Working Mum: Another half-term, another stand-in parent

By Giles Broadbent on May 28, 2014 5:49 PM |

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COMMENT

By Tabitha Ronson

It's the dreaded half term holiday. Once again I am in work and Master A is being farmed out to, well, whoever will have him.

Yes, I feel like the worst mum in the world. It's at times like these when I feel like jacking in my job and becoming another White Dee (seriously, how do these people manage to claim so much?)

I would love to have the spare money to jet off on a sun-drenched holiday, quaffing bottles of pink Moet, but, hey, I work, pay a mortgage and have a six-year-old son to support and care for.

I'm depressed - does that mean I can start claiming?

I do question the logic of our benefits system. I don't blame the people tapping into it, I blame those who are allowing it. But that's a whole different matter.

Yesterday, I dropped off Master A at his best friend Tom's house.

His mum, like me, works. We tend to juggle the holiday periods together. I'll take off a day here and there over these periods and look after her son, she does the same.

It works with both of us only having to rely on a third party once or twice in a week (that's normally when I have an emergency dentist appointment, or a migraine, I've even been known to have a suspected peritonitis just to keep those plates spinning).

When I dropped Master A off the mummy was rushing out the door to work.

"It's OK, Dan [her husband] will look after them today!"

Inside my stomach churned.

Her husband, Master A's friend's dad, is a bear of a man, who makes Jack Dee look like the King of Carnivale. I fretted about Master A the whole day, wondering what peril awaited.

After work, I couldn't get to him quick enough, relieved when I did that he was smiling and full of the day's adventures.

He gabbled all the way home.

"... oh, and then Tom's daddy beat Evie [Tom's eight-year-old sister] with his belt!"
I dropped Master A off at his Grandma's today.

Working Mum, wondering just what to do with that type of information.