It all began so innocently one weekday morning, when our day began I had no idea that my car was about to throw a spanner in the works and upset my whole equilibrium.
Like many working mums, I organise my time effectively and one wrong move can send me out of sync, and leave me playing catch up for weeks.
On this particular day, it was my turn to do the school runs, this means early starts, and packing a ten hour working day into six small hours, while trying to multi task and answer emails while the children have a mouthful of breakfast.
I know I should embrace the time I spend with them, and on the weekend I really do, but if I didn’t multitask like this, those weekends would become another working day and our days out would be cancelled.
So, as usual, I awake to a poke in the face by my daughter at 5.30am. “One more minute,” I say. “No,” she replies. It’s light, the sun’s awake, that means you should be too.
I give up and wonder how some people leap out of bed in a morning, as since I hit 35 I’ve found I creak out of bed with groaning.
I settle her in front of the TV making a mental note not to divulge this lazy style of parenting on mumsnet, and then I take a coffee and hide in the bathroom for ten minutes, the only room with a door that locks. It doesn’t take long before I hear singing of , “Let it Go” very loudly and then heavy footsteps as I realise the other two children have surfaced.
We spend the next hour, ironing uniforms, packing lunches, being a referee and trying to diffuse arguments. They argue over the TV remote while I try to push them into the garden to feed the many animals we seem to have acquired over the years.
“Mum I want my hair like Kelsey’s, it’s how Beyoncé wore it last week – here’s the bobble, do it please.”
“Mum, I can’t find my bus pass, you’ll have to drive me to school.”
“Mummy I’ve got swimming but I left my costume in the car boot.”
“Mummy can we go to the park when I finish school.”
“Mum you promised you’d help me with French revision tonight.”
“Mum, when are we having that mother and son evening together, you’ve been promising me for weeks.”
Finally, we leave the house with odd socks, crazy hair and a mountain of school bags. I have the unenviable task of trying to get my children to two different schools, ten miles apart, within ten minutes.
The car won’t start. Please don’t say I need a service!
With some coaxing, it finally powers up but nearly stalls when we reach a hill. First gear and some wheel spinning pull it through but I know, I need to get it into a garage – I don’t want to.
A service means an inconvenient day off, calling on favours from friends, paying huge amounts in taxi fares, and walking two miles to pick up my daughter from school. It means extra expense and waiting in, to hear the mechanic on the other end, tell me I need more than an oil change and those new shoes I wanted, will have to wait.
A service means sitting in a dusty reception while an admin assistant fills out the forms or I wait for the courtesy driver to return from his last drop off. It means reading the Sun newspaper, and trying to find a signal on my phone, it means taking the whole day off work, as I know I won’t get anything else done.
No matter which way I look at it, I need a garage and I groan with despair that it’s come to this, surely by now, with the internet, there’s an easier process than this?
I can speak to my doctor on Skype, buy my groceries online, post parcels with a click. I can converse with my clients and run a business, all from my own living room but I can’t avoid taking a full day off, along with extra expense, when I need car servicing, or heaven forbid, the annual MOT.
I try to remember the last time it went in, but for the life of me it won’t come. I realise I could be driving illegally, as it’s been some time since my last MOT. I make the decision to do both at once that should save some time.
How foolish am I? The garage says, that’s two days out now.
“Do you have a courtesy car”, I ask. “Of course,” they reply, “from 10-2.” “What do I do in the other hours?” “We’ve no idea love, do you?”
I consider hiring a butler for the day and then realise how stupid I sound, every person goes through this and they don’t complain and moan.
And then I get it; the reason why others are so stress free. They’ve found Motor Quoters and no longer have problems with car servicing or MOTs
Motor Quoters brings quotes in seconds and shows you who will pick up and drop off. It highlights the local garages and even arranges it all.
I’ve asked them to pick up the car, after 9 am, and to return it before 4 so I can do the school run.
The only worry I do have now, is how to spend my day off, of course, I could make it into work (they offered to drop me off).
I think I’ll keep it quiet though, and tell my boss I’m busy, surely, until he finds Motor Quoters, he’ll understand the hassle of car servicing!
I wake ten minutes before the kids and thank my lucky stars
I can have a coffee, read the news, before the tantrums start.
I take some solace in the bathroom, the only door that locks,
Before I hear a pitter patter and loud determined knocks.
I pick up my sleepy daughter while shouting for the rest,
It’s nearly 7 am and they should be out of bed.
Three breaksfasts and three sleepy heads are coaxed round very gently,
While I prepare the uniforms and wonder what’s for tea.
The arguing begins after the first spoon of cereal,
He pushed me, she lied, he pulled a face, I’m through.
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