When Ava, our oldest, was 2, Mark accepted a wonderful opportunity to work as a lineman. The work was dangerous, but he enjoyed it, and the pay was, well… refreshing. We were a young couple, just starting out, and it was a breath of fresh air for our budget.
I know we have all heard “money can’t buy happiness”, but it sure is hard to believe that when you’re paying for daycare– right, Mamas?! It was a tough adjustment because this job required him to work on the road. We face timed constantly and he lived in hotels and campers more than he was at home. In 2014, he was only home for 88 days.
When he was offered the chance to take a different path that allowed him to be home every night, we adopted the phrase,
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
Oh, how sweet it was to be able to see Daddy walk in the door every evening for dinner and to hear our small children shout, “Daaaaddyyyyy!” as those muddy boots were slid off at the door.
Mark has now happily worked in agriculture for the last 7 years. He has done anything you could imagine in association with land management and wildlife from running plantations, to guiding hunts. He is truly the hardest working man I know. And the best part of all, he is the most loving and supportive father.
This weekend, as I was scrolling through TikTok, I saw a clip from a Podcast that features one of my favorite comedians, Bert Kreischer. He is crass, but hilarious, and seems so down-to-earth. He was talking to another Comedian, Chris Distefano, and Chris was becoming emotional talking about how he is watching his daughter’s life on his phone. He leads a successful life with money and fame, but he is unable to attend her events. He is choking up talking to Bert saying “How do you do it?” and Bert is not laughing-so-hard-he-is-crying, but rather crying-so-hard-he-is-laughing, as he says, “I can’t tell you it gets easier…”
Whew! What a reminder that was! Those men are so blessed, yet their hearts are aching! Mark has been offered to return to the line in the past but has had the gut feeling, or divine guidance, that he needed to be able to be home with us. It has been the right choice for us. This guy works so incredibly hard! Working his main job Monday through Friday and then devoting his weekend to his start-up lawn care business. I am so unbelievably proud of him and thankful for his choices! Father/daughter dances, t-ball games, camping trips, hunting adventures, movie nights, family dinners, and rides on the lawn mower… I am so thankful he never got so busy making a living that he forgot to make a life.