Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Still Get the Blues

I wasn’t a very good house dad last week.

If you’d just happened to drop by, not that anyone ever does, but that’s another story or maybe it contributes to this one. In any event, if you had just dropped in, you’d have probably found the house in a complete state. I wasn’t picking up after Messy James at the regular intervals usually required. I wasn’t diligently washing and hanging and folding. I wasn’t really interested in making cook-book meals, luckily we had a few frozen left-over offerings. Non-essential errands were not being run and in reality I was probably only administering the essentials for life. And as you may have noticed, I was even neglecting my blog

So, what was the problem? I guess you could say that I was a bit blue, a bit depressed even.

Everyone gets the blues from time to time. I used to around report writing time and I would suffer from BIG TIME BLUES at the end of the Christmas holidays, when the back to school ads would appear during my summer sports viewing and they would taunt me in their reminder of what was awaiting us teachers. Perversely, I’m sure those same ads would give rise to the totally opposite emotion to at-home-parents, but alas, I still have a few years until I can experience the other side of that particular coin.

I’ve given it some thought and have concluded that in my line of work, getting the blues is probably a luxury that only us at-home-parents of one child can afford. Any more than one and obviously you need to step up to the plate more. I think having older children might make you snap out of it quicker too, I’m sure they’d be able to more easily read your mood. So, I was fortunate that Young James being only a year old allowed me to indulge myself and with the usual playing and feeding and nappy changing and smiling and talking, he seemed to be oblivious to my melancholy.

So what was the cause of my blues? Well, I’m a creature of habit and routine (anal some might even say) and the weekend before my routine was broken. Kylee and I had a fantastic few days away in Melbourne while my parents were caring for James. Kylee and I enjoyed each others company as we discovered Melbourne together. We caught up with dear friends, enjoyed good food and found our way into funky little bars that sold $17 cocktails. Now, don’t get me wrong, we missed our son, even discussing how soon was too soon to ring home to check on him, but at the same time the weekend was the complete opposite to every other normal day for the previous year. We slept in, we stayed up late, and we weren’t listening out for phantom cries. We were enjoying some time-out.

And, so there you have it, the cause of my blues, like a Sunday afternoon after you’ve had a great Saturday night out and the reality of the next day being Monday strikes you down … HARD … and all you feel like doing is lying on the lounge and watching TV to take your mind away from real world realities. My Sunday afternoon just lasted for a week.

I understand that weekends away are to be enjoyed as a break and of course if that was a usual life, then you would be searching for an alternative from that …working might even appear attractive. The break away gave My Sweet and me a chance to focus on each other and even when I was being dragged from clothes shop to clothes shop I was enjoying just being in her company. I wasn’t sharing Kylee with the routine of life, with work, with tiredness, with chores and as bad as this might sound, with James either.

Another thing, I’ve always been a person who appreciates the company of friends and when I’m in their company, I’ve been known to talk … and talk … and talk. The weekend away provided me with that company and I think that returning to a house of less conversation has been difficult.

So, the big question, have I snapped out of my funk? And the answer is; I think so. At least I’ve returned to the routine of life this week and not neglecting my blog is a good sign too.


  1. I'm wondering if the two issues aren't related. Speaking as someone who in the last year or so has spent a lot of time sitting at home I find that it is the lack of human contact that can bring your mood down quite a lot. If the only conversation you are having most days is with your wife before she leaves for work and after she comes home then you probably need to get out more, or have more people over?

    I'm assuming that there is a group for people in a similar sort of situation to yourself, stay at home dad's with young children, or if not a mother's group who are willing to accept a male into their midst? Is James old enough to go to the park, maybe take him there and at least get out of the house for an hour or two? A change of scenery can help too.

    Get in contact with old friends, skype it up occasionally with mates in other states/countries etc.

    All the best!

  2. hey beno don't sweat the small stuff. we all get our 'Lucy Jorden' moments. right now i am happy with getting dinner on the table.

  3. seano is right tho, is there a parents/mums group that you could go to. i just scanned your posts and i couldn't see mention of one. i wasn't going to go to mine, i'm not sure if it was because i thought that it was woman's space and that it ought to be respected as such and that i ought to leave it alone, or i thought that i wouldn't need it, or that they might be boring. i know that i felt all of those things and more when i first started taking the hbomb to parents group, but none of my fears were true. we only have one obvious thing in commen, but it has been a fine thing to talk about all those physical and cognitive markers our children tick off under the cover of piss and poo jokes and good natured dowry negotiations.


  4. Thanks guys. You're right Mr dylwah, I haven't joined a group because invariably they're preceeded with 'mother's' and I have the same issues that you mentioned as your worries. Perhaps a New Year's resolution might get me other the mental hurdle I'm going to have to make. I used to get out for a daily walk but as the year's become hotter this has gone by the wayside.

    Thanks for the comments and advice.