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Returning to Work after having a Child

When Thea was 1 years old I have to admit , I was in not a great place. Due to a hell a lot of things but I have to say my work life was hell.

I had fallen out of love of the education system and needed out. Harriet had just started to work for herself so we decided for myself to take a time out and stay at home with Thea . I mean I was trained in early years so why not . I stayed at home for almost a year and loved it. I built an amazing bond with Thea and it let Harriet’s business grow and flourish .

While at home I did some chaperoning which is looking after children on set I really enjoyed it and when in June I got the opportunity to work on a new BBC kids drama (The Demon Headmaster check it out on CBBC on Monday’s at 5pm )full time it was to good to turn down. I thought going back  to work would change our home life  but it really changed and I guess that’s the same for all parents returning to work .

There is good points and bad points to this so here’s what have found out since returning to work .
Let’s start with the positives :

Money Money Money – Having another income is great we can save ,book a holiday and have treats with Thea at the weekend.

Adult interaction – It’s great to spend time with other adults saying that we behave like children most of the time .

Self worth – working for me builds my self esteem bringing a wage into the family home . Also the self satisfaction of working on a project from start to finish feels great .

Reflection- working long hrs makes you realise what is important in life. It also focuses myself .

Mental Health- I feel mentally much stronger . My confidence is growing meaning my self worth has gone up. On top of that putting myself into new and stressful situations has helped control my anxiety .

Right next up the negatives :

Being away from Thea at 1st it wasn’t bad, but now she knows. When I’m getting ready to leave I get “No No” and sometimes a slap and that’s if she is awake . Sometimes I only see her in the middle of the night to change her nappy that’s hard .

Physically knackered : Being out the house for 14-15 hrs a day brutal . It takes a while for your body and mind to get use to that. Walking 20,000-25,000 steps a day your diet has to change 

Quality time : I say I don’t see Thea it’s the same with Harriet . I’m knackered when I’m back home at the moment so it can be quiet in the house. Meals out and days out haven’t been happening as much. I need to change that and get in a better routine. 

Guilt- what do feel guilty about literally everything at first, but I feel this passes and once you talk about it that helps .

Stress/mental health I’m putting this in as I know in the past my work I hated and it brought on this. Thankfully on returning to work I haven’t suffered this. Why most likely it’s down to being  in a better place. I mean that’s why I went back to work . I’m also on medication so I’m guessing that should get some credit too. If your mental health is taking a battering at work please talk about it to someone straight away don’t let it affect your home life .

Right so overall :

I can sit on the fence and say just do what you feel is right , but deciding to be a stay at home parent or a parent returning to work has a major impact on not just you but your partner and your children .

A prime example is this I had a dad in the an old nursery doing a visit his child was going to start nursery full time at one years old. He couldn’t answer any of the questions I had but told me they had another on the way and the child had to go to nursery .

I’m not saying don’t work , don’t send your child to nursery , but you need a balance and you need to think what you really want. We all have different goals and priorities it’s your choice but remember they are not kids forever .

I like being self employed it’s flexible , I’m my own boss and it works for me and Thea . Could I earn more money yeah but the more you earn the more you spend in my experience . But I do think Day release sorry work is good for the soul and mind which will is good for you and also your family

Staying at Home with a Toddler

At the turn of the year it was decided that I would be staying at home with Thea.

Why? Several reasons my work was quiet, my wife was getting lots of work and I have worked with toddlers for almost 10 years piece of cake . How wrong could I be ?.

I don’t need an alarm anymore my day starts when Thea wakes she doesn’t do late starts anytime between 5am and 6am she will wake me by screaming at me or shouting “Hey Duggee”.

So out of bed I stumble get some fruit and toast on with Thea and the kettle on for me .

A dads experience of labour.I kid you not!.

Baby Thea was due to arrive on the 19 August 2017. We had picked the name prior as I work with children so had a massive list of names I didn’t want. Working in early years eduction I thought I was pretty prepared for becoming a dad even a little smug yeah I work in a nursery with 50 children and had no disasters how wrong could I possibly be!

As I said Thea was due the 19 August so on Sunday the 30th I thought I would be safe to hit the pub my mate he had just been dumped and wanted to drown his sorrows. I thought this could be one of my final opportunities of having a few jars.

After a few maybe 4 I had a moment I can’t explain it it was like a voice saying phone Harriet it could of been the beer. On this advice I phoned to be told that Harriet had thought her waters had broke. I think at this point I had my first panic moment I couldn’t drive I had been in the pub for hrs. I then had the image of an angry Scottish taxi driver in utter rage as Harriet gave birth to Thea in a Scoda.

We were left with one choice call my parents to get a lift as you can imagine. I was slightly worried by this idea my dad is great but useless and it would interfere with his daily routine. My mum would be overjoyed but could get too involved you know what mothers are like! I didn’t have a choice I had a wife in labour telling me to get it sorted so my mother came to pick us up to us to the hospital.

The journey to the hospital was fairly uneventful I was in a state of shock being a mute as my wife and mother took control and talked for Britain as if this was normal it may well be but I’m not an expert of childbirths.

Glasgow Royal infirmary in the early hours of the morning is not a place you want to be really with your pregant wife and mother. It resemanbles a war zone and most people are drunk and arguing with themselves. So last thing I needed was to turn up to part of the hospital that is closed and boarded up like a scene from the walking dead we had to walk for 10 minutes past several people talking to themselves that looked like the walking dead.

Once we arrived I went to reception I was told by a very angry lady I was in the wrong area and my wife should not be walking anywhere let alone the streets of Glasgow while in labour. They put her in a wheelchair and carted her off with me like a naughty school kid behind and my mother carrying Harriet’s pillow showing no signs of leaving.

Once up on the ward Harriet was seen to by a couple of midwifes and I was left outside with my mother! I love my mum but she is intense I don’t really remember what we talked about due the to the Stellas and the general panic/anxiety of oh shit this really happening now! Either way my mother was staying for the birth I think I just wanted it all to be over and everyone to be well.

Soon enough another more happy women told us that Harriet was to be moved into a room for a water bath I wasn’t too keen on this I had refused for 5 years to watch one born every minute I used to say I don’t need to see that it’s too gruesome sorry I know some people love that but not me no way. Again my stress levels went up imagining a paddling pool and something like alien happening. I took a deep breath and went to the room I have to say I was shocked the room was massive and it had a huge bath in it. But Harriet needed the toilet and the midwife was not happy no water bath the baby was on her way cue a frantic walk to another room.

This room was great as well I was on one side my mother on the other the sun was rising my wife was in labour my heart was racing hands were shaking. Harriet started on the Gas inhaling far too fast I thought But was I going to say anything was I balls. A couple of minutes after saying this Gas does nothing I was covered with sick all over my hands,arms and chest.

The birth itself was very quick. Harriet was told to push by the midwife I stayed at the side as I said I didn’t have to see everything my mother on the other hand was like a crazy coach at a football match round the front cheering with encouragement smiling away. You can’t make this shit up I tell you!.

Baby Thea popped out she was tiny we all cried I think with relief as much as anything. Thea was screaming one eye open one closed looking like a pirate I thought. Then Baby was put on the scales as the midwife turned away Thea’s hand grabbed the scales plug and tried to yank it out causing panic from the midwife and her to say I have never seen a baby do that before!

So my life changed forever. I could never imagine a birth like it but I wouldn’t change it for the world it brought the whole family together.

I would love to give some advice, when your expecting your first you get some people that will tell you what to do or expect. I don’t really think you can prepare or know what to expect. In a few hours your world is turned upside down it’s never the same again and it doesn’t matter it literally blows your mind!