There are moments in your life, that when you look back really stick with you.
A few years ago, not long after first child was born I was playing golf one day with a bloke who had just had his first grandchild at around the same time our son was born.
He asked me what I did for a living and I told him our situation. This was before we started this business, where Amy and I shared the workload caring for our son.
At the time we were living in the country and had very limited access to care, so we each worked 3 days a week and we’d have one day off together as a family.
I still remember him telling me how lucky I was to get to see my little one grow up. He told me much he enjoyed spending time with his grandchild, and appreciated it more now that he was older as he missed a lot of his own kids growing up through work.
At that moment it had really justified our decision, as it was exactly why we decided to share the load.
Our dads were pretty similar to him. They worked long hours Monday to Friday and even weekends sometimes to pay the bills. They would go off to work and our mum’s would stay at home and look after us.
For me that meant during the week, the only time we would get to see dad is when we picked him up from the train station after work, and we were already in our PJ’s ready for bed.
I knew he had to do it to pay the bills but he was commuting almost 4 hours a day and working weekends sometimes, just to give us a roof over our head and food on the table.
I was always grateful and probably more so now at the sacrifices that my parents made for me.
Amy and I didn’t want either one of us to miss out on seeing our son grow up so we decided that we would each work 3 days a week. Amy from Monday to Wednesday and me from Friday to Sunday, having one day off together as a family.
This meant that we had to make a few sacrifices, as we had our wages cut almost in half overnight. I had to work weekends, we had to cut back on our ‘luxuries’ like eating out once a week and holidays, and where we lived, but that was our decision as we felt it was important that one of us didn’t get to miss out on all of the milestones.
We were prepared to grind, just so we could spend the time with our son as we both knew we’d never get that back if we missed it.
We lived to our means and we got more satisfaction out of being around him, than we would of living in a big house or driving a fancy new car.
There is a saying that I love and that is ‘work to live, not live to work’. Still to this day we are earning a lot less than we could potentially, but we have a great balance in our lives that allows us to be happy.
Your kids are only young once, and at the end of the day the time that goes past, you can never get back. Don’t regret your decision, whatever it may be. Make sure the balance is right for you.