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The Busy-ness of Work & Marriage

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Karen's and Dave's Story

Karen is a manager in the information technology division of a large food and drug store chain. Karen's husband, Dave, also has a high paying career in engineering. Karen and Dave have two young children, both of whom are in full-time daycare while they work. The daycare cost them $800.00 a month. Both Karen's and Dave's salaries are large enough that they still bring home a significant amount of money each month even after subtracting for daycare and its related expenses. However, they sometimes struggle with their desire to continue working while someone else is raising their children. They began to discuss the possibility of one or the other of them quitting their jobs temporarily and staying home with the children until they were old enough to go to school. Karen and Dave both love their jobs and they are both financially rewarding but they wrestle with the personal value of both working while their children are young. Dave decided to quit his job so he could raise their children. He found it very rewarding and he and Karen both felt better about their family situation.

Kelly's and Doug's Story

Kelly is the office manager in the Chemistry Department of a large university and Doug is a computer technician at a small computer repair shop. They both make about the same amount of money. Just like Karen and Dave, Kelly and Doug also have two children in daycare. Kelly and Doug calculate that after deducting daycare expenses exclusively from either one of their checks, their take-home pay is only a couple of dollars per hour. They also calculate that if either of them were to quit work and stay home with their children temporarily, it would cause little change in their overall income. They discuss this possibility briefly, but both decide to keep working. Kelly and Doug both love their jobs and find them personally rewarding although they are not that financially rewarding while both children are in daycare.

Alan's and Julie's Story

Alan was a full-time stay-at-home dad with a professional degree. He was the homemaker while his wife, Julie, pursued her career as an attorney. Financially this arrangement worked out well, but they discovered that they were not completely happy with the situation. Alan longed to pursue his career as an accountant and Julie found that she was not getting to spend as much time with her children as she would like. They worked out an arrangement where Julie continued pursuing her career as an attorney, but cut back her hours. Alan also began working for a local accounting firm and they made arrangements for someone to tend their son three days a week. Alan and Julie found their new arrangement personally and financially rewarding.

Don't You Want to Be Rich?

Lee was once presented with what seemed to be a very attractive employment offer. The money would be great but so would the stress and the hours he was expected to work. After thoughtfully considering the offer, Lee turned it down. The employers response to Lee's refusal was, "Don't you want to be rich?" Lee simply responded, "No. I enjoy the work I do now and I only need enough to provide for my family, not enough to be rich."

Although many people looked at Lee as though he were crazy for turning down the offer, he knew that the extra money he could earn would come at a cost to his marriage and that it would not buy happiness. By passing on that job offer, he was choosing his family over more money. After all he thought, "He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead," but the quality of my family relationship can endure.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 07). The Busy-ness of Work & Marriage. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License