• Guest post from Stay at Home Dad blogger Gavin Fitzpatrick from Moo and Me •
Readers of my blog will already be keenly aware of my control freak nature. Of how I like to have everything in order. And how I am only truly happy if (please read the next sentence with your best Gestapo accent) – ze nap times are corvect, food for ze veek is vell planned, dogs are valked, dogs are zen played viz, and ze house iz properly organised und spotlessly clean…
I’m like the ‘worst of best’ husbands to be around. Imagine Mary Poppins with a penis (which I believe is now on offer in some specialist Berlin Gentleman’s clubs).
I don’t get (too) outwardly irritable though when things don’t go the way I want. But I do feel noticeably less calm and am altogether happier when they do. Being a Stay at Home Dad generally involves serious amounts of guilt navigation. Guilt of what you have done. Guilt of what you haven’t. And so I find that the better my mood, the less of a twat I will be to Moo and the Mum of Moo (M.o.M.).
M.o.M is a seriously bright lady, who has a seriously grown up job; the likes of which I hope to be able to do when I become an adult, in about 25 years or so. She works hard and, despite being ridiculously pregnant, manages to pull in 10 hour days and then come home and be ‘Mummy’.
However, owing to the impending arrival of Moo mark II, she has, just before Christmas, gone on maternity leave. Now, for the first time since she went back to work when Moo was 7 months old, we are all together. One big, getting-in-each-others-way, loving family.
Initially, I was looking forward to M.o.M’s maternity leave. I had visions of all the exciting things we could do together. Of sharing the daily load of looking after Moo. Of cooing softly from the sidelines as I watched Moo and her Mum play and chat throughout the day. Not to mention the idea of staying up late (now that someone was there to pick up the pieces the next day), so I could get drunk and watch more episodes of ‘The Walking Dead’…
As per usual though, I was incredibly wide of the mark with these thoughts. Most notably because, as I think I have already mentioned, M.o.M is just about as pregnant as it’s possible to be. So the idea of me just stepping back and being some kind of hungover, Zombie obsessed, observer from the wings, is nigh on ridiculous.
Plus of course, there remains the small matter of how I am still very, very (did I mention VERY) much a control freak. And so, obvs, I had trouble letting go.
But most troubling of all was the overwhelming realisation that, with M.o.M. home, there would no longer be those special ‘Moo and me against the world’ moments. Almost as soon as my wife came through the door after her final day of work it dawned on me. That’s it. My selfish time, where it was just me and Moo, was done. Dusted. Kaput.
Is that weird? Should I be feeling that?
Being a Stay at Home Dad, I haven’t really had too many opportunities to spend time with other SAHDs (as there aren’t many) or many Stay at Home Mums either, for that matter.
You see, it’s still quite difficult fitting in. They’re really quite a cliquey bunch, which means, what with being male and all, I’m kind of on the outside of everything (and often made to feel a bit ‘odd’).
As such, going shopping, going to the park, going to a café or restaurant or swimming pool or museum, would invariably be just me and Moo.
“A table for two please.”
“No, no one will be joining us.”
Pre-her chatting days, this was kind of lonely, but also kind of wonderful. She became my shadow and I hers. And any time spent away from her (no matter how little or, even, how needed) was a strange and isolated time indeed.
And so my immediate thoughts on M.o.M embarking on her extended holiday (joke), meant that all of that had ended.
Again, as is usual with me, I needed my amazing wife to help me grow up a bit and realise, in her own words;
“You’re being a dummy. Now you’ll have another one as well and the three of you can go and eat croissants and shout at cyclists together. Like a team. Before any of that though, it’ll be us FOUR against the world!”
It was then that I realised the next 6 months or so are going to be the most important, exciting, exhausting, funny, testing, brilliant times ever. And that seeing so much more of my wife is, quite honestly, the best thing that could happen for both me and Moo.
We need her so very much and the fact that there is soon to be a new addition to our little family, means that us six (I count the dogs in that number as they are very much integral to our family) are now a gang.
Nay, more than that: We’re now a fucking army!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s guest post from Stay at Home Dad blogger Gavin Fitzpatrick, from hilarious new dad blog, Moo and Me. I urge you to go check out his previous posts (they are all excellent and laugh out loud funny), as well as giving him a friendly follow on Instagram and Twitter. You won’t regret it!
So, are you a Stay at Home Dad (or Mum) too? Did you experience the same feelings when your other half came back into the family fold? What other challenges have you faced as the stay at home parent? As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please do share your stories in the comments section below.