Thursday, January 17, 2013


A few years ago I was employed by one of the many subsidiary companies of one of the big banks. I was in the Small Change Team. Contrary to how that sounds, I didn't spend my days counting coppers, though it may have been more use if I had. Alas, no. The Small Change Team was supposed to implement process improvements and whatnot, to make the business more efficient and cost less to run.

Eventually, the powers that be decided that the best change they could make was to make eighteen of the twenty-two members of the Change Department redundant. Including me.

No worries, it was a terrible job, and I miss it not one iota.

But it did introduce me, formally, to people's perceptions of change, which is sort of interesting.

Change is inevitable. We all know that, no matter how much we may dislike it (and some people dislike it a lot), change will happen and we are largely powerless to do anything about it.

Next week will see a big change for me, my wife and my baby.

My baby, who is already over nine months old. How did that happen? I have a photo blu-tacked to the cupboard next to my desk at work. It's Cam, just hours after he was born, wrapped in hospital blankets, cradled in the bend of my arm, tiny and screaming. I am looking down at him and smiling. It's a dangerous photo to have in the office, because every time I look at it I remember the swell of emotion fuelling that smile on my face, and it makes my eyes well up with tears.

My life changed that day, and it has changed every day since.

But, next week is a biggy.

Mrs L returns to work, part time. I reduce my hours at work, meaning a day at home with Cam each week. Mrs L's parents will look after him for two full days each week. The final day of care will be taken care of by a local nursery.

For me, this is a positive change. I'm not a great fan of my job, but I am a great fan of spending time with my son.

For my wife, I suspect, it will be harder to get used to the idea. Maternity leave hasn't been the soft-focus, warm and fuzzy utopia she may have liked it to be, but she's happy and comfortable being at home now.

We are immensely lucky to have Cam's grandparents close at hand. He loves them and they love him. They will provide him with the same care and attention as we would. Plus, they're a whole lot cheaper than a nursery.

The most important person in all of this is the cheeky faced little boy who now welcomes me home from work every day with a beautiful chuckle and an excited wave. Somewhere in that little head he'll be processing the changes and deciding how to deal with them. Will he feel it's acceptable for both me and my wife to leave him with other people on a regular basis? Will he still feel as loved, as cherished, as central to everything that we think, feel and do?

Nine months old and he'll be going through his first big change (well, there was a pretty major one when he was born, but he seems to have coped alright with that), and we're the ones putting him through it.

I'm nervous. I think we all are. Next week feels important and exceptional. But, soon enough, it will just feel normal.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I hope it goes well for you, I think you'll probably find the change affects you both more than him though :)

    1. Cheers, you're probably right, I'm sure he's more adaptable than we are!

  2. I hope it goes well, sounds like a great arrangement. Going back to work was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but now with a confident, happy toddler and my 3 days of adult time life is really good!

    1. Thank you, that's encouraging :-) Confident and happy is what we want, and hopefully the socialising at nursery will help him down that road.

      Thanks for reading :-)

  3. Sounds like you've got a wonderful arrangement there and great that your work accommodated the change - I've found it astonishing how much L has thrived with different situations and people looking after her. I hope Cam thrives in the same way happy little chap x

    1. Yep, it's great that we were able to work something out. Just need to prove to them that it's workable now, or in six months time we'll have some serious reworking to do!

  4. Sounds to me like you have found a great balance of care for Cam, I am sure he will thrive on it. Wishing you all well xx

  5. I think it will be wonderful for all of you. Mr B has one day a week at home with W while I work and they both love it, especially now he is getting bigger. It is really nice for them both to have time together without me and they do stuff that W wouldn't normally do with me. He also spends two days at nursery which is great for development I think, there are loads of new toys, activities, they learn to share and make friends. I hope it will also make starting school less daunting for him when the time comes. Either my folks or Mr B's folks also look after him every other Saturday as we both work and they have a great time. I think it will help Cam develop an even stronger bond with his Grandparents that hopefully he will grow up to treasure.

    You sound like you have it all covered and I think it will be great. I understand the nerves though. Change is scary x