All change to our family routine 

There has been a fair bit of change for our little family to contend with over recent weeks.

As a result this is my first blog post in a long while, and the first opportunity I’ve had to reflect on the impact of those changes.

From a personal point of view, I’ve taken on an increasing amount of freelance journalism work since last month and juggling it with daddy day care is a lot more difficult than I imagined.

Having to meticulously plan phone calls around nap and food times to interview clients, if indeed they are available then, is a challenge to say the least, particularly now my one year old boy is so active and demanding of your attention.

I’m then writing up a lot of the press releases in the evening at a time when you desperately want to switch off and rest your tired baby brain on the sofa, not try to function as a working adult again.

But, all that aside, it has been very much worth my while. Not just for earning some cash, but for keeping my foot in the door of an industry I’ve spent more than a decade in and which could lead to future opportunities.

The biggest change in our circumstances, however, relates to my wife’s working life.

After a recent, well-earned promotion she is now working long, tiring shifts – one week of earlies, then one week of lates.

Since shelving my notepad and pen to become a stay at home dad, we had got into an efficient and thriving daily routine that suited us all.

But that had to be ripped up once the shift patterns kicked in.

My wife is absolutely shattered working earlies. After waking up at 4am she may not return home until 3.30pm, and this is when we’re heading into the most difficult stage of the day with the kids – dinner and bath time.

Lates may be less tiring but for me it means a whole week of going solo with the kids during that so-called difficult stage.

And it’s not just about dealing with the kids, our time together in the evenings has effectively been taken away from us as it’s either an early night for Mrs P one week or she’s not getting home until 10.30pm the next.

Weekends are then often taken up with activities, play dates and birthday parties for the kids and before you know it you’re back on the weekly conveyer belt.

We’re now a month or so in to the new regime and we’re starting to find our feet.

There is now no elbow room where meal prepping is concerned and when she’s gone to bed on the early shifts I’m playing chef in the kitchen so we’re always a meal ahead.

One huge benefit of shift work is my wife can take our daughter to pre-school every other week, which she has always craved (she must be mad!), and she also gets more quality time with our boy before she heads off to work at lunch time.

But then there are those weeks when she has to sacrifice being able to do bed time stories and kissing the children goodnight, so swings and roundabouts you could say.

There are a lot of ups and downs to these recent changes, but what we will both continue to do is what we believe is best for our little family – and sometimes that means making sacrifices and putting your own personal needs second.


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