From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Sebastian, I knew I would be doing the majority of the parenting alone. Dadda is self-employed, he owns a restaurant, which has its perks, mainly the yummy free food, but it also means that he is at work, when everyone else is off. He works 7 days a week, every week. In the past five years we have spent maybe 40 full days off together. The restaurant closes for three days a year; Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
There are no long spontaneous weekends, where we make no plans and just see where the days take us, as work is always there like an evil spirit waiting to steal him away, everything has to be planned in advance. No Christmas Eves reading stories and putting out carrots & baileys (Father Christmas’s tipple of choice in our house). No driving off for a day out to find a cute little B&B and spontaneously deciding to stay the night. No having a last minute week off for the hell of it – just because it’s going to be sunny.
Sebastian was born on a Saturday night, and Dadda was back at work by Monday lunchtime, there was no paternity leave, no time to adjust to our family growing, we just had to get on with it. It will be the same when baby number 2 comes along in a few weeks.
That’s the way it has stayed, I do most of the parenting, the late nights, the early mornings, I wipe the bums, the snot and the sick, and I don’t mind. I love the closeness me and my buddy have, we are a team, we laugh and play and adventure. I hate to say it but it’s sometimes easier for it to just be Sebastian and I, as somehow when Dadda’s home the rhythm is slightly disrupted as without him there is how it’s always been.
I spend so much of my time living like a single parent making all the decisions about Sebastian and our days I sometimes forget that maybe Dadda has an opinion too, and he is around for a few precious hours in the mornings and occasional evening, but it’s in no way the same as if he had a standard 9 to 5 job where I knew come 6pm there would be a key turning in the door, and 2 days off at the weekend.
There are days when it’s hard of course, like when you turn up to a kids party full of couples, the dads playing with the kids and the mums sat chatting with cake and coffee, I have to split myself in two, supervising Sebastian and trying to catch up with my friends, when I sit there and just wish that Dadda could have come too and been a spare pair of hands, or when Sebastian has been a terror all day, to finally sit down and chat over a glass of wine and a meal for two, instead of one.
I am so lucky to have a great support network of friends and family that we spend a lot of time with, and Sebastian loves them all dearly. I know I could give any of them a call and they would do what they could to support me, in being a not-so-single mum.