I am….Craig, I’m 43-years-old and I’m married to my best friend Donna. We have a little boy named Jonnie Beau who is 5-years-old and we live in Birmingham, UK.

I work as… I’ve worked in the telecoms industry for the last 15 years (which is where I met Donna). My job involves a considerable amount of travel at a national level, but as my role is field based I’m afforded a good level of flexibility within my working hours. On the days when I am not at client meetings I work from home, therefore I have the opportunity to do the school run and spend time with Jonnie after school. If required I finish off any work once he has gone to bed.

Do you worry about work-life balance? I wouldn’t say I worry about it, but I am mindful of the impact my travel has on us as a family. Donna also has a demanding job and as I am sometimes travelling extensively in one week the impact is felt more heavily from her perspective. Conversely, not being tied to being in an office, or working set hours, means that I share the load wherever possible. I’m fortunate enough to work for a forward-thinking company that understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

I’m the kind of dad that… I’d like to think I’m a fun dad, I don’t take myself too seriously, but I can be a little overprotective at times. I also think it’s important for Jonnie to see that showing your emotions is not a weakness. I want him to grow up knowing that I am a hands-on dad, and that he can come to me about anything.

To make my son feel special… Wherever possible I always try and do bathtime, and before sleep I read to Jonnie (which is invariably Star Wars based). On Saturday mornings I take him to his swimming lessons and help with his homework. Then the rest of the time it’s just about being with him, laughing and doing boy stuff.

Biggest learning curve since becoming a father… I think the biggest learning curve came in the first few weeks of fatherhood – the sleep deprivation, and a feeling of inadequacy, you can feel like a bit of a spare part in some ways. Donna just seemed to know what to do, and when to do it. The surprise though is the fact that you soon find your feet and before you know it you can do stuff with your eyes closed.

I love being a dad because… I can’t really pin it down to a specific, but one of the greatest feelings is when I walk in from a tough day at work, or a long day of travelling, and Jonnie runs up to me with his arms flung wide open shouting, “Daddy”, at which point the stresses of the day seem to melt into insignificance.

Being a dad has taught me….. Patience (which still often wears thin) and more recently both Donna and I want Jonnie to know that his voice is important. We are both guilty of speaking over him sometimes when he is telling us something, and we know how frustrating that can be as an adult, let alone a child, so we are making a conscious effort to ensure that happens less. Also I’ve learnt to enjoy every moment, and not let work encroach on family time.

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By , 19th August 2021
From a celebration of the life of John le Carré at Cheltenham to an exploration of women and crime in Chiswick, please join me at one of the following events, across the country (and the internet!)