I always considered myself to be pretty lucky in life as I’m one of the fortunate few who managed to transform my hobby into a full time job. Being behind the bar, creating drinks, chatting with my customers and being paid for it all at the end of the shift – well, for me that’s a dream come true!
I’ve been behind the bar for almost 12 years now and back then I never would have dreamt that at 33 years old I’d be married and have a wonderful baby daughter. Not because I didn’t think I could be a good parent or husband, but because that life seemed so far away from a bartender’s lifestyle – or at least I thought it was…
However, at the end of 2016, the happiest moment of my life so far occurred when my daughter Alexandra was born on the 26th of November.
Being a bartender really doesn’t give you much chance of not having a selfish personality; it is by its nature a very selfish profession (ask my wife and she’ll confirm this!). However, throughout the pregnancy I started to change and began to truly appreciate the great nature of a woman and how they are able to grow, deliver and look after another human being.
If I’m being completely honest, when I started working behind the bar I mainly did it because I was mesmerised by the easy cash and the success with the opposite sex that goes with it. However, as I got older and reached the grand old age of 25, I realised that I didn’t want to be a bartender just for the girls and the money, but because I really wanted to look after people, be hospitable and deliver proper drinks and memorable experiences to my guests.
It just so happened that whilst I was having all these thoughts I met my future wife – and that was the point at which I started to realise my life would turn in a different direction. The question that was going around my head was “how can you possibly combine a family life with a bar job?” And even now, seven years down the line I’m still finding answers to this question on a daily basis. It’s not an easy one, that’s for sure. But what I have learnt is that with mutual respect, willingness to compromise and support from your other half, it can be done.
It’s not easy for anyone to start putting ‘we’ above ‘me’ in their minds – but it’s even harder for those of us who work in the hospitality industry. In our industry the hours are antisocial and the focus of attention is always on us behind the bar, making us vain (especially if you add an Aries star sign into the mix…) However, trust me when I say that the transformation that happens when you meet the one you will spend the rest of your life with is magical – even more so when a child comes along to complete the picture.
Most people think that those in the hospitality industry can’t have ‘normal’ lives because the nature of our jobs isn’t as stable as your standard 9-5. However, I can reassure you that many of my colleagues, despite the long hours and antisocial shifts, manage to have a happy and healthy family life that is just as good as – and sometimes even better than – their white-collar worker friends.
After all, it’s not your job or the hours that you work that matter when it comes to creating a family. What matters is your ability to change as a person to make sure that your work and personal life can exist harmoni
cally together. Anyway – enough of my rambling. It’s time to go and change the hundredth nappy of the day…