Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Being a married lone parent

So today was national Go Home on Time Day whereby workers were encouraged to work their contracted hours only, organised as part of National Work-Life Week. 

A UK survey of 1,500 employees has found six out of ten people regularly work late, with around half blaming the culture of their firm.
One in ten also admitted that their work/life balance has become so bad that they never find the time to sit down with their families during the week.

This is all very familiar to me.  Before Mr DOMADQ was pushed jumped from his job back in June that was what our family life was like.  He would leave the house at 6.30am and not return until very late, often after 10pm thus meaning he wouldn't see our children at all in the week.  He was also expected at 'crunch' times to work at least 1 day over the weekend and as projects neared completion both days of the weekend. 

And what reward would he get for this?  No time off in lieu (maybe a few days off in a slump between projects but nothing like the hours he had given to his multi billion dollared employer), no over time pay at all (don't be so silly). And certainly no appreciation. There was no empathy regarding what life their employees were missing out on beyond the office walls.  Perception was key and so if you happened to be observed 'sneeking out' on time then it certainly didn't look good for you even if you'd done your work within the allotted hours.

Naturally the government 48 hour working week directive should protect workers in this regard but it's just a one line fix in a contract and employers simply get you to opt out of it.

Obviously not seeing my husband was detrimental to our home life.  Me & Mr D would be ships that passed in the night as I would vaguely wave in his direction as he left in the morning & would be slumped in a heap when he returned home.  For the children they didn't see their Daddy and effectively I became a single parent for months on end.  I would have to deal with everything single handed and diffused the 'I miss Daddy!' tears.  My social life shrivelled away.  Weekends were the worst as everyone is off doing things as a family and it always highlighted how lonely I felt. 

I am not alone in this.  I have many friends who have spouses who work very long nights or have to pull all nighters in the office.  You can't make plans to do anything for you as you cannot guarantee that they'll be back at a reasonable hour.  Another friend's husband is away on business trips for increasing periods of time. 

Whilst Mr D is looking for work we are seriously considering positions in other parts of the country whereby he would have to live away in the week and visit home on the weekends, as it seems unlikely that we would uproot the family for a short term contract.

Times are hard, the recession has people on edge.  Employers seem to expect more than their pound of flesh and care very little about what leftovers are sent back home.

With Mr D currently out of work it's fairly daunting at the moment but I guess my silver lining is that we are currently getting to spend a lot of time together and that is something we as a family are extremely grateful about.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Breaking down

I love this song.  I can listen to it over and over again.

The drums seem almost tribal.  They draw me in from the very beginning.    The slightly out of tune synthesiser reminds me of the Human League.  There is something so familiar about this tune, listening to it I feel like I'm home.  And then Flo starts to sing and it's like she can see into my soul.  Such a beautiful mix of anthemic uplifting music and bitter sweet lyrics.

All alone it was always there you see
And even on my own
It was always standing next to me
I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

This emotional blackness I understand, I recognise it.  It is there in the wings, sitting in your peripheral vision waiting to swoop in.

I would never class myself as having had depression but like many people I have had spells under a cloud

Even the Flumps have had those kind of days

During my teens I had black days (yes of course it comes with the territory of adolescence), but I could never articulate my feelings even when I reached my 20's.  Problems were kept to myself, swallowed down and then at some point things would implode.  I'd cry for days, words of explanation would form on my lips but would never make it out of my mouth.  I'd curl up, wanting to disappear.  I'm still not the greatest at articulating my feelings and worries but therapy did help and gave me the vocabulary to talk about things.

When I listen to 'Breaking Down' I know what Florence Welsh is feeling, I know.  The song makes me want to cry and smile at the same time.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Diary of a youngish drama queen

Hoorah, hooray it's official I am not old.  I may be nudging 40 but that isn't middle aged or even past middle aged according to a survey you're not middle aged until your 55.  Of course Mr DOMADQ scoffed "Does that mean you're meant to live until you're 110 then?!"  But he's missing the point, middle aged is a state of mind.  I generally don't feel old (despite being told on a regular basis that "we are no longer young").

OK, OK there are days where I do feel older, like my back aches or I'm just knackered; long gone are the days where I could pull an all nighter & still get up for lectures the next morning, but generally I still feel about 22 in my head and I intend to stay that way for a long time.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Happy Birthday to me

So, went out last night (birthday eve celebrations). I stayed out late, drank, laughed loudly.  I now feel my age not my shoe size. 

Marvellous Mr D who was greatly amused by my stoating about when I got in just before 1am (I made it passed midnight!) brought me tea in bed.  Small girls greatly over excited bounded in just before 7am with homemade cards, flowers & a necklace.  All my cards & presents were opened.  My hangover looming I ejected everyone from the bedroom & went back to bed for 3 hours.

Have surfaced again.  Mr D dutifully popped down to the shop & purchased Irn Bru & Nurofen and the ingredients for a fry up for brunch. 

Am meeting a friend later for coffee & cake.  Dinner out tonight with Mr D.

Today's shaping up quite nicely.