Thursday, February 19, 2009

Househusband and Writer or Writer and Househusband?

I had a call from BBC Radio Leicester this morning and ended up doing a short phone interview. They were looking for someone to comment on what it is like to be a househusband - following on from some recent comment by a politician.

Well, I was a househusband a few years ago. And I wrote an article about it that was published in the Times. Back then, I called myself a "househusband and a writer". But since then my children have both gone to school and I spent less and less time looking after the house and more and more time being a writer. I came to the point of calling myself a "writer and a househusband." And now, just a "writer".

Perhaps that Times article (which I believe is reprinted somewhere on the web by a group of people arguing that men should not be househusbands!) is the reason I get contacted from time to time to speak about the subject.

So here is what I remember:

I got lots of time with my children. Precious and irreplaceable time.

I found many of the services aimed at helping mothers of young children were hard for me to access. Not that I was barred from taking part in 'parent and toddler' events. But I was always the only man there and things would clearly have been easier for everyone if I hadn't been present.

I found myself somewhat isolated as a result.

But it was a hugely creative and formative time for me and was the period in which I emerged as a novelist.

The day my youngest child started school - beyond which I had no excuse for not seeking a real job - was the day my first novel was accepted for publication.

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