Stay at Home Dad – Guest Blog: Dan GodsallMonday 14 November 2016
In November 2014 I made a momentous decision: to quit my job as Managing Director at Barclays, and take some time out as a stay-at-home dad to my then six month old son, Jesse.
As an older dad (forty six this year) it had been on my mind that I wanted more time with my son. Living in Southampton, where my wife, Kate, is an academic at Southampton University, meant a four hour daily commute into work. The early mornings have never bothered me, but arriving home at 8:00pm after a long day at the office, meant I wasn’t getting the time with Jesse that I wanted. Nor was I able to fully support my wife in raising our son, which I knew would have implications for her energy levels, and therefore her career. Although I was main bread winner, Kate’s career is as important to her as mine was to me, and it didn’t seem fair that she would have to shoulder the burden as Jesse’s principal care giver.
And so, taking the opportunity of one of the regular restructures at work, in December 2014 I packed my bags and said farewell to Canary Wharf without any plans for the future. The timing was perfect for us as a family as Kate was returning to work in January, and as her maternity leave finished I was able to step in and take over at home.
It was an amazing and challenging experience. I knew that looking after a baby was demanding, but had no real sense of how hard it was. For the first two months I felt as though I was just about surviving, but gradually I developed my own routine and things got a little easier. I felt like I knew what I was doing, and Jesse and I bonded in a way that I never anticipated. Today that bond means that my wife and I are equal partners in raising our boy.
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