Family life for us has always been a tad unconventional. As some of you know, DIY Daddy works away from home in the energy sector. This can be quite difficult at times for the boys, with one parent here and one parent there. It’s not always a breeze for us either but we make it work because that is the nature of the industry. We try and just make life fun!

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Life’s a Ride

Finally, last year, he has been given a permanent position. This is a long time coming. Previously, he has travelled here, there and everywhere around the UK. He once had the opportunity of a post in France, which he turned down. How different life could have been if he’d taken it. He really is the epitome of parent here, parent there. The shifts are long and quite often, we wouldn’t see him for 4 weeks on the trot, sometimes longer. On one occasion, Pup only saw him once in 2 months.

Now, he is home every weekend, for the most part. It’s funny though. I notice more how the boys respond differently to him, than they do to me. We spend 24/7 together, with the exception of school, so we tend to get on top of each other, figuratively and sometimes physically. They have more of a tendency to listen to their dad.

Parenting

As parents, we generally are in sync with how we parent the boys, when it counts. We both have the same morals and ideals, which we try to pass onto Tink and Pup. I think it stems from our parents. Everything our parents taught us, we are trying to teach to our 2. Trying! That’s all we can do. I keep telling myself that, even when I feel like a major failure of a parent. At least we are trying.

With DIY Daddy away, everything falls on me, including, as it turns out, dealing with the death of a pet. I am in no way complaining here; just trying to explain what it is like. It has been harder this year because of the Covocalypse. Normally, I am surrounded by family. I have an extremely close relationship with my mum and mother in law. My sister and I are also joined at the hip a lot of the time. We’ve always been there for one another and always will be.

Not having this support of extended family in quite the same way has left me feeling strung out, tired and emotional, sometimes to breaking point. As a parent you always try to hide this from your children. It is unbelievably hard to appear positive all the time.

Below are some funtime family moments.

Discipline

When I have to discipline them, a lot of the time I find myself shouting, maybe even screaming. Logically, I know this never usually works as Tink ends up yelling back and we just go back and forwards till he storms up stairs like an angry elephant and slams his door. Yup, 7 going on 17! He reminds me a lot of myself as a moody teenager. I honestly now realise what my mum dealt with all those years ago and, holy cr*p she is a saint for not having chucked me out, though my dad once showed me the inside of a jail cell. I must have really pissed him off that time; can’t remember what I did.

Pup on the other hand is very boisterous. You have to be physically fit to deal with him, which I haven’t been lately. This is where having their dad around makes things a whole load easier. He flings them about, has fun with them and tosses them in the air; they need this as they are extremely competitive with each other. They need physical exertion. I, on the other hand, dance with them, play games with them, (well until one cheats) and generally do less physical activities. I lose my puff too easily. I’d like to say it’s because I have asthma, but it’s just generally because covid has turned me into a slightly obese slob. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that 2020 is the fat year. I’ll get on it in 2021. Promise!

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Wrestle Mania

Decision Making

Over the years, I have found that, because I am basically “parent here”, a lot of the decisions fall upon me. When we put the house on the market, it was I who was ensuring it was tidy and showing viewers round; dealing with the paperwork. It also, just so happened that, we eventually changed our minds.

After a year of it being on the market, I felt that it wasn’t the right time. DIY Daddy was going along with what I wanted so he was relieved when I came to my senses. I had panicked and felt that I needed to be closer to family with him away. If you have ever sold a property you know how stressful that can be, especially with 2 young boys thrown into the mix. When they were present, they acted like every person at the door was Santa Claus. Tink got overly excited and would show off to EVERYONE. He still has a tendency to do that. I’ve said before, he should be on the stage. I should really look into some sort of drama club next year.

Clubs & Activities

Speaking of clubs, I’m the one who decides where they go, when they go. Of course I consult DIY Daddy; he does needs to fund it after all, but it’s me who ultimately makes all the decisions. He is quite happy for me to do this though as we do both trust each other and know that we both do what is best for the boys. Trust is extremely important in any relationship but, more so when one parent is here, running the house and, the other is there earning the pennies. We make it work.

It’s hard for him too as he misses out on a lot of this stuff. Always, ALWAYS, take lots of pictures! Things such as Christmas shows, Easter shows, all school events, club events and basically anything that happens mid-week, he doesn’t get to be involved in. We try and make up for it by doing a lot with the boys when he is home; meals out, day trips, holidays etc.

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One such occasion was Tink’s Nursery Graduation

Quite often, he has said to me on multiple occasions, when I’m in one of my rants, at least you have the boys. In my moment of blind fury I don’t respond well but he’s right. I have them here. This is the time that I won’t get back and I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to give up work to share their early years with them in this way. Parent here, parent there is exactly why we have been able to do this. DIY Daddy has basically given me something I could never repay, time; time with my children.

2020

2020 has proven that you cannot predict what can happen in life. Our circumstances have worked out very well for us this year. Whilst others are furloughed, on the front line or losing their jobs, I have been in the position to care for my children, home school them and make sure that we all stay fit and healthy.

DIY Daddy is a key worker so he has been out there, making sure we all have power, in a job which is 100% secure. He hasn’t been at risk of furlough or losing his job. We have been so fortunate but, it has taken him years to get to this position. He has worked extremely hard for himself and our family.

I want to say that even though the NHS is amazing, we must not forget the others; the teachers who have been there for our children, those working in infrastructure, such as my husband, those who collect our rubbish each week and the people working in the supermarkets and shops. Everyone who has worked through this pandemic is amazing and I am so proud of my husband for what he has done and accomplished this year. He is definitely someone you always want fighting in your corner and I feel really lucky to have him in mine, even though I do joke about him a lot.

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