Guest Post from @SAHDandproud

I am so honoured to be hosting this for @SAHDandproud.  I think it is safe to say that we have all missed Spencer’s writing and can’t wait for him to start blogging again.  Anyway enough from me, lets hear from the man himself.  Oh and beware, tissues are required.

“Today I walked into town. It was just after three in the afternoon and I used a cut-through past the cemetery which faces the retirement flats. What a cheery view for those old dears in the retirement homes. Nothing like a gravestone viewable from your bedroom window to remind you what’s just round the corner.

The cut-through, I realised last week, passes my children’s nursery and I hadn’t used this cut-through for any reason other than the fact that it’s just a quicker route, from A to B. As I walked along I heard that all the kids were in the garden playing. I heard an excited hubbub of gurgling and high-pitched excited chatter. Adults telling children to be careful, talking to them, children making the noises that children up to the age of 4 make. It’s a joyous noise isn’t it?

But cutting through the excited squeals I heard two things as clear as a bell. I heard my daughter singing and I heard my son chattering away to a friend. Like they were three centimetres away from my ear.

It’s called the Cocktail Party Syndrome. When, in a room full of noise and conversation, someone mentions your name and you  suddenly hear it clearly. It’s happened to us all. Psychologists have studied this so we know what it’s all about and why it’s so damn weird

But through this crazy noise of lots of children, constantly babbling and squealing, clattering toys and banging instruments, I could hear my children’s voices. As clear as anything.

A twenty-foot high fence separated me from my kids. Serrated at the top. With barbed wire for good measure, so there was no  way I could climb it and run to them, much as I wanted to. I walked up to it, knowing that on the other side, probably two or three feet away, were my children, playing and having fun. And much as I loved hearing this, a little bit of me fell apart inside, and so this fence became some incredible divide for me. As big as The Grand Canyon. But more fencey. On one side were my children having fun, and on the other side was a big twat crying.

Yesterday something was decided which had been in flux for a bit. Namely, whether I would continue my SAHD’ing duties on a part-time basis. The idea had been that the kids would be in playgroup two days a week and I’d look after them at their house for two days. But, as parents, we realised something. The children really love their playgroup and get a hell of a lot out of it. Placing them in this setting was one of the best things that’s ever happened for my children, and I claim no credit for this at all. It’s all down to my soon-to-be ex-wife. T is incredibly stimulated by it, is learning so much more by the day, and the sociability side is making him become more thoughtful and more respectful of others and willing to try new things. He’s 3 and while I have always known him to be awesome he is becoming more amazing in this setting. K just loves it. I have no idea what she does apart from eat all her meals and have a nap, plays a bit and other things I’m sure. But she’s with her brother and, when he’s not about, she always asks us where he is when she can’t see him and looks for him. It would be cruel to put one in full-time and the other not. Despite me wanting to look after them every day, the time has come for this to end, and for the kids to enjoy what they enjoy, fully, and with a zeal I cannot hinder.

I’ve loved every single second of being a SAHD. Even the moments I really found tough I look back on and think fondly of. Pissing in T’s face by accident. K running around without a nappy and pooing on the floor, stepping in it, and traipsing it through the living room like some sort of dirty protest. The tantrums, the crying, the meals being discarded. And then the same from the kids. I’ve done this for 3 years now, and, because you can’t stop progress, the time has come for this to stop.

And so, effectively, I’m now unemployed. Not because of the divorce or anything like that. It simply happened. The situation evolved. It’s good. It’s positive. It’s wonderful.

So why am I crying so much?

End of an era innit?

I’m gonna use this cut-through every day. At about 3. I’ll walk past and stop for one minute. Just so I can, maybe, hear them playing again. Just so I can feel that little bit closer. They’ll never know this but I will, for a bit. It’ll make me smile and that makes all the difference to me right now

So if you want me at about 3ish, I’ll be walking past a twenty-foot high fence, while three feet from my arms, my children will be a million miles away.”

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