Because he didn't like Mondays.
Every Monday for months he would 'work from home' or call in sick due to sickness, or because his wife was unwell. A different reason was given every time and I remembering scorning these 'excuses' and passing them off as the stories of skiving colleague.
And now, years on and two children later, I'd like to say I'm sorry.
Because I don't like Mondays either.
And I know now why he had to stay at home to look after his child when his wife was sick. I get why he had to take her to doctors and hospital appointments. I understand how hard it is to support your wife and child when there are no other family members around to share the strain.
I don't know the ins and outs of your story Bob, but I can make some educated guesses. I don't have to dig deep to imagine the Sunday evening tears, the Monday morning despair.
You see, I often detest Mondays. The day of the week when you go from having two parents on duty to just one. I hate watching Matt walk out of the door and the loneliness that descends almost instantly amidst the washing, housework and Peppa Pig.
It started just after giving birth to Lily. I was diagnosed with PND but I didn't want to accept help. Not at first. I (wrongly) thought that it meant I was a failure. Even accepting help is just the beginning of recovery.
Any time Matt had to come home or stay home he would get grief from work. Like Bob, previously friendly colleagues began to gossip. Supportive management and HR fade away and they instead measure your worth strictly by the time spent in the office, rather than the deadlines you meet and the work you do at 2am in the morning with a baby on your lap.
Almost every week I'd have to resist begging my husband to stay home. Some weeks were better than others. But even on the good weeks, I would trade a lot to have Matt at home with me. Even now I think Mondays are the worst day of the week.
I know how hard it must have been for Bob because I see how hard it is on Matt. His salary pays our rent, our bills and buys our shopping. He takes pride in his work and doesn't want to take time off if it can be helped. But he's also a supportive husband, an amazing father, and on the days when I feel like I can't cope I know that he is torn inside.
I'd also like to apologise to Mrs Bob for questioning why she couldn't look after a baby when she was ill. I was naive, I was ignorant and it was none of my business.
PND aside, I struggle every month when PMS kicks in with headaches, cramps and nausea. Let's not even start on the occasions where I've had a migraine or a bad cold. Kids are hard work and it's a nightmare trying to keep them happy when you're feeling under the weather. If you don't have family around to help then who else is going to step in if your husband doesn't?
So, Bob, I'm sorry. I know you're not working at that company any more and I sincerely hope you have found somewhere that you are happy. A business that supports you in achieving a healthy work-life balance.
A workplace without judgemental colleagues and their girlfriends!