27 June 2005

What do dads do?

In the course of our trek we visited at least 21 homeschooling families. They are from all areas of the country from city to country, from higher to lower value areas and from all walks of life. The common link was each family had lots of children (average of 5 to 8) and all were supported by one income.
The father's occupations included accountants, salesmen, lawyers, an insurance agent, mechanics, a welder, an actuary, nuclear power plant manager, Church employee, printer manager, hardware store employee, carpenters and teachers among others.
Each family's financial situation differed, but all were able to raise a family, feed and educate them, and have the occasional extras. The main similarity - they all place children and family life on the Asset side of life's balance sheet.
I remember a story of a teacher asking his students where to place various parts of life on a balance sheet with assets (positive things) on one side and liabilities on the other. Initially most students placed all the non material/monetary assets on the liability side. Eventually, after a bit more discussion surrounding the true meaning of value, wealth and timeliness of assets, the students re-evaluated many items - especially the non monetary items.

All of these families have happy and intelligent children and wholesome lives. We are often informed by the media that two incomes are compulsory in today's world. But the twenty one families we met on our trek and the thousands of other homeschooling families we know locally, in Australia and via the Internet, show that it is not essential.
When we were first starting our family (I think just after James - our third child - was born) I did the typical accountant thing and did a cross comparison between Lana working and having the children in school and child care versus her staying at home and being a home-maker. After taking into account schooling costs, transport, clothing, child care, food costs and so on, the type of job Lana required to get the pre-tax level of income necessary to break even, we saved a fortune being on one income. This did not take into account the non financial benefits of being there as the children grew and developed. In the US, the tax situation is even more beneficial for families.
So, what do Dads do? They still can perform their role as provider and protector in close and intimate association with their wives doing their role as the family's heart. Partners in life - for life.

(By the way - the photo is an example of what NOT to do if you need to open your laptop PC. A power drill is not the recommended tool!)

1 comment:

Jen said...

ah... the beautiful and practical design of God compared to the paranoia and selfishness of the world.

:-) GO DADS!