Opinion with Matthew Munson: It’s all change with work and adventures planned for the summer holidays

Matthew and Bryan

I’ve never been one for high-powered jobs, working as a CEO for a bank or law firm – I’m not even remotely qualified, for a start. I like jobs that allow me to help people or focus on my local community – being kind doesn’t require you to be the leader of a business.

I don’t write full-time (although I sometimes wish I could) and I “gave up” full-time work when I became a father. I know I’ll be able to do more in the future, but being a dad is far more important – and when the pandemic first hit, I had intended to give up work entirely for a year or two while I focused on my son and keeping him safe and well.

It didn’t quite work out like that, as I had a job that only needed a few hours of my time, but it was enough for me. I could drop Bryan off to school, work from home, and be there to pick Bryan up at 3 o’clock; it’s always been the best of both worlds. Bryan never really followed my career with much intensity, but he liked the fact I was always there for him.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by a local business and asked if I would be interested in working for them – part-time and working from an office. I haven’t worked from an office in about 16 months, and I was a little nervous, I don’t mind admitting – working from home has its charms and flexibility – and then I realised that I also missed adult company; being with people also had a benefit. Bryan is the centre of my world, and every moment I spend with him is a joy, but I also like to have a conversation with another adult about … well, anything – the state of the lift on Viking beach, a bit of history, or even what you did last night.

So I am returning to an office from Monday for a few hours each day; Bryan is very excited for me, bless him. On Friday, as we walked home from school, I told him that I had finished my last day at the “old” job; he gave me a hug, told me that was “brilliant”, and then asked if I had a snack for him. I couldn’t really ask for much more, could I?

Talking of Bryan, he has done himself very proud this week; he had his school report sent home, which I was so proud of, and his sports day. Parents couldn’t go to the sports day this year, sadly, and I missed it – two years ago, I went to Bryan’s first sports day at his primary school, and he’d never had anyone watching him at an event before; it breaks my heart to think of that, and the joy on that little boy’s face when I turned up with his nan and granddad to watch him was possibly one of the greatest reactions I’ll ever see. I desperately want to see him next year before he goes off to secondary school – which is another of life’s big challenges, but one I’m not entirely ready to think about just yet.

We go into the summer holidays very excited about the rest; it’ll be nice to change our routine for a few weeks, but children like routine more than we appreciate sometimes. I’ve been very careful to give Bryan a sense of routine for the holiday; not structuring every single day like a military operation, but a general sense of when he’ll be going to holiday camp and when we’ll have days open to adventures – both of us like adventures, and I can’t wait to spend the next six weeks with my boy doing just that.

3 Comments

  1. Good luck in your new job Matthew, you are a wonderful father and will be a credit to any work environment.
    You don’t need any qualifications for kindness if you did you would have an A +++. Good health and happiness to you and Bryan.

  2. I love your articles Matthew- I’ve got a child of a similar age and you remind me to focus on the small things that kids need, and the attachment. It pained me to think of your son not having had anyone to watch him – how sad. I wish my kids knew how lucky they were that it’s a given in their life. I’m so glad Bryan has got you now, and you him. Children in long term foster placements with no real likelihood of adoption dream of people like you x

  3. Wow it’s the first chance I’ve had to catch your piece and it is great, agree totally with Bill and Ramsgate Mum.Sounds as though you and Bryan will really make the most of your holiday time together with lots of adventures, even if showery on some future days you will make the most of every precious moment together. Is Granddad Nigel by any chance? Keep safe everyone.

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