The saddest type of bedtime story

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I was in London yesterday for a job interview. It was the first time in years that I’d dashed in on an early train, fought for a seat, pushed through crowds of people, and refused to maintain eye contact longer than a second with another human being.

It confirmed that I don’t want to do that every day but obviously many people either choose to do so or have to. Proof was a an advert on the Underground which tried to console parents that, if they regularly missed bedtime stories because of work, at least they could make a financial difference.

Admittedly it made me feel rather sad. Not in a judgemental ‘why aren’t you reading to your child?’ sort of way, but I could imagine exhausted parents sitting on the Tube, knowing that they had missed their child’s bedtime and perhaps feeling guilty or sad or angry – or maybe relieved, who knows? And then seeing that sign and realising that their contribution to their child’s upbringing was boiled down to pounds in a savings account. It was saying ‘Well, you were never there for bedtime but at least you’re good for a few quid’.

This isn’t a post that is meant to judge – far from it. I just feel thankful that, although we don’t earn enough to pay for expensive holidays or contribute massively towards a nest egg for Holly, we can at least share a book at bedtime. It might be a short-term gain for all of us but it’s something that we look forward to every day.



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