Monday, February 13, 2012

We Won the Lottery!

Way back in November, Ben came home one day and said, "I can't do this anymore.  I hate school and do not want to suffer through another 4 years of it."  The next morning, we talked to the VP of student affairs and agreed on a 90-day leave of absence.  After that, Ben would determine whether he wanted to return.

Soon after starting my bed rest, Ben made his decision.  He liked spending time with his kids and hanging out with his wife.  He did not want a profession that wouldn't allow him to parent and be a partner in our marriage; he wanted to do something that would satisfy his career goals and provide for a good home life.

I would go into further details, but it's his story not mine.  I will say that I am incredibly proud of him for making this difficult decision.  It wasn't easy, but he did what was best for him and his family.

Last year, I wrote about not choosing between work and family.  The post indicates a problem in our society: many people do not have a suitable work-life balance.  It is possible, but may require a great deal of creativity.  For our family, both of us working satisfies this.  Being a stay-at-home parent stresses me out, but I'm also not happy when I'm working insane hours (something that was happening at my last place of employment, and a reason behind quitting).  The same thing (mostly) goes for Ben.  Yet, if both of us are working, we make more than enough for our family and we have plenty of time to hang out with each other.  Naturally, we must also have careers that we enjoy.

After submitting hundreds of resumes and applications, Ben received a phone call from a company asking for a phone interview.  After that interview, he had another interview, then another interview. Finally, they called and offered him a position as manager-in-training.  They pay for training, then put him in a series of different shifts with job shadowing for on-the-job training.  After 6-12 months, he can be promoted to a managerial position with a significant increase in pay.  He can rise as high as he wants in the company and gain excellent experience. Basically, this company seeks to train its managers so they can promote from within.  They are also incredibly family oriented and have a number of minority slots filled by capable women and men.  It is a wonderful opportunity and I am thrilled for him to start.

This job will require that we move to the city, something that we are more than happy to do and what I've wanted since quitting my job.  The city has many more part-time job opportunities with universities that would be perfect for the path I am currently pursuing.

It feels like we've won the lottery.  Not the multi-million dollar one, but the lottery of life.  While many would consider it a set-back to start then withdraw from medical school, I see it as a good directional change.  Why would I ask my husband to pursue a degree in something that doesn't make him happy and would require that he spend far too many hours away from his family?  90-hour work weeks are cool if you don't have a wife and kids who actually want to see you.  (Which brings up a different topic entirely, how this country has unrealistic expectations for its doctors yet refuses to care for them.)  I am just incredibly excited for this new venture.


  1. Honestly, I think this is great! My husband decided after semesters of lost money & time that school wasn't for him (for a multitude of reasons), and he is doing great in his career - he now has many years of experience under his belt instead (which in some ways is better than school, I think) and is very happy that he didn't have to go through years of school to achieve it.

    So the best to you guys as you move and start this new phase - it sounds like a great decision for the whole family!!!

  2. Congrats on the lottery!
    We came to the same conclusion. We both work, we both stay at home. I think this idea of living in different domestic and career worlds is toxic. Long live the equal relationship!

  3. Congratulations! This sounds marvelous, for ALL of you. xox

  4. Good luck in what Ben is going to do. Where will you live ? Still in Missouri
    I have always had my man close by and that has been wonderful. Although when he was in the Military he did go overseas for 30 days at time and then for year one time and I really missed him. Sounds like a good thing.

  5. Every opportunity has it's costs, every choice comes with compromise (but what you compromise is up to you). Good for both of you!

    My father in law went through medical school, practiced for decades, and suffered depression and anxiety until he retired. His brother dropped out, literally, of medical school and found his own way. His life has always been his own and he is more comfortable in his own skin.

    May Ben's future be bright - and full of family. Some things are too precious to compromise. Oh, and good luck with the move!

  6. I'm so happy for all of you that you've come up with a way to better balance the work-life juggle. It's never easy, but having two parents more available certainly helps!

    Congrats to Ben on the new job!

  7. That's awesome Amber! So happy for you guys. :)

  8. So happy for you! So great to figure out what works and to have an opportunity that can match your goals.

  9. I'm glad you have a decision you're both comfortable with. But since you can live anywhere now, wouldn't Oregon be just the ticket (hint hint.)? Free babysitting! Seriously, I've never been big on 40+ hour work/school weeks. I think it's unnatural. You really never see your kids, and the little munchkins grow up so fast anyway. [e.g., Henry is graduating from high school in a couple of months! eek!] Fortunately, Shari and I are self-employed and able to make our own hours and income. We've both gotten lots of time with him, love our professions, I wish the same for you two! love, Aunt Sue

  10. So happy you've won the lottery! :) Seriously, Joe having a job he loves is such a blessing and so important for his/our happiness! I wish you both the best in your upcoming adventures!

  11. It takes courage to make this decision. I applaud both of you for knowing what works for you individually and as a family That takes internal and external harmony between the two of you. Congratulations!


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