What kind of man sits at home all day on a computer while his wife is out working her butt off?
Believe it or not, people ask me this. Sometimes blatantly, and at other times they use tact. Either way, it can be tricky. I’ve handled this a couple of different ways the past few years, most of them badly. Then I realized something: we’re all different. Further, as we take the narrow path, we each walk differently. Picture Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks, if you will.
When I met my wife I was doing a work-from-home tech job so I’d be around for my son, who I’d just gotten custody of. A few months later I began making use of my G.I. Bill before I lost the benefits I’d earned. My wife, who I was dating by then, had (and still has) an excellent job with great pay and benefits. She also has a child with some chronic health issues and taking off work all the time to handle those wasn’t done lightly during a time her employer was looking for people to let go. So she asked me to help out with that; an undertaking I gladly took up and still cherish today.
Today I take care of the kids, the house, the dog and cat, and pretty much everything else around our home. I also am afforded the time to write both my blog and a variety of stories and poems. Further, I am able to act as a board member for two non-profits. Finally, I am part of a couple of groups in our church and volunteer as a part of several ministries.
My wife’s job is stressful. It makes her feel good to know I’m available to take kids to doctor appointments. She doesn’t need to worry about cooking dinner every night or fighting with the kids to get and keep the house clean. She knows her husband is pursuing a dream that makes him happy and has the potential to help pay the bills. At this point, at the very least, I can pay for a fast food lunch somewhere for the two of us every now and then.
Finally, I’ve been the guy that hires people in a couple of different industries. I can’t turn my head all the way left and right. My knees give out. I have shoulders that don’t like keeping my arms at “10 and 2” on the steering wheel without a lot of pain. Besides, when it comes down to it, we’re not likely to risk my wife’s $30/hour job by having her miss work to take care of a hospitalized child (which is something we do at least once a year with the child who has chronic health problems) when the best I’ve ever made in my life in hourly or salary work is about $15/hour.
In short, I’m the kind of man who wants to make my wife’s life less stressful. She’s not your wife. Your wife might require something else to make her life less stressful. I love my wife. I’m betting you love yours, too. Our dream isn’t about chasing more stuff. It’s about chasing more time together with each other and with God.
God made us all for his glory, but he made us all different. Please remember that the next time you see someone pursuing life, pursuing God, differently from how you do it.
You might be walking sedately, in a stately and upright manner … I’m more like the guy shuffle, shuffle, high kicking.