For me 2016 set me one of my biggest changes ever. We finally swapped our parental responsibility s so it was me who had more time with the kids and Mrs Berg who had more time at work.
The events that caused me the most stress in life was when my family conflicts with my job.
In theory it’s a no brainier. Family comes first, my children need me I’ll be there. But in practice there is large grey area that sometimes there is no solution for.
I had been working for a number of years as a Lettings agent. It was a family business, working for my parents. It was a fantastic job and it nice to be able to spend time with my mum everyday. Because it was our own business we worked all hours to accommodate our landlords and tenants, but we enjoyed doing it so it was never really a problem, even on those days when you had a particularly demanding customer. We learnt as we went, developed on the go and rose to every challenge.
However things changed, as things do. My Grandad died, then my Nana, and my other Nana was needing a lot more care and as she was the last of her generation left we felt more and more emboldened to spend precious time with her.
At the same time my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and I was constantly in hospitals with him, learning about all the new ways that my son would need my care and attention.
It was a lot of work and suddenly the work we had once put into the business had to be spent elsewhere. Also, the business, and work in general didn’t hold the same weight in our lives anymore. Don’t get me wrong. my mother and father are (and always have been) hard working individuals. Priding themselves on a strong work ethic throughout my life, but after my mum losing her father, and my dad losing his mother and my son coming so close to fatality, the pursuit of money seemed so pale compared to the pursuit of time.
Furthermore Mrs Berg was smashing college. She owned college, she owned her placements, she owned her assignments. She graduated in the top percentile of college and beat over 1000 applicants to earn a place on a children’s nursing course at university. Consequentially she would be spending less time at home, night shifts and long hours and late night assignments beckoned, she needed someone to sort the kids out, take them and pick them up from school.
It was time. January 2016 I set out in search of a change. We closed down the business so my mum could concentrate on her mum, and I started looking after the kids. I found myself a job as a courier that I could work part time while the kids were in school. I drop them off go to work and deliver all my parcels then pick them up, and I have the rest of the day to spend with them until Mrs Berg gets home at night.
Mrs Berg hates me saying I’m a stay at home dad now, and I’m not I’m a sort of hybrid because I work part time and look after the kids part time. What ever it is it is working for us. Sometimes I get more time at home, sometimes shes in between shifts and shes off.
I’m looking forward the 6 weeks holidays because we will have time to really put some quality time in with the kids.
The main thing that I have learned from all this though is that you need money and a job, without it things can get difficult fast, but the pursuit of time and happiness is a far better commodity.