How embarrassing, an introduction! I’m Ian, husband to Lyssa (Instagram's @lyssamcbean), Dad to Lainey and Feah. This is my first (and probably only) ever blog, letting you in on a little bit of what life as a Dad is like for me.
Its 4.30am on a Monday morning and the last thing anyone wants to do is get out of their bed. But here I am, pressing snooze for the third time and getting a not so gentle dig in the ribs! The usual morning routine ensues; teeth, toilet, let the dog out, breakfast and standing in the kitchen wondering what you went in for. Then I sneak upstairs to have a peek in on my girls who are fast asleep, which is good for their Mum; but I’m kind of hoping they wake up so I get to give them a kiss and have a chat about whatever they want. I whisper goodbye and head off to work.
I work away during the week and sometimes longer, building mountain footpaths from stone all over Scotland and Ireland. I love the job and it takes me to some of the most beautiful places in our wee part of the world, keeps me fit so I can keep up with two girls that have the energy of one hundred puppies and I am not sitting my ass in front of a computer which is good!
Obviously, there are huge drawbacks to working away! I miss my girls more than anything while I’m away and missing large parts of their growing up is one of the worst parts of being away. While I’m at work its long hours in remote areas with little or no phone signal. As soon as work is done its back to the digs for phone calls and food – the first call is straight on the phone to speak to my girls. Unfortunately, this is usually 10 minutes before their bedtime and the call can go one of a few ways, either the “Daddy guess what we’ve done today” chat or the “I’m not talking” or simply take the phone from their Mum and staring the thousand mile stare at me then placing the phone on a shelf or behind a toy and then they just bugger off! I’m not going to lie, it’s tough when they are like that and sometimes its hard not to take it personally or not to be a little bit pissed off. I have to remind myself that its their bedtime and their Mum is going to have to deal with it until they are sleeping.
I feel hugely guilty at times working away from home and often think how my amazing wife does it. Two kids to get ready in the morning, clothed, fed and watered, a dog to walk. She also looks after two additional girls as her job as well as our own – it would drive me nuts! But she does everything with such passion, love, care and patience.
When my day is done on the mill and I get back to the accommodation I can switch off and go for a shower, make dinner, all at my own pace, Lyssa however, hardly ever gets that. I can imagine her at the house after a day of whinging kids, getting them to bed and then having to get up with them when they wake up every few hours. She will think I have it pretty good! I can go for a pint, have an early night if I want, things like that. But, she gets to spend her whole day with the two amazing little chicks that we made – and she gets that every day. I guess we are a bit jealous of each other!
Finally Friday arrives and I pull up outside the house in the van. If the girls see me they come running out of the house in whatever they are wearing (whether its something or nothing) with huge smiles on their faces. It really is the best time of the week and knowing I have the whole weekend with them, well it can’t get better than that!
Weekends are always a blast and we try to spend as much time as a family as possible. The problem with a busy weekend is that it passes so quickly but I love every second of it! It can be difficult to catch up with people sometimes. I work with the same guys every week but we get on really well and have a good laugh. I don’t see my buddies too often just to chill but that’s my own fault. I feel guilty going away for a night at the weekend when I have been away all week, which I have been told is silly but its hard to shrug it off. I do sometimes get jobs closer to home and when I do, it kind of feels like a holiday! Getting to have dinner as a family, give the girls baths and read them bedtime stories is amazing.
All too soon it is Monday morning again and its back to work but we’ve made new memories together as a family and for the girls which is the most important thing.
So I don’t know if you read my wifes blog but it got me thinking and I wanted to show you the flip side to the story.
Thanks for reading this and apologies for it not being as eloquent as previous blogs but I do move rocks for a living.