My wife keeps telling me I’ve got an ongoing story I should be telling – and I think she’s also becoming a little concerned that my brain is going to rot away if I don’t get back into writing.
It all stems from a career change I took in August last year, a job very few men tend to take.
For more than 11 years I worked as a newspaper reporter, with my final high-pressured role being on a regional, daily title.
For various reasons, which I’ll explain later, I decided to shelve my notepad and pen and swapped covering court cases and breaking news stories for the joys of being a stay at home dad of two.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire you could say.
My days used to involve writing hard hitting news stories, now the daily deadlines I need to meet involve the stressful task of getting my three year old girl to pre-school on time and having my baby boy’s bottles sterilised and ready for action.
I’ve swapped Monday morning magistrate court trips for two hours of soft play.
Wednesday council meetings are no more with a journey to the local library to find the week’s essential bed time reading for the princess filling the void.
Speaking of the princess, gone are the days of singing to my Spotify playlist on the commute home.
Those days really are long gone. Disney Princess songs fill the airwaves in the Renault Megane now.
The worrying thing is I often find myself singing along too – and this is when my daughter has long since been dropped off at pre-school.
Her two and a half day stints there provide a welcome break and give me time to completely focus my efforts on the boy, who was the primary reason for me calling time on my career as a journalist.
The cost of putting both children in childcare for a combined nine days a week in order for me and my wife to work was not far off my monthly wage.
And that’s not factoring in the added stress for both of us having to take a child in each as they would not have been at the same provider.
My wife is the bread winner and her job prospects were much greater than mine, so when the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy came along it was too good for me to ignore.
The financial package has given us a year’s breathing space so when the princess starts full time school in September, nursery will become a more affordable option when I hopefully return to work.
My wife has described my decision to take redundancy as brave, but I think it’s more a case of being sensible and putting my family’s best interests first.
This way is best for us all and has given me the unique opportunity to spend time with my children and play a vital role in their upbringing – all with my wife’s blessing.
It was a particularly important decision for the boy. Our daughter went to nursery at 10 months and it was a hard time for us all in that first year.
The tears, the illnesses, the stress. Don’t get me wrong, nursery has brought her on considerably but there were major drawbacks.
I regret her long days there, the bugs she picked up that contributed to her febrile convulsions and missing out on time that should have been spent with her parents.
No such worries on that front second time around.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy hearing about some of our adventures.