At the time when Jesse was offered his first youth minister job, we were 6 months pregnant with our first child (we waited to find out it was a daughter until the day she made her arrival!). We made a list of all the pros & cons that this new opportunity would bring. Right near the very top of the "Pros" column was "flexible schedule." Since youth groups happen in the evenings, Jesse would be able to stay home during the day with our little one. Although we were a mere 3 months away from meeting our little girl, we hadn't yet discussed what would happen when my 6 weeks of maternity leave ended & I had to go back to work. It was a conversation I was certainly putting off because I didn't want to think about the day I had to drop my newborn off at a daycare & then go into work for the day. I understand that daycare is a blessing for parents who have to work daytime jobs, but in my heart I knew it wasn't going to work for us. If I would have to continue working (a necessity when your job carries all the healthcare benefits as well as necessary income) after our daughter was born, I could only imagine being comfortable with her being with Jesse all day.
So, we made the decision that Jesse would take the youth ministry job. At the time, he was working 50+ hours a week at a job placement service & wanted to remain there for as long as possible, which meant right up until I had to go back to work. So, he continued to work there during the day & lay the groundwork for youth group in the evenings. Needless to say, when our daughter was born, I spent most of my maternity leave by myself (looking back, this should have been a warning of things to come!).
I am blessed to be able to go to work in the mornings & know that my daughters are being taken care of by their dad. I think it has made him a better parent & has formed a strong bond between Daddy & his little girls. All that being said, there are very few days that I walk out the door & don't wish it was me being able to stay home with them. Or at least be able to do this. There are certainly times when I am thankful that I can go to work & get a break from all the craziness that comes with having 3 little ones. But I miss them terribly when I'm away & can't wait to come home cuddling & playing with my girls again!