I have been meaning to set up a blog for a while, but I inevitably put it off in fear of not being up to the standard of other bloggers. Enough is enough though. I think the time is right. I will tell you why in a mo!
When I finally decided to start writing a blog it took me a week (maybe a little bit more if I am honest) to actually sit down and write a this first one. I thought I would start with something simple…kind of…
What does being a Daddy mean to me!!!
Well, I am a father to two wicked little monsters. One named Jackson (5 years old) and the other little terror is Lilly (4 years old). I say wicked little monsters, because that is what they are most of the time, and for most of the time I enjoy the madness that these two bring. Jackson was born in the October of 2011 – and he definitely gave us a scare. He had a stroke and spent a few months in hospital, and while that brought its own challenges we have plenty of fun and do just as much as any other able bodied child. He does not let it stand in his way to say the least. Lilly, is a completely different beast – she’s funny, independent and about 35 on the inside. She has an opinion on everything and to be completely honest – thinks she is in charge. If I think about it, she is probably right. I don’t mind most of the time.
To me, and probably to many others, ‘Being a Daddy’ is not a simple thing to define. We all have our own ways of tackling the job. I am the cook, the cleaner, the talker, the listener, the comforter, the Lego buddy, the Youtube handler and the crazy funny mad person that will do anything to get a laugh from the monsters. My friends like to make comparisons that I am like the traditional stay at home housewife, but I don’t really like that stereotype – I doubt Stay at Home Mums do either. I think some people find it hard to fit us SAHDs into a nice neat little box. That’s why I don’t really let it bother me. I am just happy to be lucky enough to do it.
3rd time lucky
I have been the ‘Stay at Home Dad’ before. For a few months I stayed at home when Jackson was not well, giving up a retail management job to work as a sales person on the weekends, and then again when Lilly came along when I took 9 months off when fathers were allowed to do so and get paid the 9 months maternity leave. This will be my third time lucky. I plan to make the best of it this time round.
We are not having another baby – unless the better half has forgot to tell me something. The reason why I will be a stay at home dad soon is due to not being able to fit a full time job in an ever changing medical journey with my son. He has severe epilepsy and has made me miss a lot of work. Also, the school I have worked at for the last 5 years is changing its opening hours and I can no longer work the hours and fit in my family. After many hours of deliberation and many cups of tea (glass of wine for the wife), I came to the conclusion that it was best for my family that I be the stay at home dad. As of 22nd July 2017 I will say goodbye to work and say hello to the crazy life of stay at home parenting again.
We had the conversation many years ago that one of us would stay at home if the situation needed it. Whoever had the most earning potential would stay at work and the other would be one that stayed. I am not ashamed to admit it – my wife earns more than me and at the moment, has the greater earning potential. Some men would hate this – I don’t. I can’t explain it really, I have never really measured my success by the amount I earn, but more by how happy I am and how happy my family is. I know…this sounds a little bit like I am convincing myself but I promise you I am not. At some point this year my son will have an assessment for epilepsy brain surgery which only makes the decision that little bit easier. Family first is my mantra and always will be.
Two strikes not out..
Being a bloke, the first time I stayed at home I took everything for granted and did not entirely make the most it. I took it as something to get through rather than enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing experience but I did not really grasp how much fun I could make of it and when it was over I had some major regrets about not enjoying every moment. Yes, I did take enough photos and record thousands of silly videos of the kids doing ridiculously funny things, however, hindsight is great at reminding you that you did not take a breather and enjoy, reflect and smile at every moment. In addition to this, I did not really make an effort to socialise with the many stay at home dads that are out there – whether this be locally or online. I briefly attempted to enter the arena of the stay at home mum but this didn’t quite feel right, and to be quite honest, felt a little weird being the only male at the mothers and baby club. I felt a little out of sorts and it made a difference to my experience. Thus, we return to the reason I want to do things a little different this time round. I thought a blog would be one avenue and also connect with stay at home dads – not just in my local area and the Uk, but across continents. The internet is great with that apparently.
As you can probably tell, I am a bit of a waffler and rambler. Hopefully this is not a bad trait for a blogger – you will have to forgive me…or not, your choice. I will hopefully get a few like minded people like me on here; if not only to correct some of my dodgy grammar. The idea is to write something at least once a week – it will depend on how much free time I get. I am a bit of a clean freak and will probably spend most of the time procrastinating but cleaning the house into submission or getting distracted by the other Youtube video or a cracking series on Netflix. Who knows. Whatever happens and whatever I write, moving forward is best and this is my current direction.
If you do stumble across this and have read until this point, please do connect with me on social media. I am now set up on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I would love to hear from you. Us Dads need to stick together. Stay at home or not