Adoption,  Blogs,  Humour,  Working Parent

Dumbing Down?

I’m writing today’s blog as I catch up on yesterday’s episode of Love Island… the one after the post Casa Amor recoupling episode… you know that s*** is about to hit the fan. So, I’ll start with an apology for poor grammar and spelling ‘cos I’m well distracted, ain’t I’  (said in my best Essex accent). 

For you non-Love Islanders; don’t worry this post isn’t going to be about how Georgia is going to react to that cheating scum bag Josh or how brilliant it is to see Wes getting his karma as he’s ‘mugged off’ by the villa’s resident skank Meg… Yes I went there, if you watched it too then you’d go there too!

Alright I’m done, ‘I promise babes’… 😬

When Crags and I adopted the boys, I took 12 months adoption leave from my role as an Operations Director and once that time was up, it was clear to me that there was no going back to the job I was doing before for several reasons; wanting to invest more time with the boys to continue building on that bond and attachment but also that I had fallen out of love with the company I’d worked with for over 10 years… not the people though, before anyone gets upset! 💙

Handing in my notice brought up so many thoughts and emotions… mostly excitement that I was about to become a lady of leisure and spend loads of time with my boys but also relief from the anxiety of going back to a role that I knew deep down wasn’t making me happy or leaving me feeling fulfilled.

The feelings I had weren’t all positive though. There was always a niggle in the back of mind about money… being a kept man on paper sounds great but the reality is you’re living off a handout from your other half. I am very fortunate to have such a lovely partner who wants to provide for his family and doesn’t make money an issue (I’ll deny it if you tell him I said that), but there’s no getting around the feeling that you’re a bum.

I don’t think I’ve gone a week since giving up work where I haven’t been the source of a joke about it, which to be fair I probably encourage and ask for sometimes… but I’d be lying if I said that deep down it doesn’t stoke the fires of insecurity.

Another fear I had about giving up work to become a domestic goddess, was that when the time comes and I’m ready to go back to work/can’t justify not working anymore, what the hell am I going to do? Will I have the skills and knowledge still to do another job? Will I have to retrain? Would I ever get a decent salary like I did before? The questions are never ending when I get going!

In hindsight, I look back on my time in people management and can honestly and ashamedly say that I was never really sympathetic towards women coming back off maternity and again, if I’m being really honest, I would read an application from a mum who was looking to get back into work after time off raising a family and I would be filled with apprehension about how much time she’s going to want off for sick kids or half term.

It’s sad but it’s true and if I ever go back into people management, those mum’s will be top of my list to employ because if they are raising a family of young kids and are brave enough to risk starting a new job then they deserve a medal!

I’ve been a full-time dad for not far off two years now, and I can honestly say I have no regrets and the decision was right for me personally and for us as a family. Hopefully that is evident in the strong relationship I feel I have with the boys and how they have settled and grown so much.


There is definitely a downside to not working! Regular adult conversation is scarce (although that’s also a blessing sometimes as I’m not really a lover of chitty-chat for the sake of it), some weeks feel like groundhog day [most weeks] and worst of all I think I might actually becoming dumber!?!

I refer you back to the start of this blog and my rambling about Love Island… LOVE ISLAND! ON WHAT PLANET DID I START WATCHING LOVE ISLAND ON? I’m seriously addicted to it, I sit shouting (mostly abusive things) at a TV, about random dimwits and sexual deviants (actually LOLing writing that)… there is something seriously wrong with that. Do I plan to watch it until the end and then probably the next series… HELL to the YES!

I apologise if that really offends anyone, but if it does, then you too need to ask yourself the question… ‘Has watching Love Island actually made me dumber?’

Alright, so I can’t really blame Love Island for how I’m feeling right now, but I am definitely feeling like there is a dark(ish) cloud over my head when I think about working again and the ‘shade‘ is cold!

Shade is a reference from Ru Paul’s Drag Race… which I am equally addicted to… I really do watch some trash don’t I? 🤔🤣

I need to go back to work… but I’ll save that thought for another day! 🙈🤣🤪

Firstly, you watched Ru Paul’s Drag Race when you were a high flying Operations Director and long before the boys were a thought. 🙄 Your love of trashy TV is not because you’ve dumbed down, you just have really bad taste… hehe🤣🤣

As for Love Island… I feel responsible for that. 🙈 This season is pants, the last two were the best, you missed a good summer there my friend. Think I started watching it when I first had Fin-Bob, because there was a part of me that was mourning my twenties. Not that I was ever like that… chance would be a fine thing 🤭

We were totally Bar Med’s answer to Love Island, what you on about? 🤣 (That’s the pub we used to work in back in the Hugh Baird College days) and yes, I do believe it was you who made me watch Love Island this year!

All your thoughts and feeling are completely normal and something every parent goes through when having time away from work to raise a family. When I had my first, I was ready to return to work a few months after, because like you I missed the adult conversation, the challenge of managing people and just the general feeling of doing something other than being a mum. When I returned after twelve months, on part time hours albeit, I quickly realised I wasn’t missing out on anything, and couldn’t wait to get started with my second baby. 🤫

What no one tells you, when your raising your family, is even though you have plenty to do on a daily basis, the tasks can soon get mundane and it is like ground hog day sometimes. With my first, there were times I felt incredibly lonely, because most days it was just me and baby. Then when Gaz got home from work, I used to persecute him with a million and one questions about his day, when all he’d want to do was chill out naturally. When the weekends came I would be climbing the walls to get out for the day, because I was sick of being at home, and Gaz wanted to just spend time at home because he’d been out all week. Finding that balance was hard and testing at times for sure.

But lets get back to the points you have raised… Feeling ‘Dumbed Down’. Again, been there bought the T – shirt. It’s not that you’ve dumbed down, you’ve just completely unwound from the stress and anxiety work brings, not to mention your probably feeling a little out of touch with things other than your family life.

Discriminating against working mums… shame on you Eddy ha!

I only secretly discriminated, equal opp’s got in my way of doing what I really wanted haha

My advice, take it slow, find a job that you will enjoy and not take home at the end of the day; and never forget the job may be part time hours but I can guarantee its a ‘full time’ persons work load. As for money, you’re in a privileged position to not have to think about money and your wage for the moment. Take advantage of that, like we know you do… sorry couldn’t help myself. Find something that gives you a good work/life balance.

And the ‘bum’ jokes… you encourage them ALWAYS… time to stop, and I will ease off too. 😘

Before you jump in with both feet, read my up and coming blog, where I’ll share with you my experience of throwing work into the mix of being a parent, domestic goddess, blogger, loving partner… I could go on and on… Too many hats.

Errr domestic goddess? I’m pretty sure Gaz would have something to say about that! Thanks for your advice old chum, I shall look forward to your blog… I think in my next blog I will explore and share with you the different ideas I’ve got… it’ll make a great read I’m sure haha

Gaz is the cook and bottle wash, I’m the laundry and housekeeper – equal opps and all that 😉

Back to Love Island… Georgia is letting herself down with this new tude, she needs to move on quickly, Josh style!

No way! I wanted her to rip him a new one! He got off very lightly!

And Alex… He needs to leave, this is not the show for him. This new found attitude he has with women is not good. Dr Alex has left and been replaced by Dr Strange… Charlie was a great match but he treated her like a ‘boy’, he needs to go!! 🤣🤣

Totes agree babes!

Turns out I’m not the only blogger out there who loves Ru Paul! Hooray for Deborah over at Country Heart & Home!

Lucy At Home

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  • Dave - Dad’s Turn

    Agree it’s a really difficult step to take but so much reward. Although never felt a moment of guilt about being a kept man. Feel I’m making up for it in toddler tantrums… Also glad you had a change of heart on reflection about parents coming back to work too! #blogcrush

    • Phil @ ParentingPhils

      You make a valid point there Dave!!! I do make up for it in tantrums 🤣 I’m totally going to use that!!!

  • Lucy At Home

    I’ve been a stay at home mum for 7 years and when I left, I think I was very naive about how easy it would be to get back into work. I figured I was a high-flyer at the top of my game when I left and I would come back as that too, after all I’m the same person with the same capabilities (MORE actually after my intense training as a mum of two!) and qualifications that I had before…

    Alas, every job I have applied for has been met with a resounding no, not that I’m actively looking, it’s just when things have come up, and I’ve figured it’s worth a shot now the kids are getting a bit older. It is demoralising. I feel like I would be a better employee than I ever was before after the things I’ve learnt at home, but apparently society feels I have “dumbed down” after being here.

    It’s one thing to CHOOSE to be at home because you want to care for your kids. It feels quite different to be TRAPPED here because society doesn’t think I have anything left to offer the world of employment…!

    But I’m happy at home for now – I love being a full time mama and it gives me time to build my blogging business. (sorry for the long, rambling comment!) #blogcrush

    • Phil @ ParentingPhils

      Hi Lucy, TRAPPED is the word… now I’m not actively looking either but those anxities about when the day comes are real and you’ve demonstrated exactly why. There is definitely a covert discriminative attitude in the work place towards FT parents, which I was guilty of!

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