The Woes of Being the Family PA

The Woes of Being the Family PA

Life admin. We all have to do it but when you become a mother it gets multiplied by the number of children you have. I’ve also noticed some mothers take on their husband/partner’s life admin too. Personally I refuse to do that. This means that my in laws rarely get birthday cards and my husband hasn’t been to the dentist since he left home but, you know, I have to draw the line somewhere. Here’s my job description as household PA. A job I hold down in addition to Motherhood and attempting to earn a living.

 

Personal Hygiene

You’d imagine that by 8, my son would be taking some responsibility for his own personal hygiene. Not so. Ensuring that he doesn’t go out stinking to high heaven is still my responsibility. It involves me reminding him multiple times to get in the shower. I also have to listen at the door to make sure he is actually brushing his teeth as opposed to holding the toothbrush and staring into space.

 

Appointments 

Children need to see the dentist, the optician and from time to time the Doctor. First I have to make these appointments. I can tell you that the dentist’s receptionist is less than impressed when you phone up and say I’d like an appointment for two children but the only time we can do is on a Monday at 5pm between swimming and cubs.

Next I have to get them there. First I have to deal with the “Who’s turn is it to sit in the front” argument (I never have any idea). Then I have to fight my way through the after school traffic only to arrive late and be glared at by the receptionist.

 

Childcare

I’m lucky that, most of the time I don’t need any childcare. Then the summer holidays arrive. While my work is flexible I can’t actually take 6 weeks off. My youngest isn’t keen on holiday camps and the like and will only go if she can stay with her brother. You can imagine how he loves that. I spend ages researching suitable camps that allow 6 and 8 year olds to stay together. These are few and far between. 

 

School stuff

This is the most high pressure bit. If I drop the ball, the consequence is likely to be a heart broken child. I experienced this first hand when I completely forgot I was supposed to be at Boy Child’s school to taste the chocolate bar he’d made. I wasn’t even doing anything, I just totally forgot until I was walking out of the door for pick up. I’m not sure who cried more, me or him.

 

Activities 

This part of my role also incorporates taxi driver (see the issues highlighted in the appointments section). I’ve put limits on how many activities we do (Boy Child would do everything if I let him). Even then, we still only have two days a week where I don’t have to make sure they are in the right place, at the right time, with the right stuff.

 

Making Holidays/Days out Happen

Chris openly admits that, without me, they’d just stay home all the time (or end up in the pub with the soft play). I spend ages researching things for us to do, places to visit and the cheapest holidays. Woe betide anyone who complains.

 

Parties

I have to make these happen too. Don’t get me wrong, the children have plenty of ideas. It’s just that I have to rein them back to reality and try and find ways to make their ideas affordable. Not to mention dealing with booking it, invites (just bloody RSVP people!), cake, party bags and refereeing  the fight that breaks out over who ate the last chocolate spread sandwich.

I also have to deal with the admin of all the parties the children attend. That means RSVPing (ALWAYS and in good time!), buying a present, cajoling the child into writing the card, making sure the child looks presentable (Girl Child likes to go in a football kit and Boy Child lives in jogging bottoms), arranging childcare for the uninvited child and getting them there as well as getting the other child to the party.

 

And that’s not all…

I also have to buy the food, plan the meals, make the pack lunches, write in the reading diaries, get the children to do their homework, make sure the right clothes are clean and make sure everyone has taken their vitamins. If you add in all of the worrying we do and time we spend trying to assuage that worry, this post would go on forever.

In my case some of this is my fault. I can be a bit of a control freak and actually would really dislike it if Chris wanted to take over planning the holidays. He also tries to help with things like the personal hygiene issue but with the best will in the world, I’m here more than him so most of it will always fall and me and I suspect it’s the same for most Mums. Just remember to include all these great skills on your CV. I bet there are loads of bosses out there that could do with a few reminders about personal hygiene.

The Woes of the Family PA - Image of calendar, diary, notebook and invitation

19 Comments

  1. February 19, 2019 / 8:39 am

    It never ends does it and why don’t people RSVP to party invites? What is that all about? My PA mistakes tend to be forgetting to put the ‘special days’ on the calendar and having to frantically make an Egyptian Outfit at 10pm the night before…

    • Jo
      Author
      February 19, 2019 / 10:30 am

      Oh god, don’t even get my started on the number of dress up Days!

  2. February 20, 2019 / 3:11 pm

    Love this Josie. I do a lot of PAing, but I’m a few years behind you so I have a lot of this to come! But I think I’m the same as you, I like to have things under control. Nick offered to do the packed lunches once (a job I hate!!) so I let him, and I couldn’t cope with the result! Luckily though, he does a lot of our cooking (for us, not the kids!) so at least I get fed! #ItsOK

    • Jo
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 1:44 pm

      I also find that if he does stuff he asks so many questions that I might as well have done it myself!

  3. February 21, 2019 / 7:22 am

    I am utterly crap at keeping on top of stuff like this. I write it in the calendar in the kitchen. I add it to my google calendar. I set reminders on my phone, but I ALWAYS seem to be ‘that’ Mum whose kids arrive at school in uniform on World Book Day, or woefully underestimates the amount of last minute attendees to my kids parties. Family admin is NOT my forte! #ItsOK xx

    • Jo
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 1:45 pm

      I do the reminders on the phone too but there are just too many of them!

  4. February 22, 2019 / 1:30 pm

    Oh all so true – and the party admin (planning your own kids’ as well as the admin involved in attending other parties) is mind boggling! Their social lives are definitely fuller than mine! #itsok.

    • Jo
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 1:47 pm

      You have no idea how hard work kid’s parties are before you’re a parent!

  5. February 23, 2019 / 8:10 am

    Ah yes I hear you. And I only have one kid! I try my best but I’ve still forgotten a couple of school activities this year already x

    • Jo
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 1:47 pm

      So easily done!

  6. February 23, 2019 / 8:31 am

    This was one of the most surprising things to me about motherhood – the amount of extra family “admin” that comes with it!

    • Jo
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 1:48 pm

      They definitely seem to create more than us grown ups!

  7. February 23, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    Oh believe me I hear ya
    But I also have to constantly remind my husband to do the things he is responsible for. Drives me insane.

  8. February 23, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    When it’s spelled out like that, that’s quite a lot of stuff. Luckily for me my husband likes to organise and plan our holidays and bigger days out. In return his family and extended family get birthday cards, unless I forget one, which does still happen.

  9. February 23, 2019 / 4:33 pm

    I do seem to have fallen in to the trap of taking on my husband’s admin too! And don’t get me started on the amount of school/nursery admin there is!

  10. February 24, 2019 / 9:02 am

    The admin is none stop and seems to get more and more as they get older, hand me the coffee lol X #thatfridaylinky

  11. February 24, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    “He hasn’t been to the dentist since he left home” … Haha! That sounds about right !! Having 5 kids kids, I literally live by a colour coded calendar! And I still don’t get it right!! Moms are most definitely CEO material with all the shit that we do! Thanks for linking up to #itsok!

  12. February 24, 2019 / 5:42 pm

    Yup. All of this. I wrote a post about how being a PA prepared me for motherhood, but not really. lol
    #itsok

  13. February 25, 2019 / 10:34 pm

    I’m the family PA too – pants isn’t it #itsok

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