In some ways I think the title is slightly ironic as at the moment it is a constant struggle to have a family life. I find I am trying so hard to get the balance between work and family right but still finding myself working 11 to 12 hour days. People tell me that I must be doing something "wrong" but unfortunately I suspect it's just that I care too much about things to leave stuff undone.
Despite all this my girls seem happy and well adjusted; proof of the robustness of children and that working parents often beat themselves up over things too much. I suspect that the person who loses out the most is not them (as when I am at home they have 100% of my time and we have happy Tuesdays together) but me. I find myself frequently exhausted, a situation not improved by the fact that I am still up between 2 and 5 times a night with the girls. There are times when I get up for work and wonder how I will make it through the day as I am so worn out. Happily, I tend to get my second wind in the afternoon; I have never been a "mornings" person.
All that does not mean that I accept my lot in life; I am determined to find a way to improve my work-life balance. I long for the time when I can go home at a reasonable time and spend time with the girls like everyone else is entitled to. I don't think that it will ever happen in London though. The quality of life here is truly awful; the only people who think living in London is good are either people who are a bit bonkers or who don't have to live here.
Despite this, there are times when you experience islands of calm in the stormy seas. My parents were down staying with us for just over 2 weeks at the end of July and beginning of August. They were here to help out Jason and Charlotte with their new baby George. However, they somehow found the time to help us out too and we really enjoyed having them here with us.
We held a dinner at our house for Jason, Charlotte, George and Charlotte's parents to welcome the new baby into the family. It was a glorious evening and we had the doors to the garden open the whole night.
I think everyone genuinely had a great time; we all talked and laughed and enjoyed good food. We also had the opportunity to spend a little time with the new arrival too.
Here I am with Lauren, giving George a cuddle.
Below is my Mum and Dad with all their grandchildren.
Children make the entire struggle worthwhile. I am so thankful every day that I have my beautiful girls to come home to.