Thursday, 19 April 2007

Chicken

Watching men in suits delivering their children at school is one of my favourite pastimes. At least they are making the effort, I suppose. “Come on” they hiss as they tug their child along the pavement, itching to get onto their Blackberry and thinking about their ten o’clock meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I remember those days, when I wore a suit and thought about different things. But allow me my moment.

How long will it be though? It's scary, this game of childcare chicken that I’m playing. I’m probably at the clenched-hands-on-the-steering-wheel stage, on a scale of hairs-raised-on–the-back-of-the-neck to needing-a-change-of-clothing. There I am, bolting along, surrounded by the aroma of burning savings, while childcare rattles towards me with fire leaping out of its expensive twin exhausts. Will I brake before childcare piles into me head on? Or will I jump out before impact? I really don’t know. It’s a funny thing, living on savings. That’s what they are for, after all. But it’s not human nature actually to want to use them.

Occasionally a friend gets made redundant and rediscovers his children; but then eventually gets another job. “I’ll miss the boys” said one the other day, shaking his head sadly as he contemplated returning to work after six months. It reminds me why I am doing what I am doing. It’s a privilege to be able to spend time with my daughter. I love her foibles and good humour, she appreciates my reliability and the change in my pocket for an ice cream. I don’t envy the men in suits anything, except of course their bank balances.

13 comments:

Drunk Mummy said...

Now, come on SAHD, do you really want to be one of those Dads who are so unfamiliar with their child's company that they address them in stentorian tones, rather than just talk to them in a normal voice? They are the ones who push their kids way too high on the swings, ignoring the fact that the child is turning green, and desperately wants to get off. They probably reckon all the other parents are looking at them out of admiration....

Stay at home dad said...

No, no, no!!

That's if you can get them to the park in the first place...

The Grocer said...

Don't even envy the bank balance, you live to your means, the more you have the more stress over maintaining it and replacing it.

Stay at home dad said...

That is of course true. Going back to the office is well and truly at the bottom of the list..

Sahd

The Secretary said...

I have a husband who works at home - he has done for the last 10 years. Now our boys are 12 and 16 he is considering giving up the lonely life of being a homeworker, but I just can't see it myself - he'll miss it too much. He complains though that the boys make too much noise when he is trying to work - I wouldn't know, I'm out at my job!

Stay at home dad said...

Yes, it's tough to work with kids around. And with one, not really fair on them either.

Thanks for visiting!

The Secretary said...

Not visiting SAHD - avid reader on a daily basis now my lovely!

Stay at home dad said...

Many thanks then!

Sahd

Beta Mum said...

I'm a working-from-home mum, grappling with similar (although more familiar on the female side of the parenting duo) conundrums. Or should that be conundra?
Savings almost down to nil, income not much more than that, but children happily bringing home friends after school, going to after school clubs, and generally assuming I'll be there whatever.
And do they appreciate it?
"Why can't you go back to work so we can have more toys?" they chorus, whenever I cite expense as a reason for not buying them some new piece of plastic trash.

Stay at home dad said...

Hello beta mum. Yes, common problems, to which there are really no solutions, I suppose.

Tell them that if you went back to work the extra income would be spent on treats for you and see what they say then!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Ah Beta Mum I share your pain. My daughter once announced that her friend's mum was a 'heart nurse' and helped people's hearts get better. 'Yes' she does, I replied. Brief pause, 'Mummy, why don't you do anything?'. Cut me to the quick it did!

debio said...

It is so easy to live in one's own zone and feel unappreciated.

But - whose name do they call when they walk in from school/work?

And, in my experience, not because they want anything other than to know I am there. Not the maid/nanny/babysitter/au pair et al.

The throwaway, unguarded remarks are just that - not thought through and just a moment in time.

Stay at home dad said...

Generally mummy is the name called... but that's another blog entry...!