Some where along our journey here in France there came a tipping point. I can't quite locate when the balance swayed but looking back we saw a change in our mood and stress levels were becoming noticeable. We found that the cause was money, we'd been so keen to 'make it work', I think we'd tried hard to ignore the issue. However, like a good old thunderstorm rolling in and clearing out the cobwebs, an honest sit down and a chat over a cup of tea revealed our need to acknowledge and deal with a deficit in our annual finances. So as the fresh air blew in from the mountains, so did a big dose of reality, inspiring some energy and thought.
Unfortunately, for us Family Unplugged is never going to pay our bills anytime soon so it was up to me to look for additional income elsewhere to bolster my wife's earnings.
Until now I had been a stay at home dad and whilst I can humbly sit here now and admit, it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, (and I've been a soldier and a police officer!), I was extremely naive to believe I could just step into my wife's incredibly, talented, patient, loving, empathic, intelligent, intuitive, organised and forward-thinking shoes and not fall short.
The up side of this however is the close maternal-like bond I have formed with our youngest son, 'the Last One', which I missed with our other three children. As a man, and a father to four children, you might be surprised to hear me say that this bond is unlike anything I've ever experienced thus far on my journey into fatherhood. Everyday is new as a parent and that's what is so beautifully challenging, surreal, tough and unexpected about bringing up children. I would like to say to all fathers, (and mothers), who are in large part, absent through work, day-to-day, that I have experienced a profound sense of joy and contentment* from being able to spend time caring for my children and I wouldn't have changed it for anything. It has been a gift. (*I won't lie, there were many times when it went wrong too!) Photo Credit: The Glass Passport