I’ve just had to confront one of the challenges of parenthood when you have a job. A few nights ago, I was playing with Aidan and he waved at me and said “bye”.
I was surprised as I’d got home early so I could see him and Kirsty and we were having fun reading a bedtime story. Kirsty suggested that he connects me with “waving bye bye” as I leave in the morning when he’s been up for 20mins, and I don’t always get back to do anything other than put him in his pyjamas and kiss him goodnight.
I thought she was taking the mick and then realised that apart from weekends, I don’t see Aidan for more than am hour a day, if that, outside the weekends.
I was lucky enough to see his first steps, but I missed his first word (“more food”) and on his first day at nursery, I was there, but talking to some journalists and bankers about whether Russia was going to buy Cyprus. For the record, it wasn’t.
At the same time, I love my job and have worked hard to build a career. It’s intellectually rewarding and whilst they can always pay you more, there are worse paid jobs.
So I finally get to understand the sick feeling everyone gets when they wave ‘bye to their kid(s) in the morning, knowing that they’re not as involved as they might want to be. I now understand why Dad tried so hard to make weekends special when I was young and it also makes me a mixture of jealous of but impressed with what a great job Kirsty is doing bringing up our son.
But this is what being an adult is about – constant compromise to come up with the best solution. The best solution is I continue my career, but try and box as clever as I can so that I get to see a bit more of the boy, but still do all the work that is necessary to keep both the clients and my employers happy.
Come one, how hard can this parenting / career deal be? And who wouldn’t want to spend more time with this kid?