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Now, where did I get to?!? The last time I wrote down my experiences with trying to find work as the main carer for my children whilst my wife had taken on the role of main earner, I was finding it all a little tough to deal with.
Part-time, flexible work, what there was of it, appeared to be primarily the domain of women who were being offered a role that would allow them to be around for their kids but would also mean a step down in their careers. As a man in this area, my motivations were being questioned, my wife’s role was being questioned, and generally it was all a little uncomfortable.
Well, I’m delighted to say that, after being pointed in the right direction by a friend, I was offered an interesting role within the civil service that would allow me to change direction in my career and also let me be around for the children. I grabbed this challenge with both hands and with the immense support of my wife, I’m delighted to say that things have really started to get there for me and my family.
The role permits me to drop the kids off in the morning, pick them up on certain days so they can attend clubs and ensure the household functions as well as possible with all day-to-day chores of shopping, cleaning, ironing etc falling under my remit. I am also doing work that I really enjoy.
I’ve been really lucky with this and I’m trying to share this with others to create an environment that will allow this to be the norm for everyone who wants it, whether they are male, female, mum, dad, son or daughter, grandpa or grandma! It simply should not matter who you are: flexible, part-time work should be available. Life has moved on and mine has especially.
I’ve shared my thoughts and story with Sky News, BBC News, LBC and others. I’ve started to speak at live events and am incredibly passionate on this topic.
I really hope that others get the opportunities that have been afforded to me. It was a struggle and it wasn’t pleasant to go through, but the other side is well worth the pain!
*Dad in the park is Richard Cahill, dad of two. This month Workingmums.co.uk will be highlighting flexible working and family support issues for dads.