Back in January when KaboodleDad had the phone call to tell him that there was no work, we didn’t really know how to handle it. We didn’t think that he would be out of work this long back then, and what started out as an extra long Christmas holiday, has turned into a very long time to be out of work.
Financially, we are doing okay. We’re receiving help by claiming benefits and it’s helping to keep us afloat. We’re getting by and things are just as good now, as they were when he was working. I do think though, that this time was needed.
Some say things happen for a reason and I am a firm believer in that. I’ll always argue that no matter what happens, it happens because it needs to. I have said to myself so many times over the years “there must be a reason that we don’t know about yet.” and I’m almost always correct, without trying to sound brag-y, I don’t mean it that way, I just mean that when certain things have happened, I tend to think Why? and eventually, I end up with an answer. Sometimes I wait years, sometimes just days, but the universe always tells me when something is up and eventually I realise why.
This period in our life has been no different. When we first realised that KaboodleDad was going to be out of work for a while, my usual Must Be A Reason attitude was hazed by the fear of the unknown, we didn’t know what would happen, how we would manage and how long we would be in this predicament for, but, like I said, I now look at this moment in our life as necessary. I know we’re on benefits and I know that it is frowned upon but, I don’t care what society thinks anymore. I have witnessed something beautiful these past few weeks and a temporary life on benefits has allowed that to happen.
A Father Daughter Bond.
Meirion has always worked, and I have always stayed at home and that’s how it’s always been. We’ve shared the weekends and we’ve shared holidays but as soon as it’s time to go back to the 9-5, Mei has always been the one that goes out to work. Having him home has been a blessing. Not only has he had a chance to relax after working for so many years, but, he has been able to develop his bond with Willow in a way that he wouldn’t be able to if he was still working full time.
That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a bond while he was working, that would be totally wrong of me to say, but, there were certain things that Mei didn’t know, or didn’t witness and missed out on because he worked.
Learning to talk, learning to crawl, learning to walk – they all happened during the hours he worked when I was able to concentrate on Willow fully. I can’t count the amount of text messages I have sent him whilst he’s in work telling him of something new she had done, or sending him a sound clip of a new word she had learned. He was always over the moon but there have been moments, when we’re cuddled up in bed talking about the future or Willow and how amazing she is and the words “I was gutted today when you text and said she had….” have escaped his mouth. I can only imagine how that must feel; I was there, I witnessed it, I taught it to her, I couldn’t imagine it being any other way. But there are two side to one coin and for all the joy and pride we both felt, we’ve also experienced the negative side, him feeling like he’s missed out and me feeling sad because he has.
These past few weeks have been different though, Willow and her Daddy have managed to spend so much time together and it has been nothing short of amazing. They’ve baked together, washed the dishes together, built dens together, played games together. They’ve just been together, sharing irreplaceable moments.
Willow is only young once, she will only be three once. They only have this time now. She won’t always want to build dens and play hide and seek, she won’t always want to sit and cuddle on Daddy’s lap while they talk about random nothings like two old ladies over a pot of tea. There have been times where we have played as a family, where we have managed to laugh and giggle our way through an entire afternoon because he’s home.
Over the last few weeks their bond has grown. KaboodleDad is more aware of what Willow is Saying, he used to sometimes misinterpret her. He is more aware of her behaviour and because of this, we’re able to come up with solutions together instead of him trying to understand something I have told him and trying to work it out with me, not really knowing the full extent. He has managed to sit with her and read her school books and fill out her forms. They’ve gone shopping together and he always moves her seat to the front so she can travel up front with him and listen to music. They sing together and dance together because they have the time in the day when it’s okay to have the music that little bit louder. He has taught her how to crack an egg and how to throw a ball in the air and kick it as it comes down. He has taught her new words, and she’s taught him the lyrics to Justin Bieber – which they sing together quite often and it’s always the funniest thing.
I could continue. Their bond has developed immensely over these past few weeks and I think that regardless of the fact that we’re both out of work and on benefits, the irreplaceable moments we are sharing as a family out-weight the negatives that can sometimes come with living on the breadline.
I love that this time in our life has allowed us all to grow, but more importantly, it has allowed my Daughter and her Daddy to develop their bond even further and that will carry through for the rest of their lives and that’s just as important as being a working parent. We will both continue to search for work and when we do get back into working again, things will change again but that’s okay, because we have had this time that we will never get back and we have been able to fill it with memories that will last forever.
As always, thanks for reading!