M.E. · parenting · Stay at home dad

Daddy Day Care

This is only the beginning…

Before Christmas we had made a major decision, I was going to be a stay at home dad and bring up our beautiful daughter Aurora and mummy was going to go back to full-time work.

To be honest, she was always going to go back full-time; we just wasn’t sure what I would be doing. That is mainly due to the fact that I suffer from M.E. for over a decade now. Whilst I have had long periods where I have been symptom free; I have relapsed and the illness has always been on the surface waiting to rear its ugly head.

Fortunately, the establishment I was working for offered me an early retirement pension due to the fact that I had achieved 17 years service for them and of course, with the backing from the doctor. I had never considered this as an option before, due to the fact of my age…

I had been looking at trying to do something for them part-time but no positions were available and this option gave us a silver lining…maybe I could stay at home and try to manage my M.E. better and meanwhile, be the stay at home dad.

I have always been guilty of pushing myself a little too much, a boom and bust approach if you will. We know that being at home with a child all day is hard work but what do we have to lose.

A friend of mine, who goes by the name of ‘Ginge’ (never understood why), said I should start a blog about my retired life. I thought I would go one better and write it also about the joys and struggles of fatherhood whilst suffering from M.E.

I hope you will get to see the funny sides of being a parent and my approach to trying to make life as fun as possible for our daughter. Aurora, or as we call her Rory, has been a pure blessing on a really tough couple of years. I still can’t believe I had enough energy in me to make this a possibility, but I’m so glad I found that recharge button.

She is here and so I am, I hope someone out there gets to enjoy our journey I know we sure will. I will try to keep this blog as up to date as is physically possible. Watch this space, this is only the beginning…




You Me Not At Six

Saturday 15th April, Lindsay and I were due to step into the unknown…a night away without Rory. We had tickets for youmeatsix at Ally Pally so we decided to book a hotel in Finchley for the night’s festivities.

Having never missed a UK tour since I saw them in 2007 for the first time, until last years preĀ Night People album release tour due to illness, I was excited to be in the crowd again.

First, we had to cope with the nagging in the back of our minds of leaving Aurora behind. The prospect had never entered our heads before because we feel so lucky to have her, that we take her pretty much where ever we go. To suddenly have the chance to have a night away, golden right?

I’m sure in a year or two down the line we may well be chomping at the bit but right now, the pang of guilt that we each had for wanting to go to this gig was still present.

All arrangements were made, Gran and Grampy were travelling up from Bedhampton to look after Rory and we were getting a night away. We were still a little excited for the night away, just didn’t know how we’d cope…would we have signal if anything was wrong? Would we constantly be checking our phones?

Added to the mix was the unfortunate stomach bug Rory seemed to develop in the early hours of Thursday morning. She vomited a few times, requiring outfit and bed changes. Then subsequently any meal she attempted to eat, we saw in reverse.

Despite this, our little girl still smiled and pointed at planes and birds (or ducks as she calls them) and slept at nap time. She had no fever, so we thought perhaps it was something she ate that had disagreed with her.

Friday morning, she ate all her porridge and banana and I was a very happy daddy indeed. Until five minutes later, up it all came. At this point we were questioning if we should go to the gig at all. Gran insisted, Aurora wasn’t out of character in any way apart from vomiting after her food.

We weren’t just thinking should we not go because she was still a little ill? Also, how could we enjoy ourselves if we know our little princess is not 100% and daddy’s off getting battered in a mosh pit with mummy looking on from the bar?

Still contemplating our decision mid Friday afternoon, the inevitable happened. I started being sick and…well, I wasn’t far from the bathroom. I felt awful and knew we may well have our decision made for us. To make matters worse, Lindsay then started to be sick along with Aurora again, in the early hours of Saturday morning. Gig off. Aurora also became very miserable over the weekend. It must be so hard not knowing what is going on.

To add salt into the wound, Gran and Grampy are currently hugging buckets in our bed as they are now also ill. We should have a hazardous sign up at our front door, I reckon. Although, us three are currently in a good position and almost fully better.

So we didn’t get to put ourselves through our first night away from Aurora. In a way, I’m glad as I’m still not quite sure if we’re fully ready to go away and enjoy ourselves wholeheartedly, without wanting to be with her. We will go away someday in the future, I think it is probably worse for us as parents than for her at the moment. She seems to love spending time with everyone. But you do miss that little bit of alone time with your partner. If you don’t have the baby around, your prepping food, washing bottles etc…

That said, I wouldn’t change our little bubble for anything. Some people never have the chance to be parents and we feel eternally lucky to have been given this opportunity and such a wonderful daughter. But, Aurora, if you could keep you tummy bug to yourself next time, we’d also be grateful for that too…

…I jest, I wish we could take away all of your illness, it’s horrible to see you very sad and sick. We’re so glad you are back and smiley again.