We Are In This Together

Last post, I closed with the thought that we husbands need to show our wives by our actions that we are in this child investment effort together.  As dads, we can be big talkers about how important our family is to us.  But our wives know the real deal.  They know if we are serious about our claims.  And they know by our actions, not just our words, whether we truly are in this thing together.

Let me give a small example of what this “showing by our actions” looks like.  Several years ago, I became the Exploration Manager for the Houston office of a small oil company headquartered in New Orleans.  My management position involved not only many video conferences with the main office, but several trips to New Orleans for prospect presentations, board meetings, etc.

Several times these meetings started at 8 am in the New Orleans office.  For a variety of reasons my boss at the time did not want me to fly over the morning of (potential weather delays, unpredictable rush hour traffic from the airport to the office) and strongly suggested that I fly over the night before and they would put me up in a hotel.  Say for a Wednesday morning meeting, the suggestion was to fly over after work on Tuesday, hang out with the New Orleans management for happy hour and dinner, spend the night in the Hampton Inn, and be set for the meeting the next morning.

I could see early on that this was going to be too many evenings with Rhonda holding down the fort on her own.  It was not that she was incapable; it was just not how we operated as a couple.  So I came up with a plan (approved by my supervisor, of course).  I left work a little early on Tuesday and made it home in plenty of time for dinner.  I reviewed any necessary homework, played a game or shot some baskets with the kids, and talked over the day with Rhonda.  Then when the house was beginning to quiet down around 9 PM, I left for Houston’s Intercontinental airport.  I caught the last flight to New Orleans, usually taking off around 10:30 pm, and arrived at my hotel around midnight.  And I was ready to go at 8 am the next morning.

It may seem a small thing, but it spoke volumes to Rhonda that I would put her needs and time with our family as more important than making possible career-enhancing  connections in the company.  I found a balance where I was able to accomplish both the family and corporate jobs with a little creative thinking.  Let me encourage you to put some thought into a creative balance in your responsibilities rather than just accept the status quo.  Especially, if the status quo has you letting your family down.  Remember, we show our wives (and our children) by our actions that we are in this together.