My husband, Jesse, has many wonderful traits. He is caring, thoughtful, athletic, funny, and the list goes on. However, he would argue that his best attribute is of being a hard worker. While Jesse attended college as a full time student, he also worked a full time job. As soon as he graduated from college, he found a job at a wilderness boarding school for at-risk adolescents. He fell in love with the position and has been working at the school ever since. The job has required a lot of learning and growth but his innate diligence has earned him multiple promotions and respect at his job. However, part of working hard for him meant making the job his life. When he first started at the school, he lived on campus five days a week. Three years later when we met, he could go home at night, but frequently worked from sunrise to eight or nine at night. He lived and breathed the school.
When we got married and Jesse didn’t even take a day off for the wedding. He merely took one comp day in addition to his regular time off (and on that day he still ran errands for the school!). Less than a year later, I had to (not proudly) bully him to take more than a week off when our son was born. Jesse’s is not a bad husband, nor is he a bad father. He IS a hard worker and, until me, he had no reason to separate his life from work.
Over the past two years, I have watched him struggle to meet the needs of a demanding job while trying to give the same focus and attention to his family. I have felt my heart break watching my strong husband grieve over not spending time with his little one. Becoming a husband and a father turned his world upside down…in a beautiful way…but it has not come without heartache.
The heartache has finally become too much for Jesse (and me) to bear so we have arrived at the decision together that Jesse needs to find a new position. A position that will give him more flexibility and more time with his family. It was our hope that the school would evolve his position to give him the flexibility that was desired, but a business is a business and the request went unmet. Consequently, Jesse committed himself to finding a new job–for which I am exceedingly proud of him (until that moment, he hadn’t been able to fully prioritize the family over the school). The past few weeks have been spent searching for positions and writing his resume. Until last week…
Jesse has spent the past six and a half years working on the Boys campus of the school but a position has recently opened up on the Girls campus…and it was offered to Jesse. Accepting the position would be a promotion; he would be the Program Director of the Girls School and, essentially, would be running the campus. However, the promotion comes with a huge potential drawback: longer hours. Our immediate thought was to turn down the offer and continue searching for a job elsewhere. Yet, after many heart-to-hearts and chats with his supervisors, Jesse has decided to accept the position as Program Director of the Girls School. There will for sure be longer hours during the transition phase, but the position has the potential to give him more flexibility than his previous position would ever allow. Jesse loves the school and the thought of leaving the program was too painful.
As our family and friends, we will need extra love, prayers, and support over the next year. We have both committed to making this promotion a success but we know that it won’t always be easy. Jesse will need support as he adapts to his new position. He’s very excited about the opportunity but I know he is grieving leaving his old staff behind. I’ll need support when I miss him and when I find myself overwhelmed by Bug.
I could not be prouder of my husband, not only for being a hard worker and earning a promotion, but for working so hard to meet his family’s needs as well. I know that becoming a husband and father has not come seamlessly (and I know that I haven’t always made it easy for him) but I’m proud of who he has become.