As I think I’ve highlighted before, I’m quite passionate about the upbringing of Gracie and Baby Hew No2. Mummy Hew and I are a team and we work bloody well together, I’m no Hands on Dad.
When Gracie was born I was very fortunate to be able to take nearly six weeks off work, fully paid. Mummy Hew took 13 months off, unfortunately not fully paid. We both work full time and we made the decision that we would carry on working full time and Gracie would go to Nursery full time. I genuinely believe sending her to nursery was the best thing for our family. We weighed up whether one of us reduced our hours or didn’t return to work at all. Our decision took into a number of factors and we, still to this day, believe we have made he right decisions for our family.
We saw a massive difference in a Gracie’s progress when she stared nursery. Her speech improved, her imagination went wild and she started walking!! Lazy little sod didn’t walk until she was 14 months…we were quite glad of this because we didn’t need stair gates for ages! When Gracie stared nursery a good friend of ours told us that she would like to look after Gracie a couple of afternoons a week. She wanted to have some special time with Gracie…and who can blame her. Our friend changed her working hours so she could pick Gracie up from nursery at lunch times two afternoons a week. For this we will be forever greatful. It literally saved us hundreds of pounds in child care.
After about a year our friend approached us and said that her circumstances had changed and that she needed to drop one of the afternoons that she picked Gracie up. We were fortunate enough to be in a position where Mummy Hew was able to compress her hours at work and started to pick Gracie up at Friday lunchtimes.
To say I was envious of Mummy Hew having every Friday afternoon with Gracie would be an understatement. I really like the fact that they have some special one to one time together, I think it’s really important for both of them. But I couldn’t help but feel I was missing out on all the fun. Don’t get me wrong when she’s having her tantrums or in one of her moods I’m glad to be in the office away from it all. I really enjoy getting Friday afternoon photo updates and these get me though most Friday afternoons.
Last week our friend approached us again and said that her work commitments have changed, she told us that she needed to drop the Wednesday afternoon she has Gracie. We have always appreciated the time our friend has had Gracie and Gracie has loved spending time with her. We are a bit gutted that Gracie won’t have her Wednesday afternoon with our friend but she will be going to school in September so was likely to change then anyway.
I don’t think it particularly unusual for Dads to take time out of work to care for their family this day and age…and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I approached my boss and put a business case together. I explained that I had intended to submit a flexible working application in September so I could pick Gracie up from school one day a week…which isn’t much to ask is it? I told my boss that I needed to move his forward and needed it in place from the end of Mach.
My flexible working agreement has been agreed in the short term. We are going to review it later in the year. My intention will be to continue to work 4 and a half days a week so I can pick Gracie and Baby Hew No2 up one afternoon a week.
What will I do with this time? I literally have no idea…I’m considering getting a membership to our local farms or soft play centres but unsure at this point. I’m also going to be taking 12 weeks Shared Parental Leave in March 2019 – and cannot wait to be a tempapry SAHD.
I told Gracie that Daddy will be picking her up on Wednesday afternoons. She was so excited…she wants me to take her to the train park…who am I to say no!
The only exception to me taking Wednesday afternoons off is that I won’t be playing Play doh… Mummy Hew can play Play-Doh because I bloody hate it!