Holiday Logistics

Cara McKee, a writer and mum-of-three, living in Largs, is busy organising summer childcare cover…

My boss asked me the other day if I’d taken all the leave I needed for the summer holiday. Had I? I’d taken leave for when we’re going away, but to be honest I don’t get that much leave and I certainly haven’t got enough to cover the rest of the time while the kids are off for their long summer break… Besides, I like going to work. It makes me feel useful to adults (and to kids as I’m running a code club again this summer).

I’d already spoken to my husband of course, gave him a list of all the times we needed childcare. He told me it would be fine. He might have said it three times with his eyes closed, I can’t be sure, but I guess he does believe in magic.

I got in touch with Granny. We moved back to Scotland from sunny Suffolk several years ago because we wanted the kids to see more of their grandparents, and Granny in particular is brilliantly helpful – for which I am tremendously grateful. She agreed to take the kids for half my hours each week, which is truly awesome.

With that in place, and a few bits and pieces from our fantastic new childminder, I managed to schedule our summer so that all my husband needs to do is work from home a few hours a week. ‘Could he do that?’ I asked him. ‘It should be fine’ he told me three times with his eyes closed.

I had a think and logically decided to chuck a hairy tantrum. Lovely Granny and Fab Childminder assured me that they could do more if needed. Was it? When did I need them? I wish I knew.

Usually, when my husband is leaving things up to the fairies I buckle (not wanting to shatter his belief in magic) and arrange to do all the remaining childcare myself, but I just don’t have enough leave. For one moment, I considered quitting – work that is, not the husband – but only for a minute. Now I’m hoping that the fairies will appear and jab my darling husband with their tiny wands until he mans up and sorts out his portion of the childcare. He has a PhD. He’s got to be capable of it… Right?

So, I’ve had a word with myself, reminded myself of all the wonderful women who will help if I need it and that luckily I work in a library, where there are plenty of things for a kid to do if necessary, and that all shall be fine. I’m lucky to have such super support and I’ve decided to get off my husband’s case and leave the fairies to their jabbing.

Now, all we need to do is work out who’s going to look after the animals while we’re away. My husband says it will be fine (I’m pretty sure he said it three times with his eyes closed). I might just check that with my friends!

Cara loves to write poetry. She’s less keen on reading it, although she’s been doing that more lately, in Ayr and Wigtown. Find more from Cara  at

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