I don’t need an alarm clock. I have a pre-schooler whose circadian rhythm tells him 5.10am is TIME TO START THE DAY. The one time I relied on his military precision, he slept in, and I was late. Lessoned learnt.
To be fair, we live in the Blue Mountains so 5.10am is an unfortunate but necessary time to start the day. I have everything ready to go the night before. Clothes laid out, coffee pot set, day care backpacks packed (we have a little girl too, with far superior sleeping patterns). The morning roles are clearly divided. My partner makes the kids breakfast and I dress them before they’re bundled into the car, toast in hand.
We have a serious commute, made easier by mum’s singing/dancing/beat-boxing antics. Have you ever tried to do the hokey-pokey on James Ruse Drive? The result is hilarious, I assure you. We’re fortunate to have our kids attend Gumnut Cottage for daycare here on campus. So it’s a quick cuddle and smooch before I’m at my desk by 8am. The to-do list is ready from the day prior.
The morning hustle is a good mix of emails, meetings and your run of the mill managerial tasks. We’re in preparation mode for Session 1 right now, so today I’ve been liaising with Noelene Nabulivou, a Fijian development worker,activist and founder of DIVA who will be addressing GLP students as part of our biannual Innovative Leaders Series, Molly Harriss Olson, the CEO of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, working with us as part of our Foreign Affairs Series, and Sebastian Zanacchi, a GLP/MQ alumnus now working with STARTTS and eager to have GLP student volunteers help with their social media and outreach campaigns. Relationships are key to the continued success of the GLP, and a significant part of my time is dedicated to those, both internally and externally.
Lunchtime comes early, either at my desk or while I race around Macquarie Centre buying snacks to cajole my children into good moods for the commute home.
The afternoon is time to get larger project work done, though this often gets pushed over into my work from home day, projects like system upgrades, finance or HR planning and program direction and strategy. Last task of the day of re-writing my to-do list and, if they’re lucky, the peace lilies on my desk get a drink of water.
Having little kids is both a blessing and a curse on your workday. It means your time in the office is limited to reasonable hours, but it also doesn’t allow for much flexibility if you’re in the zone with a task – often meaning you work more Sunday afternoons than you’d like. I try to leave at 4pm, on the dot, everyday, lest my son berate me for “taking sooooo long”. I’ll swing by Gumnut Cottage, try to remember to take all artwork home (even the errr…less than fridge-worthy ones), pass out some organic, sugar-free, high-fibre, wholegrain, no GMO biscuits (I’m kidding, they’re from Aldi) and brave the M4 once more. This time, the kids watch The Wiggles.
My partner is on dinner duty most nights, and usually dinner is on the table when we walk through the door. The bath, book, bed routine is one of my favourite times of the day. I’m back to my role as entertainer extraordinaire, juggling poorly (it’s funnier that way), imitating what a quoll might sound like (tips welcome), and singing “you are my sunshine” (with the child appropriate “…and I love you more each day” lyric).
By 7.30pm I’ll have tomorrow’s backpacks packed and I’ll be back on emails once more, with Netflix on in the background.