I’ve been feeling a bit guilty recently. Despite being able to leave work earlier than most people (although I do work on a while because of the workload), I don’t give as much time as I would like to Freya.
By the time I have collected her and come home it’s soon time to start making food. I sometimes have a half hour with her, in between preparing the various elements that make up the evening meal, and I suppose the time I’m with her on the journey home (which may include an exciting visit to the shops for food, or a walk home instead of the usual tram) should count for something, since we are interacting, but I wouldn’t call it quality time. Although maybe Freya does.
I wonder how other families have it. I can’t believe their situation is, on the whole, better than ours. I work a good few hours less than most parents do (thanks to some kind planning by my employers); nonetheless, I refuse to use comparison as a way to assuage my displeasure at the situation.
One solution to the quagmire would be to plan and prepare our evening meals more systematically. This would be an attainable goal if we had the space to freeze in, which we don’t. Having said that, most of the food I cook could easily keep in the fridge for a couple of days, which would free up valuable time.
At least with the summer weather fast approaching I can start thinking about picnics. Part of my current feelings derive from our time together being confined to the flat, whilst I prepare food. If I’m cunning I can prepare “cold food” like salads, take them to work, and then take Freya to the park on fetching her from nursery school.
Respite from this will no doubt come from the summer holidays. Soon I’ll have a whole six weeks with Freya, which should go someway towards lessening the negativity I have towards my role as a parent.