Sunday, May 29, 2022
LifestyleParmos and downtime

Parmos and downtime

After a long few weeks, some downtime was needed. An opportunity presented itself and we took it, even if it was only for a few hours.

Worn out and shabby

It’s been quite a busy few weeks in the Founde household. A simple task took way longer than it should have done, Mrs F working all the hours and the constant demand for attention from the kids during half term, just seemed to take its toll.

I wouldn’t say Mrs F and I had drifted but over the last few weeks, it seemed like there was definitely something between us. Nothing major but, you know the days you have, when you’re both knackered and sit down on separate chairs, don’t talk much, go to bed and get up and do the same thing the next day.

Something wasn’t right, I started feeling quite miserable, not 100% healthy. Some of my old mental anxieties came back and I started thinking all sorts again. Anyway, I just got on with things. Carried on decorating the living room, which seriously took it out of me. Which was really odd. I couldn’t breathe properly, my chest was hurting, I was coughing and my sinuses felt like they were popping out of my face.

Covid & flu vaccination

It was time for my booster vaccine. Whilst I was there I got my flu vaccine too. I seriously wish I didn’t bother. Four days of even more grogginess. Every part of my body ached, my head was banging and my chest was on fire. By this point, I contacted my doctor. Don’t get me started on the whole process of that! It’s not their fault but what a kerfuffle.

Parmos and down time.

So, nearly 4 weeks in and I can clearly see Mrs F is exhausted. I’m completely exhausted and it’s the end of the half-term holidays. It sounds awful to say this but we just needed some downtime. Away from the kids, the dog, shopping and all the usual stuff. Mrs F made an impromptu table booking at a lovely little country pub right at the foot of Roseberry Topping.

If I’m honest, I don’t think either of us could actually be bothered, but we needed some downtime, even if it was only for 2 hours. Just to put some perspective on things, I genuinely can’t remember the last time we actually went out together for a meal. I think our wedding anniversary walk in Saltburn was the last time and even then, we only had a bag of chips.

Roseberry Topping

I digress… 2 hours of just quality time, with Mrs F, made me feel a whole load better. Mentally anyway. I was still physically falling apart. We felt knackered afterward. But that was only because we had tucked into two of the largest parmos, with homemade double-cooked chips going! Not to mention the slab of sticky toffee pudding and a bowl of bread & butter pudding.

A Parmo, if you are unaware of what it is, is a famous Teesside signature dish. Its origins are a bit unknown, but Teesside takes the crown and has become famous for the ‘Parmo’. A slab of chicken or pork coated in breadcrumbs, deep-fried, with a layer of bechamel sauce, and topped with loads of cheese.

It’s basically obesity on a plate, but it’s well worth it!

We’d both felt like we needed a breather and just 2 hours was enough to just relax us and recharge some of the grey matter.

Time to go all out

The following day was Halloween. So, now that we’re feeling a bit more energised and the kids were invited to a Halloween party, we went all out with face paint and a few special effects. I too donned some liquid latex, with a little help from my existing scars, some artistic bruising, and plenty of fake blood.

Mrs F on the other hand didn’t. Again spending a few hours just having a laugh, catching up with friends and of course, the obligatory trick or treating made a big difference. The latex, facepaint, and fake blood really didn’t help, my already sensitive skin, but it was worth it, just to have some fun!

No harm in wanting some downtime

Looking back, there really isn’t any harm in wanting or even needing some downtime, just for you. Don’t feel guilty about wanting or needing a few hours away from being a parent. What use are you as a parent if you are exhausted and useless to your kids?

The weekend of downtime that we had, was really enjoyable. We needed it! A telephone diagnosis of a sinus and chest infection explained a lot. I’d clearly had a viral infection and overdone it way too much and exhausted myself further.

I’ve said it many times, being a parent isn’t easy but taking time for yourself when and how you can, really does make a difference. If you have a partner taking time to focus on your relationship is also important. No point in having a family if no one is singing from the same hymn sheet.

There you have it. Parmos and downtime… just what the doctor ordered. Well not quite, he ordered antibiotics. You know what I mean…


  1. We (parents) should not feel guilty at wanting some kid-free time. Yup, we’re parents, but we’re people too. Even bosses get evenings and weekends off. I don’t buy into this idea that as soon as you become a parent, you have to become a completely different person, purely dedicated to all of your child’s needs. Yeah, you do everything you can for your children, but it’s somewhat disingenuous to your child to pretend that’s all you are – a person there to serve them. You’re a fully rounded human being, and as such, need a break and to recharge.
    Two hours of quality time. It must sound so little to a non-parent but I can totally see how that would work! My stressed shoulders are dropping a little at the very idea! Good post, and I hope that you and your family enjoy the rest of the year without any more trips to the doctor.

  2. Hi Damion,

    We all need some downtime every now and then, it really does help to re-charge the batteries. Glad you, and Mrs F, are feeling better for it.

    Never heard of a Parmo before … but I’m certainly going to have one if I ever see it on the menu anywhere! 🙂

  3. I could not agree more about having some downtime/adult time – husband and I are trying hard to find a way to get a couple of days away as it’s over 2 years since we had a holiday even if it means a load of juggling things to achieve it.

  4. Completely agree with you about downtime. Me and the missus have been out and about together a lot recently on short trips where our kids don’t want to come, and it’s been lovely and far more relaxing!

  5. Downtime is much needed especially as it’s usually when we’ve reached a point where things have taken a toll. It sounds like you and your wife did the right thing and I can only imagine how tired you both were with children to care for too.

  6. Hope you are feeling better soon pal. Its so hard lately, many times I’ve wanted to get off the grown up train, the stress and responsibility and generally being a grown up sure does take its toll.

    Parmo looks delish. Good to hear your and Mrs F had a good few hours just for yourselves. Its important to have not only the time for yourself but each other too.

    Your Halloween antics looks like a lot of fun bud.


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