for me if I plan ahead.
Monday to Friday my routine goes something like this:
Alarm goes off. Once I get up, I ensure my older daughter is up as she has to leave early for secondary school. After the mandatory cup of tea whilst checking my social media notifications (yes, I have become that obsessed millennial despite being middle0aged!) I empty dishwashers, load washing machines and let various animals in and out of the house for their ablutions (and I am not referring to my children as a euphemism).
Once I am showered and ready for the day, I get breakfast ready for my youngest and sit down to respond to any emails from the previous evening that need attending to urgently. I prep calls before early interviews or feedback from evening interviews.
I take my daughter to school whilst honestly not checking my phone for the missed calls as clients call me back…. I am a doting mother honestly, although my fellow parents at school must think I am very important as I am always in a rush and dash off before they even get out of their cars. On a good day, I have walked my dog Scooby up to school with my daughter instead. On those days I do tend to stop and chat and then call people on way back down.
I head off to my Manchester office. I spend the entire 1-hour journey safely on the phone. I have various meetings with candidates and clients all day.
I collect my youngest from after school club. My brain is still in work-mode, as recruitment does not finish at 430pm… does it?! No doubt I get a late call from my eldest child asking me to collect her from an activity or friends’ house. I am AKA mum taxi. Then I remember to walk the dog, if I haven’t already, and if possible I do this whilst catching up on calls. Say hello Scooby….
I try to make an exceedingly healthy home made dinner for the kids (which no doubt they will guffaw at and prefer to have pizza or fish fingers and chips but “you WILL have this quinoa and salmon salad, girls”) whilst simultaneously responding to calls and emails. Yes, I have been known to manage offers whilst stirring a pan of soup 🙂
My kids complete their homework or watch TV, while I properly catch up on calls. This is a very busy time for any recruiter, especially those in the rec2rec market, as my candidates, aka other recruiters, are heading out of work. The business peaks of my day are 12:00-2:00pm and 6:00-7:30pm so I make sure I am ALWAYS available then.
I try to chill out with the kids and talk about their day. I stick my mum hat on as we face some interesting parenting challenges in these modern times: cyber bullying and appropriate social media behaviour. These issues are usually far more challenging than any recruitment scenario, trust me!
Hopefully both kids are now in bed. One final check of emails/texts and social media, and then I put my phone down. I attempt a conversation with my equally busy husband and pick up a book to catch up on the novel I have to finish in time for my monthly book club. Then, just as I relax, I remember the wash I smugly put in the washing machine at 6:00am this morning, 15 hours ago…..