Date Published: 24-May-2011
It goes without saying that I’d take a bullet for my children, but taking a day off when they’re sick? Well, that’s a different kettle of fish altogether.
It’s not that I don’t love them with all of my heart or that I don’t cherish every minute I spend with them – but even unconditional love has to come with certain conditions.
And work has never just been somewhere you go to earn a living – it’s also an escape valve, without which you’d be very likely to explode.
But now the enlightened Brits are floating the idea of "shared parenting" – giving fathers the chance to spend more time off with their new born babies – and in a heartbeat, a million men feel the blood drain out of their brains.
Because the office isn’t an impediment to being a good father – it’s a pre-requisite.
The days spent at home minding the children are infinitely more relentless than the hours spent in the office; at work, you have an hour for lunch, you might sneak a coffee break and, during quieter moments, you might even have time to check on the internet to see what’s going on in the world around you.
At home, the world can revolve around nappy changes, cleaning up baby gic, remembering to keep the stair-gate shut, trying to avoid shooting headfirst through the front door on a misplaced roller-skate, or separating sparring siblings.
You might have to come up with a more comprehensive menu than Gordon Ramsey, because one of them doesn’t eat onions, the other doesn’t like chops; one prefers chips, the other pasta – and the only point of consensus is that none will eat vegetables.
I wouldn’t for a minute hide my undying admiration for anyone who spends their day rearing children – without patronising anyone, it’s an infinitely harder day and more rewarding in terms of achievement.
But that’s one of the reasons I’m delighted to have the perfectly legitimate excuse of a job.
Obviously the main reason I’m glad to have a job is that I love it and I get paid for it – but sometimes it can also be a handy reason to hold up your hands, shrug your shoulders and mutter ‘what can I do’ when domestic matters come to the fore.
There are many stay-at-home dads who wouldn’t swap places if you paid them the average weekly wage of a Manchester City footballer, and there are even more who share equal responsibility for childminding.
Equally, I’d hazard a guess that there are many more who would profess to wishing they could spend more time at home – but if the chance ever presented itself, they’d be gone quicker than an Anglo-Irish banker off to the United States.
In a previous existence, I worked in a daily newspaper than produced an edition for St Stephen’s Day.
While most of it was filled with stuff we’d prepared earlier, this did necessitate a small handful of sad people going into the office on Christmas Day to duly report on what the Pope said to the faithful in St Peter’s, how many lunatics jumped into the freezing waters around our shores for charity, and a few calls to the emergency services to see if anyone had suffered fatal mishap over the holiday season.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.