Switching it Up

Hubby and I are switching it up! Doing a little role reversal. It’s exciting and scary.

For the last 16 years he has done inventory the end/beginning of every month. Let that soak in a moment. And think about what happens the end/beginning of each month…New Years, Super Bowl Sunday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving. Yup. He works every one of them. And not just works, but stressful work. So today, he is doing his inventory for the last time! I am beyond excited!

16 years ago this month we made the move to the Kansas City area. It was a crazy time for us. Oldest Son was 4, Middle Son was 2 and I was 8 months pregnant with Youngest Son when Hubby made the move – 4 hours away from us. It really sucked, but it’s what we needed to do at the time. He took a job as Bakery Manager with his company and it was a great career move. I stayed behind and continued working my full-time job. I was overwhelmed with my job, being Mommy and growing that third son. Hubby was overwhelmed with his new role, being away from family and adjusting to a much bigger community. It was hard. Right after Christmas Youngest Son arrived in speedy fashion and we were finally able to move to KC and have the family all together again. We moved when he was one week old and I knew exactly 2 people in this new town; Hubby and his boss. We were 5 hours from family and way stressed out. To add to the stress we made the decision for me to quit my full-time job to focus on our boys.

In all honesty, I think we were pretty ignorant about the cost of raising three kids in the area we live. The cost of living is high and the affluence abounds. I don’t think we had any clue how hard it would be. But we made the decision and didn’t look back. I worked part-time jobs and short-term gigs to supplement our income. We made it work. Hubby soon learned he didn’t love retail management. Finding people willing to work tough hours and do physical work is hard in this community. And the hours required to be successful were brutal. This isn’t earth shattering news, but I think it needs to be acknowledged. He did a lot of things he didn’t enjoy for a lot of years. He has always loved to bake, but management often means getting further from those things you love and spending more time crunching numbers. It means the stress of turning a profit, monthly inventory and managing difficult personalities.

All those part-time jobs and short-term gigs I worked led me to a full-time job a few years ago. I’ve learned so much along the way by having the flexibility to do things that didn’t necessarily pay big wages, but paid big in experience and connections. That all led me to where I am today. I took a new job this month as executive director of a small non-profit. It is exciting work! I love the challenge.

Hubby took a new job beginning next month as a baker. He’s going back to what he loves. As a result he will have more flexibility, less stress and a chance to explore some hobbies. It’s about time. Working the job he did, gave me the freedom to stay home with our boys- something that was important to us.

So we are switching it up. Now it’s my turn to feel the pressure of making payroll. I’m the one who will be stressing over the numbers on a regular basis; worrying about funding and outcomes. He will be picking up the slack at home, making sure one of us is at the kids activities and keeping food in the cupboard. It will be different, but good.

I hope what our sons get from all this is the understanding that when you love someone you make sacrifices for them. In a relationship it’s give and take. It’s about compromising, doing things you may not love for the good of the family. It means talking things through, working together and being willing to be a little (or a lot) uncomfortable for a while. Life is full of seasons; some you love, some you work through. That’s part of living in relationship. And I hope, actually I know, they see the sacrifices we have each made for them and for each other.

Wish us luck. And if you are the praying type, maybe you could say one for us. I didn’t say change is easy! This will be a good change for us, but it won’t come without growing pains.

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Filed under Family, Legacy, Lifestyle

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