Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Being a parent... and recent events

I’ve not had much to blog this week really. Firstly I’m headlong into the new job now and trying to get my head around it. A colleague from Ireland congratulated me yesterday when he was visiting and said “So what’s the new role all about then?” I answered back with the spiel I’ve been using but then said “But to be honest I really haven’t a clue at the moment I’m trying to head my head above water”. He clapped me on the back and said I was the only honest person he’d asked that question of in his visit. The good news is however that the new role has some interesting bits to it, I’ve seemed to pick up some of our High Performance Computing bit – Grids and all that stuff. Not something I’ve done much with before but of great interest, what these Computational Chemists and Biologists do is very clever you know…

As well as work being a lot busier home life seems to be a bit at 100mph as well. Last weekend we dashed to Wales to drop my son off back at uni – 600 miles in 2 days takes it out of you. I was then ill the night of the return and really only just feeling better now I don’t know whether it was combination of stress, tiredness, some bug or what but I definitely didn’t feel right for a few days.

Also at the very back of last week my wife and I went to my daughters parents evening. I think if it was me I’d organise the things differently but the set up seems the same from school to school doesn’t it. You have a bunch of short appointments with the various subject teachers spread out. Of course the timing, queuing etc. all goes to pot early on and it always seems to be some undignified ruby scrum at times to get to the Latin mistress before dashing up two flights of stairs to find the ICT guy before you miss your slot. Anyway the overwhelming report was that our daughter is a “very capable” student. “Well you probably know that anyway”. Well yes we do but when it’s your kid it is sometimes difficult to step back and objectively review her abilities, results etc. It did make me think though. She is very keen on going into something like theatrical makeup currently but then her grades in Science and Languages makes you wonder if she might not miss out on other opportunities if she looks to leave classic academic studies at 16. I don’t know I want her to be happy and do well but sometimes guiding without being biased etc. is extremely difficult isn’t it. Anyway it’s still a year off yet making a decision on the start of her GCSEs and that’s the first point this gets serious doesn’t it. I remember at 16 I left school and was looking for work and my Dad had one of the most serious conversations I ever remember having with him where he pointed out the opportunities I might be missing if I did take that route. As a result I returned to school to start my A levels late but that led to college and the profession I’m now in, and I can’t complain about how that has gone at all on reflection. She needs to find her own route but we need to be there with the guiding advice I suppose. You know when a kid is a baby and it constantly demands food, clothing, warmth, affection, attention you think to yourself “roll on the years after this” but they are more difficult as a parent aren’t they? I read other people’s blogs who have grown up kids who’ve moved on, started families etc. and I still see the same concern, care and tension between advising, guiding, helping and interfering, bullying, cajoling… not easy being a parent is it.


  1. Parents' evenings are a nightmare. Dashing from one end of school to the other and then nobody sticking to appointments but reverting to 'I was here first' stuff.

    AS for careers, I'm not sure that any route guarantees a job. Better to do something you're interested in and will work hard to be a success at maybe. (Sorry, Younger Son's experiences in the job market have left me cynical.)

  2. interesting post. Still at the 18 month stage myself, and looking forward to more of the interaction that is starting to come my way.

    Read an article the other day on parenting, it said initially a bay is very stressfu because you dont know why it's crying, then it said the terrible twos were a challenge, then it said something else about 8-10, then it was teenage problems.... i thought f**k me, is any of it any good??! I do hope so!!


  3. @liz - You are probably right there Liz, I'm probably an old stick in the mud about jobs, not doubt encouraged by my family background - Dockyard through and through and even though it was closing in the 80s I didn't go in there that "job for life" mentality is still in me a bit despite all the evidence that there is precious little loyalty from the employer to the employee these days.

    @P - there are loads of good bits... just that once you are on the ride there certainly isn't an early exit :-)

  4. No not easy, but lots of good bits..... apart from parents evenings obviously, they bring out the sharp elbows and rugby tackle tack ticks in the best of us!!