It’s 6:00 am and my mother is out of the house. Like the postman, rain or snow does not stop her from going to work.
It’s night time, and my father is not home. It’s tax season, and the CPA and sole proprietor is at work – maybe even pulling an all-nighter.
Fill in the blank: Children = ______. Millions of responses could go in that blank. I hope love, joy, and optimistic are on that list somewhere.
There is one word that absolutely must be on the list and that is responsibility.
I felt it the minute BR was placed in my hands. This innocent, defenseless, helpless blank slate was my responsibility.
The feeling of responsibility for a child can be awesome. I’ve never felt more needed in my life. The opportunity to give unconditionally filled me completely. I had a family. Sigh. Smile.
The feeling of responsibility can be scary! Shoot this child can do nothing for himself. He needs everything, and I have to give it to him. I had a family. Sigh. Shake.
By the way, I don’t know how single parents do it. If I didn’t have Ms. MMK, my wife and partner, the scariness factor would have soared.
So, responsibility is part of the job description of the parent. And I take it very seriously. The responsibilities include the basics – food, clothing, shelter – and material items. I’ve done my best to provide BR and SJ with such things. Now, I don’t think they need to be in the biggest house, wear the fanciest clothes, or have the most up to date technology (they would disagree with the last one). However, they do have a right to be provided for.
And that takes money.
But I resigned from my job. I gave up a job that was secure, paid decently, and had good benefits. I also was pretty good at it and liked it somewhat.
I gave up the job to chase a dream. I gave up the job because I wanted to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I gave up the job because I wanted more for myself.
Was it responsible of me? Is this what a parent should do? Will I be able to provide?
The question has been haunting me since I first considered making the move.
Plenty of people have wished me congratulations. I thank them all and appreciate every comment and offer of support. Many people also add words like “I’m sure it will work.”
But I’m not sure. Nothing is assured. Yes, I have a strategy. Yes, I’m working hard. Yes, I believe it can happen.
But I don’t know. Everyone starts new ventures with dreams and determination to make it a success. Our country was practically founded on that idea. Yet, sadly many people fail. And they fail for many different reasons. Plenty of those reasons are not their fault and may not even be clear.
While I’m not predicting doom and gloom, I’m talking reality. Even dreamers live in this world. Dreamers have expenses. And this dreamer has children.
My mom tells me she’s proud of me. “You have the guts to go for what you want. I never did.” Even in my forties, it feels good to hear my mom say she is proud of me. Yet, her example and the unstated rule in the house was about work ethic. It was about putting your head down and working hard. It was about responsibility.
What will my children learn from the decision I have made?
I hope they learn to dream. I hope they learn to take bold action. I hope they learn that the pursuit of something meaningful is meaningful. I hope they learn to find a wife who is supportive.
I hope they learn that even dreamers succeed.
And I will put my head down and succeed in some form or some way. I owe it to my children. It’s my responsibility.
The nice thing about those brave enough to follow their bliss, is that usually they understand the responsibilities they still have better than anyone else!
I can’t speak for all but it’s certainly true of me.
I’d like to add one more thought– you’re also teaching your boys it’s okay to pursue a career that fits, while carefully balancing their needs at the same time. You’re not giving them an example of a life of soul-sucking responsibility, nor are your teaching them self-centered recklessness.
Good for you!
Thanks Jessie. I appreciate the addition and the words. That’s especially true coming from you as you do fashion yourself as a practical person.
I think you’re amazing (and so is Mrs. MMK). I admire you greatly for chasing the dream despite the obstacles. There will be nay-Sayers. There will be challenges. You will probably have to tighten the proverbial belt and the boys will have to go without the latest techno gadget (sorry guys), but I believe this is a step you won’t regret. Wishing you all the best.
Thanks Holly. I say that on my behalf and my wife’s as well. I know challenges and bumps are part of this journey. Patience needs to be as well. That is something I have to work on.
Patience is one of those virtues that is not granted to many. Most of us have to work very hard at it.
I’m definitely in that category!
Indeed. It’s scary. I hope you keep us posted on how it’s going–I’m sure you will–and eventually tell us what this new mystery venture is.
Yes, new things generally are a bit scary.
Okay, so seeing your homepage, I’m guessing it has something to do with freelance writing! I should become a detective! 😉
You should Sherlock!
When doing something life-changing like this, it can help to put a timeframe to it. For example, I’ll give myself two years and see how things go. This window, of course, can always be reevaluated when the time comes and extended if things are heading in the right direction. But having a timeframe in mind can help ease some of the fear.
I think you are right and in some ways I do have that. I am pretty confident the backup plan is sound but not certai
It must have been a very tough decision to stop working, especially when that job provided the financial and health benefits. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I stopped working. I have read a few stories about SAHD’s and how they quit their jobs to be with their kids. I think it is pretty courages of you and them and to that because the risks involved are pretty high. Great read! Thanks!
Actually, I’m working but doing something else – or at least trying to. I’m tutoring – might be teaching part time – seeking out freelance writing work.
Actually, I am working. I’m tutoring and doing some freelance writing (trying to do more) and I may teach part time.
Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I know the pressure is on, and while I don’t know all the details, I’m positive that you would never have taken the leap without some certainty and, as you mention, a strategy. I’m sure it is hard but I think you can do it.
Thanks. So do I!
I think it is very important to teach children to have dreams and that if you work hard they can come true. You are doing a great thing for your whole family, if you succeed (which I am sure you will because you are a good writer and a determined man) your whole family will be the better for it.
I agree with you Elske. Thanks for your positive attitude.
I think as long as you have a general game plan to make it work, and have a plan B in case it doesn’t, then there is nothing irresponsible about it.
Nerve wracking, definitely. But any change will be nerve-wracking.
Good luck and congrats.
Thanks. Your words strike me as wise.