The Vocation of FatherhoodBlog / Produced by The High Calling
When my husband and I moved to be near my family in Amarillo, Texas after leaving a theater company we'd both worked at for over a decade, I found a full-time job while Carey prayed for guidance regarding his "next act." For two years, I worked 40-plus hours a week, M-F, and Carey often flew back to the theater on weekends to serve as a guest artist. During the week, he shopped, cooked, shuttled our boys to school and activities, and worked part-time at a store.
Though I was thankful for purposeful work which paid our bills, the arrangement was hard on us as a couple, and on him as a man. For the first time in our marriage, Carey was not the main breadwinner. He struggled emotionally, did a lot of soul-searching about where God was leading him, and fielded curious questions from well-meaning folks in our town and at the theater: He also put up with the vicious winds and random, ummm....cow smells, which didn't help the situation. (Note to self: when moving your family from the Hill Country of Texas to the Panhandle, prepare them for the stark differences in terrain and climate.)
Thankfully, God led us through that wildnerness place and into a season where we are both in jobs we love. Our schedule now lends itself to me being at home more, and I'm grateful for--and comfortable with--that arrangement.
However, as I look back on that time, I wonder if the pressure we put on fathers and men doesn't contribute to the mid-life crises so many of them have in their 40's. In fact, I highly encourage you to read a moving piece Andy Scott wrote recently at the Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation and Culture blog, about the vocation of fatherhood. This stay-at-home dad raises excellent questions about vocation versus occupation, and encourages us to look at our long-held beliefs a little differently.