27 March, 2012

Working parents

I’ve come to the conclusion that primary schools hate working parents.

You’ve got your childcare all sorted out to the nth degree—Mum picking up at 3.10pm on Mondays and Tuesdays; Dad picking up at 4.30pm on Thursdays after netball club and 3.10pm on Fridays ready to make a mad dash to the leisure centre for swimming lessons at 3.30pm; after school club on Wednesdays (deep sigh of relief)—when, boom, something totally unexpected hits you and screws up all your carefully laid plans.

This sentiment is particularly heartfelt for me right now since it’s the end of the spring term this week. Now, every other day of the week (after school clubs aside) my kids’ primary school chucks out at 3.10pm. HOWEVER, for some unfathomable reason the school finishes at 1.30pm on the last day of term. Not on the last day of every
half term, you understand. Just the last day of every full term.

And this occurs just infrequently enough that my husband and I always forget about the 1.30 finish, which leads to a mad panic a couple of days before the end of term. We always end up having to beg from someone—a favour from friends to pick up our kids for us; a favour from employers to allow us a couple of hours’ extra annual leave. After all, you can’t just leave your kids standing at the school gate for an hour and forty minutes until you’re able to come and retrieve them, can you?

Oh for the days of nursery. Open five days per week, 8am until 6pm, no matter what. Maybe it was because we were paying?

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