Time to admit it, this is tough. A lot harder than I expected it to be.
Up at around 6am and, with the exception of the baby's late morning nap, I'm on my feet running around for another 14 hours. During my time in the Merchant Navy I'd work long hours; I was on my feet all the time, working months without a single day off. Looking after kids has to be easier than that, right? No sir!
Caffeine became as essential an ingredient in my diet as milk was to the baby. Without these, neither of us could survive. Or is it just with my kids? (The nanny who now looks after my kids has gone from tea to coffee to Red Bull.) "Thank God for caffeine!" I'd often say to the mums on the school run. They nodded their head in agreement – this was old news to them.
Don't get me wrong, being at home with the kids is great. It’s the most rewarding, useful and satisfying thing I've ever done. Something with REAL tangible meaning and benefits and something that really has a purpose.
Imagine this. I was spending quality time with the kids, getting to know them properly, and them me. I was able to lie on the lounge floor with them and just play. No work emails to worry about, no calls to take and most of the usual household chores could wait till the baby’s morning nap.
Do you want to know one of the most enjoyable things? OK, but don't tell anyone. While all my colleagues (and I guess many of you) were hard at work, I was with the kids, probably swimming, enjoying an empty theme park, exploring a farm, or walking around some gardens. And everywhere was soooooo peaceful. None of the weekend madness. (This is one of the reasons I now enjoy having a half day off every Wednesday, I just couldn't give that up.) Lovely.
So would I do it again? In a heartbeat. What, I wonder, would my employer think about that?!
N.B This first first appeared here: http://www.cityparents.co.uk/Blog/Cityfathers/134.htm on 7 July 2014