I started a pretty amazing new job about 4 months ago. I get to travel, work close to home, work with great people, feel supported in what I do, enjoy going to work, all the good things.
When I was in the process of accepting this job, my husband was in a job that was sucking the life out of him. He dreaded going to work, he was surrounded by negativity at the office, they expected him to live and breathe IT support, family was second at this company, there was no work life balance if you wanted to do well. Chad was doing it and he was pretending it was all good, but I knew it was not. He hated his job. I hated that he hated his job.
At the same time Chad was in his shitty job, Dutch was going to a daycare after school every day. The woman would pick him up from school, take him to her house and Chad would have to race to pick him up every night by 6pm.
Chad got home at around 6:40pm from picking up Dutch because the traffic from her house was that far.
I got home around 6:30pm.
Dutch would then have to rush to do his homework, rush to shower, no time for friends......lame.
Chad and I were tired, with no time to sit down because now we only had about two hours to do Dutch's homework, make dinner, clean up, shower everyone and read, go to bed.
It felt rushed, it felt hectic, it felt stupid, it felt mainland, it felt expected, it felt wrong. I kept wondering did Hawaii teach us anything? The island taught us that there is something better than this. How are we in this rat race right now?
I think I was the one who told Chad to quit his job.
I was going to be making great money, nothing crazy- but we would be comfortable and not have to worry. We wouldn't have to panic trying to find a sitter if I was going to be traveling. We would save massive money on child care. But really, what mattered the most is we would not have to feel like we were rushing through life. We would get to slow down and enjoy each other. We would have a parent permanently there to actually have time to be a parent. Dutch would get to play with friends after school, do all the things with ease and it just felt BETTER.
So here I am in Riverside, California.
On a work trip.
I get a missed call from Dutch's school. Whenever the school calls I get the most intense pit of fear in my tummy.
They left me a voicemail that said Dutch was in the nurses office. Okay..........what?! I am in California hearing this voicemail and freaking out. Here is what I want to share......by the time I called the school Chad had already handled it. He was already communicating with them, Dutch was already back to class and fine, and I thanked THE LAWD that Chad was not distracted by a job and he could focus on being the parent to be ready to take care of this stuff. Chad and I talked and we decided everything was all good and the moment of stress was short lived but I am so grateful we chose to have our situation this way.
I get a lot of strange looks when I say my husband doesn't work. I feel judgment from a lot of people, some of them very close to me, when I say that Chad is the stay at home parent. I think, would they even question a stay at home mom?
For example, we got passports earlier this year and the woman in the office asked Chad, "what is your occupation?" He said, "stay at home dad." she said, "but you must do something. what is your job or are you in school?" I could not believe it. What I wanted to tell her was, Chad gets extra time to play with his son. Chad does homework, the dishes, the trash, goes to Costco, handles emergencies, picks up from school, plays football with our son, soccer, and he gets to be happy. He gets to slow the F down and be happy.
I don't think you can ever really decide what is right for another family. You can't know what they need and want because it is what YOU need and want. I think the most important thing is, are you happy? If someone asked me that I would say, HECK YES! I am so happy with my little tiny apartment with my two dudes, my kick ass job, travel, my husband that always gets me and supports me. It is working for US. To anyone who thinks Chad should be working because he is a man that is frickin stupid. Who knows, he may work someday but I don't think the short time we have on earth should be spent in anything else but happiness and LIVING whatever that means to you.
What is better than extra time with family? To me, that is a priceless gift.