There are many joys of ‘being a dad’, not least, the joy of watching your offspring growing, learning and becoming a young adult. The other joy, for me at least, has been the honour of looking after the children of friends.
As a stay-at-home father, I have had the pleasure of looking after several children over the years, sometimes all at once – which is a handful as one might expect, but nevertheless, enjoyable.
And so it is the youngest of these children, who is about to celebrate her 11th birthday wishes to hold a party – but no ordinary party, no. She wants a cooking lesson for her and her friends. Naturally, she asks if I would like to hold a cookery masterclass at her house and of course, I say yes: how could I possibly refuse?
In all honesty, I’m absolutely flattered. An eleven year-old wants me to help celebrate her birthday. What more could anyone wish for? Being a parent is one thing. Being a stay-at-home dad, has been and is, an absolute pleasure and I cannot think of anything more rewarding especially when the children of other parents ask for you.
I have been in a privileged position where I have been able to work from home as well as look after my own child and the children of others. And so I say to all dads, if you have the chance, the opportunity to stay at home no matter how briefly, seize it. It may well be daunting at first, but believe me, if you spend time with your child, playing, getting involved, not just with the mundane aspects of education but really getting to know what they like and participating, they will appreciate it and more to the point, so will you.
It is after all, the greatest and most rewarding job in the world, which money cannot buy.