The beeb have gotten a number of ‘doting’ dads to give them accounts of what it’s like to take a side step on the working treadmill and spend some time with your children. It’s quite an interesting read, and made me reflect back to the time i nearly did that, and how my life is now compared to what it could have been.
As I’m sure we’ve mentioned before, the original plan when Daisy was born, was for both of us to go part time, and share the time with Daisy this made loads of sense both personally (I wanted to spend time too) and financially (better tax breaks), but for reasons of Ruth being indispensable and me being a side show, It never happened. what actually happend was in their efforts to keep Ruth she never came back, and by forcing me to work full time, they lost me to a better job.
Now at the time we we’re sad, but if you think about where we would be now; Ruth would still have that annoying political mud-bath of a job, and I would be wasting away doing the same old projects that came around every 12 months. Instead – Ruth stays at home and loves not working with pooters (and some of the people). and I have a much much better job, talking to people and getting stuff done*.
Where are we now ? Well both through the need for money, and the joy of work moved up the career ladder and Ruth has been freed from the shackles.
This does mean I don’t get the extra time I wanted with Daisy which does make me a little sad. I’m glad she’s getting full time parenting, I think that’s real important, and even though I’ve moved on and up, I have consciously stayed in an environment where leaving work at 4:30 is acceptable (i get in at at least 8:30 so don’t complain!) and taking work home is an exception not the rule. So I still get plenty of time each day. I’m not a arrive home at 6:40 and keep the child up sort of dad – I’m much more a get in and have Daisy climb all over me for a few hours type.
Reading about the dads who spend more time off does make me jealous, and maybe one day I will get to a point where I can work maybe a four day week – but at the moment I also way-up how Ruth and I feel – and we are much happier and that must be a good thing for our kid(s).
*this is of course relative, i see that public sector getting stuff done is not quite the same as private sector getting stuff done, but it is miles beyond university getting stuff done.