What do you think of snow? Personally, I am not sure. I never have been really.
I love it the first day it falls – the day that you can get out and have a snowball fight, go sledging, make snow angels or just snuggle up inside with a hot chocolate and watch it fall magically to the ground.
But the day after? When the stark reality hits and you have to actually leave the house and DO STUFF?
Then I start to absolutely hate the stuff!
We had our first snowfall of the year this week, and I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw so much of the stuff. It was ankle deep here in Lichfield, and I don’t even think Ruby remembers seeing it like that before. I however, remember vividly trying to shove her pram through the fields to get to a baby group when on maternity leave (yes, I was one of those idiots!), so perhaps it’s around 4 years since we last had so much?
School was closed.
And we had to do the thing that everyone loves, but dreads on days like this – work from home!
Yep, both of us, and two children. In the house. Together. All day.
It was interesting.
Not least because Mr O scarpered upstairs at the very first opportunity and spent most of the day on conference calls…Henry dragging up memories of that bloke on the TV whose kids barged in on his television interview when he escaped my clutches as I used the loo and made his way upstairs to declare to Daddy that the “Christmas tree lights are on!” Thankfully that particular conference call was with just one person who totally understood!
The people that heard me shouting about yet another spilled drink probably weren’t so perky about it…oops!
Though I loath to admit it, our children spent pretty much the entire day watching the TV. Something that they never, ever get to do – so much against brain rot are we (usually!).
However, when you’re a working parent, you don’t have an endless supply of holiday days, you don’t have alternative childcare on-hand (aka Grandparents!) and you can’t afford to take the day unpaid – what else are you supposed to do?
There was no way either of us could get into work, and so we were incredibly lucky that we have such understanding workplaces. Not everyone is so lucky.
The anxiety, stress and worry that a day like this puts onto a working parent who doesn’t have the “luxury” of flexible working is palpable. And it shouldn’t be like that. Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean that we stop caring about work – far from it for most people. It makes us even more determined. Makes us want to achieve great things to provide for our children and to prove that we’re so much more than just a parent (although why we feel we have to do that is a different story completely!).
And that’s why I think we should all be supporting Mother Pukka’s #flexappeal campaign, speaking to employers about and requesting flexible working – for all actually, not just parents! To make sure that everyone can comfortably avoid perilous journeys into work on a UK snow day! And not feel bad about having to look after their children and still being able to work!
And then I think maybe, just maybe, even with all the nightmares that it brings, snow isn’t such a bad thing after all?
It got us out into the fresh (bl**dy freezing!) air, spending time together as a family. It was fun and something completely new for both our little ones…
…And snow angels are the most fun thing in the world (when you’re five and you don’t care about getting freezing cold and wet through)!
**Disclaimer – these images were taken on the Sunday before the ‘Working from Home’ Monday. We did work. All day. And didn’t spend the day playing in the snow with the kids! I promise!