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.