There’s no getting away from it, this is going to be a massive school year.
Next summer daughter #1 sits her A-levels while daughter #2 does her GCSEs.
We’re gearing up for a month of mayhem – and even though both pregnancies in the late 1990s and early 2000s were very much planned, they weren’t micromanaged to such an extent that we avoided an apocalyptic exam clash in the summer of 2018. The boss is organised but even she’s not THAT organised.
It’s not going to be easy. I’ve already been on to our Internet provider to order a wi-fi booster and measured up for a stupidly large TV to hang on the wall of the garden shed so me and the dog can live there in peace and watch England crash out of the World Cup next June to the Falkland Islands.
But already the decks are being cleared and calendars consulted in the run-up to exams that will shape the next few years of their lives. Daughter #2’s dance lessons will be pared back from current professional levels to just one night a week after Christmas – and that’s only to take her mind off exams for a few hours.
Daughter #1 says she might even think about doing fewer hours at her part-time job, but then qualified it by saying all her exams are done and dusted within a week – which is seven days none of us living in the immediate blast zone are relishing.
But here’s the thing. Back in the days when yours truly ran his own noisy but successful department and hired and fired at will, educational qualifications were the last thing I looked at when going through a CV.
I couldn’t care less what university they’d been to, or what degree they’d got; all that was just a footnote. What I wanted to know was what skills they had to improve what we’d already got.
This might sound like positive discrimination but the best employees who worked for me were women with kids. They managed time like Alex Ferguson managed Man United. And if there was a poorly child at home and they had to take time off then they were willing to work twice as hard when they got back.
Employers, remember this – hire mums.