This is always the week that I look forward to least in the whole year. Why? Because it's the week my wife goes back to working full time. She's a teacher, so she gets the summer's off, and I get spoiled by having my help mate around the house full time, taking care of the home and the kids. It's not only quite a shock when she goes back in the fall, but it's also much more difficult for the both of us to pick up the slack that's left over when she's working full time.
Our financial obligations at this time don't afford us the luxury (and it really is a luxury) of having her stay home with the kids, even though that's what she'd prefer to do. We bought our house at the climax of the housing market, right before it crashed. At the time, we got what we considered to be a deal on this house. Now it's worth a bit more than half of what we paid for it. We refinanced the mortgage, but it just didn't save us enough money. So off we go to work.
We've never wanted to put our kids into daycare, so our mothers have graciously picked up some time caring for the kids each week, but that's not an ideal situation. We want to spend time raising our kids, not have someone else do it - even our mothers. Don't get me wrong, we're very appreciate of the time, effort, and love they put into our kids, but there's no substitute for being around your own parents.
By the time we all get home from work and play, we're tired, frustrated, and our tempers are short. Sometimes it seems like the only time I get with my kids is spent yelling at them because I'm tired after work. To top it all off, our oldest is beginning preschool this year, which is a prospect that is enough to cause young parents to worry.
For now we're looking for ways to make it through this school year while we consider ways that we can at least minimize Betsy's hours at work and increase her time at home. Whether this means a different job (or preferably no job), we've got some thinking and praying to do. I've personally been feeling God pull us this way (toward having Betsy stay at home) for more than a year now. I guess now I just need God to show us how to do it!
God certainly knew what he was doing when he created men and women, and how perfectly they work together when their roles are clearly understood and adhered to. Things just work better when men can be men, women can be women, dads can be dads, and moms can be moms. It's the way God designed it, and it works. Our family is slowly moving toward this picture, but in the mean time, it's tough making it through.
Till then, I'll just appreciate my wife and all she does for our household, and trust in God.