29 Comments

  1. You KNOW I am all for this decision. I quit my park ranger weekend job, I pulled back my job to 80% time so that we wouldn’t have the crazy weekdays any more. It’s been three years and it is SO SO worth it.

    That said, I also started my commission volunteer work (2x a month evening meetings), but I don’t leave the house until after dinner, and the kiddo is older now. Remember too that this is just a moment in time and as he gets older you’ll get more space with the same number of hours as well.

    • I think that is my husband’s exact thought. It another 5 or 10 years, maybe a coaching spot will open, and he’ll go back. But for now, we’re going to hang out together more while he still wants to be with Mom and Dad!

  2. Great perspective- and so unbelievably important to grasp. Time is so precious, so to make sure what you’re trading/sacrificing in place of family/downtime/self care is worth it is huge!

  3. Sounds like your husband is making a good (if tough) call. I actually have too much time on my hands most days — to compensate I watch way more TV than is probably healthy — so I don’t really have wisdom for a work-life balance. But I can recognize when someone’s on the right track to find his or her own balance, and it seems like that’s exactly where your husband is headed.

  4. I didn’t realize how huge a time commitment his sports were! That’s an exhausting schedule you’ve both been maintaining.

    You can’t get THIS time back in any other way but to scale back and I am so happy for you that you can make this decision for your family.

    I keep making this decision every time I think about picking up a side job. I have enough energy to do a stellar job at my FT gig, to cook, clean, write this blog, to parent when my kid comes home from daycare, to spend weekends together, to plan our social calendar. I can exactly what I’m doing, well. Taking on more work for the money may be really satisfying so that I can invest in large round numbers but in exchange, I’d also be giving up portions of my patience, my ability to parent effectively and thoughtfully, my ability to be a supportive and loving partner. That check would have to be really big to be worth that trade off.

  5. Woah, that’s a crazy interpretation of domain 4! I’ve never seen it used to require extracurricular or stipended positions. You’re obviously right – it’s very subjective.

    The time/money equation has always been a hard one to balance. I stopped teaching as an adjunct because it was killing me to give up summer days with TFI to do it. I can imagine it would be an even clearer choice with kids. Good luck to you and your family – I’m sure it will be a great trade off.

    • Adjunct work always seems so enticing to me, but I bet it’s a TON of work!

      You give me such hope that not everyone interprets Domain 4 that way!

  6. This is a decision I’m wrestling with at the moment – whether to go part-time at my teaching job or not. You’re right – the money is hard to walk away from, but that time with young kids goes so fast.

    • I had a few people ask if I would consider teaching part time. But the positions don’t really exist in our district, and I carry the insurance. It seems like a fantastic way to get the best of both worlds if it’s a real option for you!

  7. This is the reason I gave up a six figure income. We saved for many years before my oldest son was born and in the end I decided I wanted to be there as much as I could, which meant not returning to an IT job. Staying home and/or working part time is not without its sacrifices and realizing that I gave up over a million dollars over the last 7.5 years is hard to swallow, but you know what I wouldn’t change the decision. Having experienced medical crises in the past I know that tomorrow is not a given. So I decided to be present today. Your husband will regain the lost income at some point in the future when your son is older.

  8. It’s hard to overstate how much I support this decision! As you know, we’re parenting kids who are relatively close in age, and if there’s one fundamental truth, it’s that these early years are fleeting, and can’t be bought back no matter how rich we all ultimately become. I treasure every moment so much, and I know you both do as well. I think you are all going to be so incredibly satisfied by making this move. I am really happy for you guys.

    • Thank you! Your Instagram is a great reminder of all the adventures that are just perfectly priceless.

      OK, fine. Your wife’s Instagram 😉

  9. I definitely agree with this decision. While I understand the want and need to support the students, like you said, we can’t get time back. Especially with our own little ones. They grow so fast! I don’t think it’ll be a decision either of you regret.

  10. I never thought of balancing my money and time until we had our baby. Before that MwC and me would work as much as we can to earn more money. And fortunately we saved a good amount that when BwC was born we were able to commit to taking care of him rather than spend more time at work. Once you realize that you have a baby, you make as much time as you can raising the little one and it puts your life into perspective on what’s really important fo you.

    • So true! I was bursting at the seams with HP, and one of my coworkers stopped to congratulate me. “You have a real priority now!” 😀

  11. Christopher Hipskind

    Hi guys,

    I think you are on the right track. I to am a teacher of 25 years. I loved my job for many years really getting into every opportunity to take it to the next level and Coach as well.

    My biggest regret? Not spending enough of that valuable time with my kids. And you just can’t get those years back.

  12. Not sure if I have said it enough but I love your writing. This piece, though so personal, makes me as a reader start thinking in so many directions and it is so sensitively written.

    I think it’s a very fine balance that is also very personal. What do you let go of to make space for what is something people can answer only for themselves which is what makes Personal Finance so very Personal.

    As you said, here it’s not just about the money but a passion as well. Good luck to your husband with the transition.

  13. My life has gotten this way with the spring semester, and I can’t wait for summer. I already have projects lined up (which I really want to do!) so now my goal is not to say yes to things just because I “could” do them. If it’s not a heck yeah, it’s a no!
    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you all enjoy your new time together 🙂

  14. I guess you summarize the issue pretty well in your last paragraph by saying: “You can always make more money, but what you can’t get more of is time.”

    For us who already made the decision to make time more important than money we realized that there is also quite an interesting paradox that can be either healthy or unhealthy. Healthy would be when you reduce your spending to have more time which in turns let you spend less (which can be counter intuitive at first). Unhealthy when you want to reduce your time to make more money which in turns ask you for more time, which you touch upon on your article (we actually wrote in more depth on this on our blog – https://www.nomadnumbers.com/time-money-paradox/).

    I hope your husband announcement to his boss about his decision went well. Keep us posted.

  15. It’s interesting, but I have found the whole process of getting serious about paying back debt made me more aware — and better — at balancing money and time in my life. Thinking about repayment also forced me to think about what I’m not willing to give up along the way. And while getting debt-free is definitely important to me, I’ve realized it’s not the most important thing in my life by a long shot.

    Like you said, you only get so much time.

    On a related note, I wanted to say thank you for the insight into a side of teaching I think people are generally pretty unaware of. I’m not a teacher, but my best friend is, and her stories always blow my mind. The work teachers do is SO important and it is frustrating to see that not reflecting in salaries. I really don’t understand it at all.

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