Back when I was in my early twenties, in the days when I was responsible for little more than a leather handbag, I had a boss who was brilliant, but totally eccentric. My colleagues and I would ping emails back and forth along the lines of ‘is this for real?’, ‘why is he cycling through the office, I can’t think over the noise of his squeaky brakes!” and “is it time to go to the pub yet?”
And these little messages kept us sane.
Now I’m a parent, I often miss the camaraderie of colleagues and wish for a similar arrangement at home.
I’d love to be able to ping a message to a colleague when the toddler dunks the TV remote in a pint of water and receive the instant reply: “Yes! I saw it too! Shall we escape to the pub and discuss it over a mug of pinot grigio? SOMEONE needs to take the blame for this!”
I’d like to meet someone in the kitchen after dealing with a 9am toddler tantrum and whisper in hushed tones about what an APPALLING start to the day it had been, as I took out my frustrations on a tea bag. I’d then mouth WISH ME LUCK as I turned to walk out the door.
I’d like to ping an email over at lunchtime when the baby is refusing to nap and I am out of ideas. I’d say: “Meet me in 10 in the cleaning cupboard, I NEED TO VENT!”
I’d like to sit down with a mug of caffeine for a natter with a real life adult in a (Peppa-Pig-fuelled) quiet moment. I would say: “I’ve barely sat down all day and have an appointment with the play-doh in 10 minutes. How’s your day been?” and we would chat for a few minutes, before running off to mould monsters out of multi-coloured dough with renewed energy and patience.
I would like all of these things – those quick messages, those snatched chats in the kitchen, and those rushed coffees in quiet moments – and I’d like it all on tap, every day.
But short of moving my children to a commune, this is never going to happen.
So on the days we don’t make it out the door for some much-needed adult company, we parents make do with virtual support networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and blogs just like this, sharing stories, asking for advice, and sometimes even posting pictures of the day potty training went very wrong or the time the dog got involved in finger painting.
And at least we can do it in our pyjamas I guess.
Anyone fancy joining me for a virtual vat of caffeine?