I have had this post in my head for a few days now, and then Jay from @cosmicgirlie must have had a psychic moment and wrote almost exactly what I was thinking in her post the not so single parent.
Although our circumstances are very different, I empathise and agree with every word.
Hubby and I have always worked and have fought our way up our respective career ladders. When my older children were young, we both worked in retail which involved long hours and working weekends, but we figured it was worth it to try and get on and build a better life for all of us.
It was a challenge, we had to balance our rota’s, had to rely on childcare and our days off were spent catching up on housework whilst trying to fit in some family time.
To progress in his career, hubby then moved to nights – the only manager role he could get – and it was no longer possible for me to continue in my role as our hours just wouldn’t work, so I changed career. This time I joined an Investment Bank and for the first time since I left school, I had weekends off – heaven!!
Hubby won’t mind me saying this, but night work made him grumpy – very grumpy and the crunch came when he wrote his car off by falling asleep at the wheel driving home after a 13 hour shift!
He changed his job, but stayed in retail, meaning he worked most weekends however the job was mostly 9-6 so he was home every evening so we actually got some family time, which was fantastic.
After Eliza joined us, hubby was by then working as an area manager and couldn’t have specific days off, so returning to work for me, needing two in childcare, just wouldn’t be feasible and work were completely inflexible, so again I had to leave.
Now I am a childminder and working from home 6 days a week, which in some ways is fantastic but in others it feels like I never actually finish work. The problem I have is that Hubby was made redundant last November so changed jobs. I shouldn’t complain that he practically walked into a new one………but his hours are a nightmare.
He is still in retail and is expected to be in store EVERY hour it is open – 9am – 8pm. This means he doesn’t get home until at least 8.30pm every night if he is on time, which also means that the little ones just don’t see him. He also has to work EVERY weekend without fail. With my history in retail I understand it is “needs of the business” but it also means we rarely get to do things as a family.
He is as frustrated as I am, because my job means that the two days he has off (where he remains on call) I am working and the older kids are at school, meaning we still don’t get any family time!
This makes me feel like a single parent – I have to do night wake-ups, dinnertime, bath time, bedtime, get them ready for and into school by myself and he doesn’t seem to realise I am tired too, but we are lucky we are both working.
I love this photograph, taken this week – they miss Daddy, so when he is home it is all about the quality time. I promise he is under there somewhere!!
Are you in the same boat?