6:30am: Wifey’s alarm rings. Time to get up and get everything prepared before the day really starts. Sneak in a quick coffee while unpacking the dishwasher, packing lunches, cleaning out the multitude of weird things kids keep in their school bags, signing school notes, scraping up change from under the lounge cushions for the kids’ excursion that she’s only just found out about, ironing school uniforms, tidying up messes, swapping the load of washing (being sure to remove all of hubbies earplugs and screws from his pockets), and if she is really ‘mumming it,’ throwing something in the slow cooker for dinner that night.
7:00am: Wifey wakes the army of tired, grumpy, and unreasonably hungry children (who were unable to sleep last night, but all of a sudden are quite happy to never leave their warm beds). She referees fights over school hats and whether toast should be cut into triangles or squares, and fixes ponytails that have ‘lumps’ in them.
8:30am: Wifey races out the door to get the kids to school on time. She deals with the usual stand-off about who gets the front seat. Wifey threatens that kids will walk for all eternity if arses don’t plant themselves in seats by the count of three. Wifey proceeds to count extremely loudly and ever so slowly to three (feeling bad for the retired couple next door who are no doubt enjoying their carefree, sleeping in lifestyle).
9:00am: Wifey parks outside of school, and in her best passive aggressive voice tells the kids to get out of the car, and to make sure they have a splendid day.
9:01am: Freedom!!! (Had to add that part, purely to piss people off.) No, in reality, Wifey’s day is just beginning. Now it’s time to start her ‘job.’ The unpaid/underpaid, sometimes unappreciated, always time-pressured job of being a tradies wife. And she needs to get it done in record time – roughly six hours, to be precise. Get your skating shoes on wifey, today is gonna’ be a fun one!
9:05am: Head into the bank to deposit cheques that arrived yesterday and sort out an account issue, while talking to a lovely teller girl. Phone rings – it’s hubby. Apparently the rego issue that was discussed the week earlier (that hubby was going to sort) is not, in fact, sorted, and it’s rather urgent that it gets sorted, pronto.
9:30am: Wifey proceeds to spend no less than two hours sorting motor vehicle registrations, booking in mechanic checks, and sourcing the best pricing for insurances.
10:00am: Wifey takes phone call from Hubby. Hubby just wanted to check in and say hi… and that he loves her… and that the devon was the wrong devon… and that the sausage rolls at the tuck shop were cold… and that the other guys on the site today are being total arses. Wifey listens, listens, sympathises, listens… then continues on with her motor vehicle registration crisis.
11:30am: It’s time to get the bookwork done. First things first, cashflow requires customer payments. Check the bank and thank the gods that the big payment Wifey’s been praying for has cleared in the account overnight. In Wifey’s best Simpsons voice, she loudly proclaims “kids, we’re eating tonight” (to herself of course, because no one ever actually listens to Wifey). Wifey then calls, emails, begs, and pleads with customers who still owe money. She vows never to work with these customers again.
12:25pm: Hubby calls – he needs a quote and he needs it NOW. Not in five minutes, or he may just lose the job. And in small business, you can’t afford to lose a job; one job can be the difference between making payroll every week. Wifey scrambles to get the scattered pieces of information for the quote off hubby (that he has conveniently scribbled onto the back of a piece of plasterboard he found onsite). Quote emailed, phew.
12:30pm: It’s time to tackle the expenses. Except – wait a minute – where are all the receipts? Oh yes, that’s right, Hubby doesn’t use the simple electronic apps you can use these days to snap a photo of your receipts. Oh no, he has a much better, more efficient, more cost-effective system for managing paperwork. Enter the ‘store it in every crevice of your ute, wallet, or toolbox’ system. This system will make Wifey really work for her money, because as she ’s hunting through the health hazard Hubby calls a work ute, she can also clean out the empty Coke bottles, Travellers pie wrappers, and those squeezy tomato sauce packets that accumulate everywhere (leaking, of course).
12:45pm: Wifey reconciles all the supplier invoices to the statements to make sure nothing has snuck its way in there that shouldn’t be in there. She calls suppliers for missing invoices and processes payments for the reconciled statements. So much for that lovely bank balance!
12:50pm: Hubby calls – turns out one of the apprentices didn’t submit the paperwork he needed to turn in last week. Wifey needs to sort that ASAP.
1:00pm: School calls, Max is ‘sick’ and he needs to be picked up immediately. Wifey drops everything, runs to the school in a panic to help little Maxy. She gets there to a little boy who is lying down ‘dying’ of tummy cramps. She loads Max into the car, only to have him ask for a Happy Meal and announce that he is so happy he just got out of doing the dancing class at school.
1:30pm: It’s time for payroll. Enter new staff into the system, chase tax file declarations and superannuation forms, and ring Fair Work for any changes that may have happened in the award. Wifey looks for timesheets. Time sheets are still done manually, and are currently still in the cars, toolboxes, and on the dining room tables of staff. She spends half an hour texting staff to piece together times and process payroll. Makes a note to tackle the Workers’ Compensation Actual Wages declaration tomorrow, as she’s run out of time today.
2:15pm: Wifey packs up desk, turns off computer, and finishes the cold coffee she made at 11:30. No time for lunch, she’ll eat a muesli bar in the car, because she needs to quickly duck into the uniform shop on the way to school and grab the new Hi-Vis shirts that she ordered last week for the boys.
2:35pm: Wifey arrives at the uniform shop. There was a problem with the shipment of shirts. She can collect half of the order today, but she will need to come back next week to grab the other half. While she’s there, she orders new signage that was half ripped off last week when the apprentice misjudged the distance between his arms and the ute tray and threw the tools into the truck.
2:55pm: Hubby calls. “Hey hun, where are you?” Wifey: “At school pickup, why?” Hubby: “Oh.” Wifey: “Why?” Hubby: “Oh nothing, just thought you might still be in the office.” Wifey: “Ummm no, I pick up the kids at the same time every day. For the last time, why are you calling me?” Hubby: “I forgot to ask you to run an invoice, and it’s end of month, so it needs to be in, today. Maybe you can just swing back past the office and quickly bang it out for me?” Wifey: (In her best passive aggressive, I have nothing better to do voice) “Sure thing!”
3:00pm: Kids leave the school gate, waving a tonne of things into Wifey’s face, doing their best to scream over each other, starving again, and asking what’s for afternoon tea?
3:15pm: Wifey makes a detour past the office, turns the computer back on, ‘bangs’ out the invoice, emails it, and signs off for the second time that day.
3:30pm: Wifey rushes kids home, swaps washing, serves afternoon tea, argues about homework, Googles answers to questions she swears she didn’t have to know when she was at school, and gets sports uniforms ready. Hubby arrives home, tired and hungry after a long day at work. Hubby makes a remark about the house being messy, questions what Wifey has been up to all day, and mumbles something about Wifey spending her day drinking lattes with friends. Wifey shoots Hubby a look that warns him in no uncertain terms to never speak those words in her presence again. Hubby gets the message loud and clear.
4:00pm: Hubby sits on the lounge to rest for ten minutes MAX. Kicks off his boots (in the middle of the lounge room), flicks on the telly, quickly scrolls through Facebook and Snapchat, and succumbs to his tiring day with a nap.
4:30pm: Wifey loads the kids into the car and takes them on adventures around soccer fields, dancing halls, and Little A’s tracks. Rain, hail, or shine, she hides complete exhaustion, and cheers her kids on like they’re the only ones on the field. If she was absolutely ‘mumming it’ that morning, she will pile the tired, grumpy kids into the car knowing there will be dinner bubbling away in the slow cooker from the morning. If she is super lucky, Hubby will have woken from his slumber and cooked dinner while they were gone. If she is like any perfectly sane mum, she will get KFC on the way home.
6:00pm: Wifey drags muddy, uncooperative kids from the car and begins the nightly routine: showers, dinner, books, teeth, bed. This is the most exhausting part of the entire day.
8:00pm: Hubby sets himself up with a comfy cushion on the lounge to watch the new home renovation show on TV while Wifey stacks the dishwasher. Hubby continually calls Wifey over to point out the flaws in the work on the show. “Hah, would you get a load of this hun, they honestly think that will be standing in six months?” “Yeah right, as if you would have that finished in four hours, more like four weeks!” “Hun, hey hun, come here, you watching this? This knob thinks he’s a builder. I wouldn’t even hire him to put the kids’ cubby up, let alone touch my house.” Wifey acknowledges, smiles, and continues on her merry way, cleaning the tornado her house has turned into over the course of the day.
8:30pm: Wifey sits on the lounge for the first time that day, coffee in one hand, basket of clothes to fold in the other. Now to work out how to pry the remote control out of the snoring Hubby’s hands. It’s a near impossible feat. Wifey: “Don’t sleep on the lounge, go to bed.” Hubby: “I’m not sleeping!” Wifey: “Clearly you are sleeping, because you are snoring, so go to bed.” Hubby: “No, I’m watching this!” Wifey folds clothes, staring vacantly at the home renovation show on the telly, drinking her coffee, with the acoustics of a snoring husband beside her. The irony of this situation is that she is watching a renovation show, while mentally creating a list of renos that she would one day like to do to her house, but renos don’t happen in her house, because her tradie hubby struggles to find the time.
9:00pm: Shit, the animals. In all the chaos today, no one has fed poor Snowball. He must be beside himself. While running out to feed the pooch, Wifey picks up all the wet towels hanging over the backs of dining seats, along with the line of clothes that are strewn down the hallway, while re-assuring the kids that there aren’t any monsters under their beds, sleep is a necessary part of life, and mum really needs a break, so it would be super awesome if they could stop asking for drinks and complaining about itchy bites, and Just. Go. To. Sleep!
9:30pm: It’s time to hustle on some marketing for the business. Wifey pops on a podcast in an effort to learn about Zuckerberg’s new algorithm changes, while scheduling social media posts, sending emails to leads, and making some changes to the website. In her exhaustion, Wifey hits a magical key on her keyboard that deletes a whole page off her website. She has a mini-meltdown and decides this is something she will have to work through when loaded up with caffeine, so it will have to wait.
11:30pm: Wifey showers and heads to bed, absolutely knackered, and with no f**ks left to give. With the flick of the light switch, she creeps into bed, and Hubby, who was in a deep sleep, is now conveniently awake for adult time. Wifey stays awake for a couple of hours, mulling, organising, planning, and squeezing everything into the next day. She gets up, writes it all out on a list, in the hope that by writing it out she will be able to sleep. After another hour of mentally planning the bills for the week, the grocery run tomorrow, and the kids’ savings plans, she drifts off to sleep. And as soon as she closes her eyes, it’s 4:30am again, and Hubby’s alarm is ringing.
Groundhog Day 😊
If this sounds like you, and you’re loving it – hats off to you girlfriend, keep doing what you’re doing.
But if it sounds like you, and you want to stop re-living Groundhog Day – I got your back. 😉
I can’t help you with the housework or kids (‘cause God knows my seven kids and tremendously messy house are enough to put me into a straight jacket), but I can help you with your bookwork.
Think about how good it would be to save a few hours out of your day, so when Hubby makes a remark about lattes with girlfriends, you can smugly smile at him while flashing the pedicure you also managed to squeeze in. Just joking, I know you’d much rather spend that spare time catching up on ironing, right?!
Either way, if you like my style, and you think that having a financial sidekick (with a personality to boot and qualifications to match) could be the ticket to ditching some of the stress and having a semi-normal relationship that doesn’t involve you being a slave to your tradie hubby’s business, lets chat. 😊 You can book a free Small Business Strategy Session in my calendar here: http://bit.ly/2OQ3YJ1 or hit me up on email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you’re ready to have a laugh at the flip side of the coin, check out part 2 of my blog: A Day In The Life Of A Tradie