I won’t bore you with the details but my job is pretty corporate(ish) and I work fairly long hours, I also have to commute to London for two days a week and in the past this hasn’t really been too much of an issue but since I became a Dad my work life balance is something I think about a lot more.
A few weeks back I was sat in work when my phone buzzed, it was Lawrie sending me a picture of Fawn. Lawrie does this fairly regularly and I love it, however this was a picture of Fawn smiling, at first I was blown away by how cute it was but then I felt sad because, you see, this was the first time Fawn had ever smiled, and I missed it. This got me thinking about all the other things I might miss out on.
Will I be there when she starts to crawl and eventually starts walking? Will I be there for her first words? Will I be able to do the school runs?
When I realised exactly how much time I spent with Fawn it was a little depressing. Now I am under no illusion that I’m going to walk into work tomorrow morning and hand in my notice (unless I win the lottery of course – winning numbers anyone??) at the end of the day my job helps pay the bills and helps us provide for Fawn , however it does make me think a little bit more about the time I do spend with her and how I can maximise it so we both get much needed Dad and Daughter time.
During the week, I get an hour and a half with Fawn from when I get home to when she goes to bed. As soon as I get in I give her a big cuddle and Lawrie tells me what they have been up to that day, or more to the point how many times she’s been sick or spat up on something, seriously, Britney Spears hasn’t got anything on Fawn when it comes to costume changes!
After the cuddles and a quick play, it’s nappy off time which Fawn loves! This is followed quickly by bath time then it’s story time! This is my favourite part of the day, normally Fawn is getting sleepy and as such rarely causes a fuss, you can just soak her in. Once she has her last feed she normally drifts off to sleep pretty quick and thats it, my time with Fawn is over for another day.
The London commute is hard because I really miss being at home. I feel guilty because I’m not able to spend time with Fawn and also Lawrie has two full days with hardly any respite. We are lucky because Lawrie’s mum can normally pop round at least one day to help out, but for the most part she is alone with Fawn for two days straight, I honestly don’t know how she does it and still has a smile on her face, she is amazing and I don’t think I tell her that enough!
Finally, weekend arrives, which means I get Fawn all to myself? no don’t be daft! Weekend poses it’s own problems, this is where all the Grandparents and aunties and uncles want to see Fawn. I get offers of “leave her with us, you have a break for a bit” which, and I mean this honestly, is a really nice gesture but I don’t think they realise that I have barely seen my own daughter all week!
We try as best as we can to do something each weekend, even if it’s just going for a walk round a museum or a garden centre, getting out the house and having some family time is important, I just wish I had more of the time part!
At the end of the day, all aspects of being a parent is hard work and balancing work with spending time with your children is all part of that. All we can do is our best.