Everything’s going to be changing soon in my previously calm, ordered life. I’m going to be a dad, so everything will look very different. That’s the thing people have so often asked me about in terms of my son coming home. How will I cope with my life being turned upside down?
It’s a fair question, and at least some of it is going to be guess work, because I simply don’t know. I’ll be learning as I go, but I know things will change.
First and foremost, I’ll be off work – the day job – for six months. Six months off work? How brilliant – I’ll be able to write all day, every day! That’s right, isn’t it? Well, when my son’s at school, I might be able to squeeze in a bit of time for writing – I’ll have the evenings as well after he’s gone to bed – but there’ll also be some of the more mundane domestic jobs to do; shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc, as well as getting him to school and then going back there for the right time. I want to fit as much as I can in, as well as doing some of it when he’s home so that he sees what it takes to keep an average flat comfortable and clean.
But yes, I’ll certainly find a bit of time for some writing in there a few times a week.
But everything else that’s structured will need to be restructured. Seeing my parents on a Sunday afternoon could still be a possibility, but in the same way? It won’t just be the three of us now, but four, and so we’ll need to see how that works in practice.
Our weekends will be precious – two whole days to spend with my son, but also factoring in any other chores that need to be done (I’ll be back to work eventually) – and then spending time with people; family, friends, clubs, etc. Now, I often go round to other peoples’ houses, especially when they have young children, but now that’s not automatically as easy – as I’ll have the same thing to consider. But we’ll make it work; I have some rather excellent friends who I know will be flexible and help me, and I’ll be making sure I act as flexibly as I can.
Having a morning to avidly read or write in glorious quiet, or go for a long walk with no interruptions, will be a distant memory. But I’ll never complain about that; the noise of a child’s games or TV programmes will be far better than anything else. Finding a balance between going out and staying in is just as important. We’ll both need and want time at home, so how will we find time for that in between everything else? We’ll get there.
Activities that I can do with my son together, and / or in wider groups of family and friends, is intriguing; what’s age-suitable for him? I’ll be guided by him, of course, but also asking advice from other people who have been there and got the t-shirt – and, for once, I’ll make sure I actually listen!