I’ve had a pretty busy time of it lately on a professional basis.
Our agency gained silver at our industry awards, which means we are nearly the best small public relations consultancy in the South of England.
This led to a night of celebration and surprises, including meeting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the bar (I actually berated him for distracting my staff during working hours “with his awesomeness”…. He had not a lot to say in response to my capitalist, wine-fuelled ranting).
And just two days later, I flew to London for an intensive day of assessments, discussions and brain-wringing… after which I emerged a Chartered PR practitioner. #getChartered
This doesn’t mean a lot to the average person on the street, but it’s pretty much the most qualified you can get in my industry – one that is unregulated and where anyone can set up with a phone and a laptop and declare themselves a PR consultant.
I’m one of about 60 in the UK now. I’m hoping that number will grow as we all raise the bar for standards and quality of our work.
But what struck me, as I missed three of out five bedtimes with my kids that week whilst out on the gad for my career, is where is the Chartership for Parenting?
On my return, my gorgeous girls were craving mummy cuddles, both unwell and needed two separate trips to the GP, while the domestic to-do list raged out of control.
I was exhausted, bedtimes were fraught, school and nursery drop-offs challenging. One morning, Miss Picken No 2 had a tantrum that lasted from 6.45am when she woke up to 8.30am when we dropped her at nursery.
Turns out she had a virus. I had two appointments that day that were impossible to shift, when really all I wanted to do was clear my diary and hole up on the sofa with her in front of Mary Poppins.
I’m immensely proud of my professional achievements, but there are times when the balance of family V career swings wildly in favour of one over the other.
I know this is normal. I’m just saying it’s tough.