July 30, 2008 at 7:03 pm #1018
I’m curious to see how other other family-focused dads are managing
to deliver both time and income to their families. Given that “the
money issue” underlies everything from marriage/relationships, to how
much time you spend with the kids, to what kind of opportunities you
can afford them, how have you and your partner/spouse structured your
jobs/careers? What are your plans for the future? Has anyone figured
out ways to “have it all” with both a great family life and a great
career? Are there barriers and obstacles you face in putting your
family on a sound economic footing?
Whenever I talk to other dads about the topic, it’s like the 800 lb
gorilla, affecting everything but rarely getting discussed. Maybe we
can change that?July 30, 2008 at 8:17 pm #5479
As a new parent, I have no answers to your questions but think about the issues you raise all the time. 800 lb gorilla indeed!
My wife has put her teaching career on hold, for the time being, to be with our newborn. We feel very fortunate that we can afford this choice of lifestyle (again, at least for the time being), though we also feel like we’re heading into uncharted waters and are not sure what rocks may be under the surface.
Looking forward to reading the responses. Great post.July 30, 2008 at 10:56 pm #5480
I have 2 kids, a wife that works part time, and a full time job. I’ve found that when we use the credit card sparingly, that we seem to have more money than I would have expected. It helps to have family though, so if you can, stay close to them. Timewise, I changed my job a few years ago to one that allows me more time at home. I was a teacher, but now I have a different job in the school district that gives me more flexibility at home. I chose this job instead of going the principal route because time was more important than money. I also have hobbies that I can do when the kids are in bed, like blogging and Wii games.July 31, 2008 at 9:02 pm #5485
The time for your children and wife is tough to come by when we need to earn money to live. Money to pay the motgage, to put towards the collage fund, and maybe even a trip to Disney. Like many modern Dads I am happiest when I can spend time with my kids (and yes I enjoy spending time with my wife). I had worked in the hotelk industry for years and loved it, but the hours were not family friendly. Then I moved into a sales job where the time and money were great, but I did not enjoy what I did.
The key is to find a job that makes you are passionate about and the money will be there. No matter how much money you earn though, finding joy in each activity with your family is the most important part of being a father. Lastly, when you look at the money factor as an 800lb gorilla, then that is what it will be.
Check out http://www.HappyManOnline.com for more great fatherhood stuff. Sugn up for the free weekly e-newsletter, you’ll enjoy!August 3, 2008 at 3:36 am #5499
My wife and I live on a percentage of what we earn. Some goes to retirement (10%) and taxes eat up the rest of the percentage. We take home about 80-85% on average. We then take a percentage as an “allowance” for private spending money that the other has no say in. Finally, the rest is spent on the family – period. This leaves us comfortably living at/below our means and we budget for what we want (e.g. our toys) from our pocket money. Granted, the “staycation” and “brown bag lunch” was what we were doing before it was popular and we do not have much (I’m a teacher, she’s a secretary) but we have what we need. Because “fun stuf” isn’t daily, it becomes more fun when we actually do it (e.g. eating out once/twice a month; movies every 2-3 months; etc.). We have a 2-yr old and I take “my time/wife time” after his bedtime, his time is during weekends, and family time is all the time. I feel that one’s level of what is correct/right is based on one’s comfort level. I too want “more” but I see that money doesn’t solve everything or get one what one wants all the time. In other words, I try to balance life/career/responsibilities/fun/money to simply live and be realistic. I’m comfortable and happy, want more, but don’t want to give up my family time and fatherhood time for my job/career. Good luck with the journey.August 4, 2008 at 7:08 pm #5506
I think the other dads hit it on the
head. “Having it all” is all in the eye of the beholder and it seems
that making those tough choices to cut “good things” to stay focused on
the “best things” is key. Those choices are only made when we take the
time to sit down and figure out what we want and value in life.
So, even though this is a discussion about money – I think the real
800-lb gorilla is the underlying question: what do you want in life?
Unfortunately, that’s a much harder question to talk about at the neighborhood BBQ or around a round of beers, ya know?August 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm #5508
The definition of having it all is in the eyes of the beholder.
We live in rural Pennsylvania. My much-better-half is a SAHM to our two boys (12 & 5). In order to make sufficient salary, I commute 2 hrs to the city. We do not vacation in Florida annually (and truthfully, we keep telling ourselves maybe next year), we live frugally compared to others, but we still have fun. My commute may suck more often than not, but it allows me to be home 5:30 most every night (on average, 17/20 work days per month).
The oldest has been in Scouting since 1st grade (and the youngest will start in the fall of ’09), and he and I study tae kwon do 2-3 nights each week.
Until recently, the fuel prices were manageable, but once we broke $3.50/gal the pain was being felt. As such we’re now carrying credit card debt, but I hope to see that tackled in the next year.
As for the career track: it is important, no doubt, but I’ve managed to keep ahead of the curve by doing nothing more than checking e-mail most evenings and at least once on the weekend. Sure, off-hours are for my family, without a doubt, but those few times I catch a fire burning and respond at 1AM on Saturday have done as much to enhance my rep in the company than anything I do during the work day.
Do I have it all? I am providing for my family, I study martial arts, and I blog; so yeah, I have no complaints.August 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm #5509
I would have to say that having it all doesn’t necessarily mean having it all at once.August 5, 2008 at 6:32 pm #5513
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