When I think about the years I lived with my husband and the man who was supposed to be a father I remember that my family – first of all my mother – always had to be my backup plan.
I already told you, that my mother got me and my daughter home from hospital and my mother went with me to the pediatrician the day after that. My mother was the one who came when I had my severe depression during weaning and she was the one who called the clinic to find out what to do. Mr. M. just went to work. nYes, I established his line of work and I think I made it clear that I can understand the way his job works but only to a certain degree, what he did and still does was just complete abandonment.
During my pregnancy it slowly turned out that Mr. M. was just on his way to find a regular contractor. All the years we worked together he always only had work if I had work because I always took him as my camera operator. He had no outside clients only the ones my little business created. So yes, colleagues of mine would still be fulfilling the orders at hand and do it with him as a camera operator but he had no clients of his own. That changed thankfully at the very right time and soon he had regular bookings and a relatively steady income. (What was that about being lucky and not even seeing it)
It was still the news business and he still had to rush of when they called him but of course there where also planed projects and he was booked ahead. I cannot emphasize enough that I knew that and I did not – not ever – expect him to have any kind of regular working hours or anything but I also cannot emphasize enough that you are not going to loose your job or risk to live in poverty if you tell your client twice or even thrice a month that you don’t have time!
On our daughter’s first Christmas he took a job! I was alone with my family and without my husband.
The same on New Year’s Eve.
His parents came to visit, he left me alone with them and went to work. When I was ill he never stayed at home for one day and helped me I always had to call my mother. One time I was sick through the entire night, in the morning I lay on the sofa and I was wrecked, I was puking all the time – he seriously asked me if I would drive our daughter to daycare!
Ah yes…daycare… when she was around 1,5 years old I got her a place at daycare for 2 days a week and later 3 days. This was my job and my job alone. He never ever drove her in the mornings. He stayed in bed or went to the gym. I am not talking about the days he had to get to work very early I am talking about all the other times he could have easily taken her before his job or even when he had nothing to do. He did not once get the idea to say something along the lines of: „I have to get to work later tomorrow I can drive her.“ or even „Okay, your puking and you are very obviously not well, I can drive her.“
The drive there took about 15 Minutes if traffic was weird. When I was ill I had to ask my mother if she could help me out – every single time. Because he did not once commit to stay with our daughter.
„Yes, I can stay at home but if they call me I have to leave“ – for me that meant I could not be reassured, I needed a backup. It also means that he was completely aware that there was always another person on call waiting for the possibility that he would not be there. That did not only apply for me being ill but for absolutely everything that concerned me. Appointments, jobs, seeing a friend now and then….everything I ever needed or wanted to do required my mother as backup. So yeah… in theory there was a father to my child and a husband and two grown ups to manage a family but in reality there was only me and the people who where willing to play that game for my sake.