There is a group of whom I am a member that finds itself at sea when school cranks to life every year. This group of teachers have spent the summer, such as it is, also with children, typically in smaller groups than they see daily. We usually see the months of summer out without drawing attention to ourselves and are silently glad when Friday comes and there is a possible chance of escape. We are the Dads who stay at home. Some of course are forced into this position, some of us choose it willingly,the route into it doesn’t matter. But one things possibly does. When mothers feel that pang as their children head off to childcare or formal school there is a readymade support group of mother whole feel that hurt too, the separation from the kids can be shared. For the Dad that support group isn’t readily there. There’s no recognition formally or informally of a father who takes the role of carer to his children be it for the summer or all year round. No parental leave, no father and baby groups.
So when the kids head out the door or indeed I head off to teach other people’s kids I feel awful. I miss my kids every minute, while I cherish every minute I spend at home each summer and realise how lucky I am to be able to do that and be paid, every time late August swings around I regret every angry word of the summer or every moment I was too lazy or tired to finish colouring the rocket we made out of a huge box. I’m better for having my kids, I wish I didn’t have to let them go all the time.
ps this is what we learned to sing in the car this summer