The cost of the Cup has hit home again this week, with the total misalignment of university breaks and the school holidays. The first two school terms were pushed out by a week each, meaning that the school holidays started this week, exactly when the second semester started at universities.
There are a fair proportion of parents working at universities, as staff, and as students. Ordinarily, we can juggle our way through the school holidays, because we don’t need to be in classes ourselves, either as teachers or students. That has long been one of the attractions of university work for me, particularly so because I am able to work a 50% job, which my boss and I have arranged in such a way that I work school hours, during term time. Child care problems solved, just like that.
Except for these school holidays. This time around, I have had to engage in a child care juggle, as well as losing the time that I usually spend with my children. I was talking to a colleague about this, but he was totally unsympathetic. “It’s a small price to pay,” he said.
Well, perhaps it’s a small price to pay, if you’re actually interested in bloody rugby. I most assuredly am not. However, I suggested to him that seeing as he regarded it as a small price, he might like to come and care for my children over the school holidays.
Funnily enough, he declined.
Fortunately for me, Greenhills University has an excellent school holiday care program, and I have been able to enrol the girls in it for some of the time. But that has cost me $297 so far.
My colleague wasn’t interested in paying that either.