The House Husband Ch. 01byfawguy88©
Chapter 1 The Decline Starts
It was a crisp January winters day, the day I was made redundant. As I cleared my desk and prepared to leave my place of employment for the last time, the sense of betrayal left me angry and confused.
Angry, because I had just been informed that I was surplus to requirements, redundant, let go. Call it what you will, I was out of work for the first time in my career to date.
Confused, because I had worked for the company for the ten years. In fact I had worked for them since I first qualified as an accountant. I had no inkling that the company was about to be taken over by a bigger firm based in the City and until about an hour ago, I was working towards a long promised promotion.
I was informed by my boss, that because of the present economic downturn he had no option but to accept the takeover. He was sorry, but the new company had no requirement for a locally based accountant as all the aspects of my role were conducted centrally at their Head Office and there was sufficient staff there to handle my workload.
I left the building in a bit of a haze and got into my BMW 5 Series, not that I would have it for much longer. It was a company car and I was graciously told to keep the car until the end of the month. I almost told them where to stick their car, when common sense prevailed, I would need a car to get to job interviews. I was confident that I would get another job fairly quickly and I had the redundancy package to tide us over until then.
I must backtrack a little to introduce myself. My name is Gordon Wilson. I am 34 years old, stand 5ft 7" tall and I am slightly overweight for my age mainly because one does not get enough exercise sitting behind a desk every day. I also have to wear spectacles to see details on the computer. My wife, Anne, on the other hand is a perfect Size 12 and is slightly taller than me at 5ft 8". She has short blonde hair still has the figure she had before the advent of our two children, John aged five and Pamela who is just four.
We had met at college where I studied Accountancy and Anne studied Journalism. Our relationship developed along the usual lines, dating followed quickly by consummation. Sexually we were both fairly well experienced. I admitted to having four or five previous partners and Anne only to two, but both were both her relationships were on a longer term basis. We were married twelve months after we qualified and both quickly found jobs.
Anne worked for a magazine as a feature writer until our first child was due. John was born and Anne settled quickly into motherhood. A few months later, we discussed her returning to work and she was adamant that she wanted to remain at home and look after John. Anyway, she said with a smile, "John needs a little brother or sister for company."
So it was that ten months later our daughter Pamela came into the world.
Anne is a magician, not only does she look after our children, she still finds time to take care of my needs, plus the shopping, housekeeping and all the myriad of things that I had little or no knowledge of before the events I am about to relate unfold. What really amazed me though, was that despite all the aforementioned, she still managed to find time to work as a freelance writer for the same magazine she was employed by before we started our family. This job suited her perfectly as she could pick and choose her working hours and balance this with her other commitments.
I, on the other hand was a bit of a chauvinist and I did a have a tendency to take all that she did for us for granted. Sure, I did look after the garden and major repair and decoration issues of our household, but as I was soon to discover that the balance was way out of kilter.
When I got home, my wife Anne was just returning from the school run to pick up our two kids. She was a surprised to see me home so early and was as angry as I was to hear about my redundancy.
After dinner, when the kids were asleep, we sat down to look at the options. I explained the redundancy payments would give us sufficient funds to keep our present life style, with a few economies here and there, for about 3 months. I have always been an optimist, a glass half full type of person so I told her that I was confident of securing another job quickly, especially with my experience and the references I would be given.
The next day I set about job hunting. I updated my Curriculum Vitae and started exploring the Situations Vacant Web sites. The first day, I found five vacancies within reasonable travelling distance of home and sent of my applications. I did not want to move away from our present location as both our parents lived locally and were getting on a bit in years.
The days turned into weeks and I was still scanning the papers, applying for any job remotely resembling my qualifications without any success. I continued to trawl the web looking for employment and even visited the local Job Centre and applied for Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support and any other of the state sponsored assistance I could qualify for. It came as no surprise, that I would not receive much until I had expended all our current cash and savings. The interview with the Job Centre left me in no doubt that they could do little to help me get work, unless I wanted manual or low paid clerical jobs. I attended and Executive Outplacement Seminar, brushed up on my interview skills and circulated my CV to all the major employment agencies, all the time trying to keep positive about my prospects.
After about two months, not a single interview and precious few applications even replied to, I started to get depressed and worried. Our sex life had deteriorated to about once a week and Anne was getting fed up with my listlessness and lack of support. She started to nag at me to do more around the house, help her with the chores and so on. We had a heart to heart talk and I promised to be of more assistance.
I shunned contact with friends I had known for years, I just could not face their questions about how my job hunting was going. I started drinking more and more and betting on the horses.
Naturally, I did not win and quickly ran up a considerable debt. Anne found out of course because I was stupid enough to use our credit card to place the bets. We had an almighty row and I had to promise never to bet again. In a way I was glad she had found out as the guilt had been lying heavy on my chest.
Up until this point, I had controlled the family finances, providing Anne with a monthly allowance for running the household and a separate sum for her personal clothing. As part of the settlement over my gambling debts, Anne took over the family budget. She clearly wanted to keep a close eye on the money and still did not trust me when I said my gambling days were over. In a way, I could not blame her, I was the one who got us into the mess, but whereas I had always kept the accounts fully accessible to Anne, so she could see where the money was being spent or saved, she denied me access to the accounts. This left me in the position of having to go cap in hand to her if I needed cash for any outgoings. I was embarrassed about this and this effectively stopped me from outings to the pub for a few pints of a weekend unless she was also there.
It was early March when she dropped the bombshell. She had been offered a full time job as Editor at the magazine she wrote for and that would mean she would need the car to commute the twenty or so miles to their offices every day. She said that she had accepted the job as the salary was in excess of what I had been earning when I worked.
I was happy for her in one way, she was right in that we badly needed the cash. Our mortgage was going into arrears and our savings almost depleted.
What did piss me off was that she had accepted the job without consulting me. This was the first I had heard of it!
I asked. "How long have you known about this job then?"
"It's been on the table for a couple of month's but I was hoping you would find another job so I deferred any decision until yesterday." She replied.
"You didn't occur to you to discuss it with me at any time?" I said getting rather heated. "Two bloody month's and you couldn't find an opportunity to broach the subject?"
"If you had not been so depressed and moody, I would have." She retorted.
"Anyway, there will need to be some changes around here once I start full time employment. For a start, you will need to undertake all the household duties I have been doing up till now, I have prepared a list, so you can start to learn what's involved!"
I looked at the list, it was more extensive than I had realised. It ranged from cleaning through to child care and all points in between.
"I have some problems with this list." I said.
She looked at me questioningly and I said. "For a start, you know I can't cook worth a damn and I don't have the foggiest notion of how the washing machine works!"
"Well, you will just have to learn, as I did." She replied tartly.
"Anyway, I will write out instructions for you." she said her voice softening a little.
I thought to myself, if she can do it and still find time to work part time, then it shouldn't be beyond me to learn.
So that's how I was manoeuvred into to becoming a 'House Husband'
To be continued