1.00am: Fall into bed following big work event. Automatically count the potential hours of sleep available to me. If I haven’t pissed the sleep gods off I might, might, get 6 hours. Do a mini fist pump.
2.43am: Sit bolt upright to SAW IV-style screaming. Assume there’s a kidnapper in there or a plague of flesh-eating locusts rapidly nibbling the children to the bone. Discover that Makka Pakka is simply a couple of inches out of reach. Consider stuffing it down her throat but restrain myself. The middle-of-the-night rage is real.
2.55am: Can’t sleep which is HILARIOUS because if I was any more tired I’d be dead.
6.32am: Fall asleep in shower. Snort water up my nose. Do a little vom.
6.45am: Eldest walks in and looks me up and down while I stand there in my under-crackers with wet hair. Suggests I should ‘put some silly clothes on’ with a look that borders on disgust. I don’t blame her – I wouldn’t want me naked to be the first thing I see in the morning either.
7.15am: Kids throw cereal around while I dry my hair in the kitchen while checking school bag for the 324th letter this week and realise we haven’t done homework or reading and wonder for the 100th time why school admin feels like I’m running a whole other business.
7.45am: Cry silently as I assess the nursery invoice. Question all my life choices. Decide to move to Sweden but not before I’ve finalised the aupair’s rota for the week, made sure my mother in law can still have the kids from 3.24pm on Thursday to 7.12pm when my husband will return from tour to pick them up before dropping them at home to be bathed by the neighbour and his dog. It’s easier to organise a UN Summit that manage this shit.
8.00am: Race around making sure my school bag is packed and her work bag is all ready. Wait? What? No the other way round. Remove laptop from book bag and shove bloody Biff & Chip back where it belongs (in the 7th circle of hell).
8.30am: Drop kids. How do the other parents manage to get dressed, do their hair, and even knock out a winged eyeliner? Why are they not doing their make up on the tube? Or only drying their fringe and tying the rest back? Feel like there’s some big secret that I’m missing out on. Bet they had morning sex too. Man, those were the days.
9.00am: First work call of the morning. “Are you nearly here yet?” No. No Doris I’m not nearly there. I’m standing waiting for a tube that’s less likely to arrive than the Polar Express, I’ve got lipstick on my teeth, a squashed banana in my bag and I’ve just realised I forgot my laptop power cable. “Sure! The train’s a little delayed but I’ll be there asap.” It’s the first of many lies I’ll tell today.
11.00am: First meeting with Doris done. She’s the founder of a charity dedicated to ensuring all children are dressed in nothing but organic silk siphoned off unicorn-goats in the Himalayas. “It’s just dreadful what children are expected to cocoon their skin in these days.” Sure Doris, dreadful.
11.45am: Annoying interruption from school saying that I’d forgotten to send a water bottle to school. Again. Resisted suggesting that perhaps she could be responsible for her own damn water bottle but instead apologised profusely and hung up feeling like a dick parent. Again.
12.00pm: Race to other side of town while Facetiming youngest who’s with the au pair while in a cab. The cabbie thinks I’m talking to him and for a minute we are lost in an awkward exchange that goes something like this:
Me (slightly saccharine baby voice): “Hi my baby…how’s your day going?”
Cabbie: “Erm, not bad thanks. You?”
Me: “Oh I was talking to my daughter on FaceTime…”
Youngest: “Mama smelly poo…”
Cabbie: “Ha! Thought you were a bit forward…”
Me: “Can you please shut up so I can talk to me daughter…”
Youngest: “Shut up mama…”
Cabbie: “Better teach her some manners…”
3.00pm: Make it to the school gate in time. Silently award myself the congressional medal of parenting for not being late for the third time this week. Today my kid won’t think I’m a total dickhead and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a win. The fact that I’ve still got lipstick on my teeth and a distinct smell of mushy banana emanating from my bag is a whole other matter.
3.10pm: Suffered another admonishment from the Eldest’s teacher regarding water-bottle-gate. Resisted my desire to go Kill Bill on her but spend the whole drive home fantasising about slicing up all the people that pissed me off that day while killing it in a yellow jumpsuit. Resolve to get more sleep.
5.30pm: Kids start recreating the Hunger Games just as my biggest client calls. “Is now a good time?” Sure, I’m just turning the TV off to get my exhausted, feral kids to the table to eat food they don’t want but yes, it’s the PERFECT time for me to talk about KPIs and ROI if you don’t mind it sounding like the torture chamber at Guantanamo Bay. (That is, of course a joke. We all know there’s no torture chambers at Guantanamo Bay. Ahem.)
6.00pm: A moment of peace while they kids falls into a TV coma (how does anyone do this without TV!?) and I take a minute to answer 1,238 emails on my phone. “Mama, you’re ALWAYS on your phone.” Decide in one breath to be an adult and not let this get to me. In the next breath, I manage to undermine any level of maturity, “Well, you’re always watching TV so…” Yeah, take that 4 year old.
7.00pm: Decide I can’t be arsed to bath them partly because I’m so bone-tired and partly because I fear I might drown them if they display anymore asshole tendencies. Deploy biggest eye roll possible when another work call comes in at 7.02pm. Silently scream list of obscenities at phone and ignore it. Unless they’re prepared to listen to me read Peppa Goes On Holiday three times they can fuck off.
7.05pm: Kids asleep. Now the real work begins! Head to office with laptop, pint of coffee, a glass of wine and a pot of humous with a couple of raw carrots. Dinner and a spreadsheet. What a lucky girl I am.
11.53pm: Bed. Silently count the hours of sleep I might get. Do mini fist pump. Read three and a half sentences of my kindle before passing out with my make up, lipstick on my teeth and a distinct smell of mushy banana around me.