Work

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

It was a warm summer evening in Berlin. The muggy summer air was still among us as we drank pints of local beer on a bench outside the bar. I was on a work trip, visiting the Berlin office for a few days to work with some teams out there. There were a few of us visiting from London, so the social occasions after work were inevitable. The latest half-year company results offered another excuse to have a few drinks.

As we sipped our crisp beers in the warm summer air, one of my colleagues said;

“What about that bonus…


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Throughout my 15 year relationship with my wife, I have generally seen myself as the provider, the breadwinner of the family. I had a career, I brought in the money, I made the big family decisions, I took charge of our lives. Perhaps this dynamic was not always healthy, but this is how it has been.

This dynamic has now changed. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced me to quit my job and take care of our two children. My wife has got a new job, she is the one going out to work and I’m the one staying at home…


Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

I had just left my job with no new job to go to. I got talking to a friend of mine from my old company about financial freedom. We got onto the topic because I love to talk about money and bring it up whenever I can. I asked him what he thought he was going to do going forward in his career;

“What do you think you’ll do?” I ask.
“The way I see it, I’ll go one of three ways. 1. Chase the big money. 2. Get an opportunity here. 3. Find a startup to run, but the CTO…


Photo by Alexander Maasch on Unsplash

Who Moved My Cheese is a short life-lesson story written by Dr Spencer Johnson. It’s a book about change and how we deal with it and it portrays some important lessons by way of a fictional story. I’m not affiliated with the story in any way, but I did gain some valuable lessons from it and am sharing them here.

It features four characters: two mice, “Sniff” and “Scurry,” and two Little people, “Hem” and “Haw.” The basic premise is that each day the four characters enter a maze (the rat race) to find cheese. One day they find that…


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When I left university I had a goal of achieving a salary of £50,000 by the age of 30. I thought that would mean I was happy, successful, and have enough money to pay for the life I wanted. The problem was, I achieved that, and I realized that life was not much different. I had a nicer place to live in, a nice car and I could afford the things I wanted. But the reality was, not much in my life had changed other than a few extra comforts.

I did what most of us do and I shifted…


Daisy by Ashley Sole

7.48am

I’m awake, showered, and trying to help Daisy get dressed for the day. It’s a struggle again this morning like it always is. It’s like trying to negotiate out of a complex legal contract. Pitfalls and boobytraps every step of the way. If I pick the wrong pants, I’m dead. The pink socks on a Tuesday? Are you fucking mad? Knitwear from grandma, what planet are you on? That t-shirt Daddy? It’s got rainbows on it, they’re so 2020!

She doesn’t like long sleeves.
She doesn’t like trousers.
She doesn’t like tights.
She doesn’t like jumpers.
She doesn’t like hoodies.
She doesn’t like pants…


Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

My daughter Pippa gets out of the bath, freshly cleaned. There’s something comforting about getting bathed before bed, washing away the mud and dirt from a day of play. I neatly brush her hair, it’s a struggle to get those knots out of her toddler-tangled mess, but we manage. She gets into crisp clean pajamas, tonight it’s the Peppa Pig ones, with the soft fleecy bottoms. They’re soft against her damp skin and aid to dry what the towel could not.

I grasp her hand as we walk, her palm dwarfed in mine, into her bedroom to start the bedtime…


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Tuesday afternoon. It’s a bright day, the sun is out and the birds are singing. I’m in high spirits as I start the walk to pick up my children from their nursery. I take a right turn down the wooded lane on the approach to the nursery and I meet another parent. We exchange chit-chat as we meander along the lane to pick up our children. In typical British style, we discuss the weather. Everyone seems to be in a better mood when the sun is out.

When we arrive at the nursery, the mood changes. There’s an atmosphere that…


Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Another day, another argument.

I asked my wife to move some bread she had bought for lunch because it was in my way. I’m being picky. I could have easily moved the bread myself. There’s a short resentment in my voice when I ask her.

It doesn’t go well.

Instead of moving the bread, my wife starts using the oven to roast peppers and make her lunch for the next day. She gets in my way as I’m making dinner in a sign of defiance. We trade a few snarky remarks and I feel myself getting more and more agitated…


Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

After five years out of work to raise our children, my wife decided she wanted to get back into work and I was fully supportive. I’m eternally grateful for the sacrifices she has made and all that she has done for this family. It is time for me to show that gratitude.

The small hiccup with this decision was that the Covid-19 pandemic had completely decimated all our childcare options. The girls got a place at a local nursery, but it was only four days a week and only half days. In order to support my wife going back into…

Ashley Sole

Top Writer in Parenting | Stay at home Dad | Writing about life, money and parenting | Email me — ashley.sole@hotmail.com

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