Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Peter Pan Syndrome

Peter Pan 

I haven’t written much on a personal level recently, purely because life has been pretty uneventful. Bf hasn’t been working much this month. He’s had just the one long-haul trip last weekend, and today he is doing a flight to the Canary Islands and back.

It’s been REALLY great having him home and our relationship feels revived and brand new.  Normally we have tended to become a little irritable when has been home without much work to occupy him; but that doesn’t seem to have happened this month. I guess I have been busier since I have been working more, but we just seem to have found our groove.

At last, I think we have both come to terms with our lives after a huge period of adjustment. He has taken quite a time to come to terms with his role as a father.  I am led to believe that this is quite common though (particularly for men); a health professional summed it up well when she described the way we are thrust into parenthood; as being rather like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, leaving you in a state of shock emotionally and unable to function in quite the same way emotionally following the birth of your first child.

I could totally identify with this… Baby wasn’t planned and although we were obviously overjoyed when she was born; you can just never fully prepare yourself for the impact a child will have on your lifestyle, or how you will just feel ‘differently’ about life. I think men struggle more with the concept of growing up and becoming responsible (or maybe I just suffered my PTSS with my first child 8 years ago). Bf was totally in love with our daughter from the moment that she was born; but this was also a contradiction to his love for his previously care-free life of fun, and his lack of financial burden.  In essence, men like him want to be boys forever (I call it Peter Pan syndrome, maybe it’s just men who fly).

Plus, we did rather overload the whole major life changes thing all at once. A change in homes, moving in together financially for the first time, having a child together, his loss of his medical for a couple of months, and major problems with my ex; combined with a change in work incorporating long-haul flying & my giving up work for maternity leave. It really isn’t any wonder that we struggled to deal with all of these issues at once.

I think my returning to work has helped.  It has eased some of the pressure from him financially and means that he has some extra money to ‘play’ with. I use the word play, because being the inner child that he is, he has spent pretty much every penny on boys toys… Radio controlled boys toys to be specific. He has become utterly obsessed with radio controlled aeroplanes and helicopters.  I am amazed how much these gadgets cost, and how many he seems to want to own! He has bought 5 since Christmas, and is already researching his next!

I have started to feel a little irritated by the number of radio controlled aircraft littering the house (they aren’t exactly small). Even the pots of glue and spare parts seem to ‘need’ to live in the dining area! Apparently the planes cannot be stored in the garage as they might get damp.  I have pointed out that his classic car seems to survive in there okay, but I just get given scornful looks.  He actually suggested hanging some of them in our bedroom! Obviously I refused-I cannot bear the thought of him looking up at planes instead of me in bed!

I think these ‘toys’ are somehow a bit of a safety net for him though. They allow him to hold onto a sense of the boy within, and I guess I can live with the additional clutter, if the side effect is a relationship as happy as the one we have been enjoying recently… He’s even been engaging with the boys more as a result too, the oldest one has even started saving up his pocket money so that he can buy one on ebay *groan*.

Its good that Bf finally seems to have embraced this life and knows at last that it IS where he wants to be. It’s taken nearly a year; but hey, better late than never!


2 Responses to “Peter Pan Syndrome”

  1. Ha ha! I can relate to the stuff about remote controlled aircraft – hubbie has been desperately wanting one for ages, and looks longingly at them whenever we see one.. but so far he’s managed not to give in! (I expect not for much longer) 🙂

  2. Great post! My dad and brother have really gotten into RC planes, too! My mom calls it their “bonding” time. They wanted to have Fiance fly their planes when we visited them during the holidays, but the day they could make it to the field was too windy for flying. In the interim, my dad bought Fiance the computer simulator version. Fiance jokes someday he will load it up on his laptop and play it in the terminal while waiting for his flight home. You can imagine what a sight that would be: grown man, pilot, fully dressed in uniform, playing on a flight simulator game!

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