And Now?

I intended to be a full-time dad after leaving the fostering world behind. With the world upside down in July 2020, when my notice period ended, I knew that my main focus would be on my wonderful son. I had no qualms about being a full-time dad, and was excited by the prospect.

But as my notice period came to an end at the fostering agency, I had a phone call from the MD of its parent company. But, he went on, he didn’t think that it right that I leave the organisation entirely.

I thanked him and explained my reasoning; I was leaving in order to become a full-time dad, not because I disliked the organisation. Given the busy nature of the job I did, I couldn’t give it the focus it needed, and that was stressing me out – I was leaving so that the job could be done properly (and in its entirety) by someone who was incredibly capable, which was the right thing to do. And it meant that I could be so much more present for my son, who needed me.

Indeed, the MD replied, but what if you had a different role? Something in communications, perhaps – promoting the organisation, raising its profile, connecting with local and national decision-makers – and working just a few hours a week.

I was speechless at first (unusual for me), and asked if I could think about it. My heart was set on being a full-time dad, and I was looking forward to it. I was leaving employment behind specifically because work and domestic life had become too intertwined during the pandemic, causing conflict and stress. I didn’t want to be back in that position again.

But could I be tempted? My hours would reduce from 22.5 a week to eight, and could be done in different ways when I needed to. I wondered if this might be the balance I was previously struggling to find.

I did a lot of soul-searching, and decided to do it. I was delighted to be asked, and even more delighted to get through the interview stage. I was to be the Communications Coordinator. Right now, it’s early days; I’ve found a niche and love it. I can very easily manage the hours around Bryan’s schooling. He’s back at school too, which makes things easier; I can find a balance and give him the focus and attention he deserves – whilst also helping him grow and become independent.

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