*sets the scene*
November 2012 - Nine short months into my marriage and expecting our first born any day. Worried about making ends meet, but most importantly, I wanted to be there for my wife and son in any and every way I could be.
Working a community agency job...which means overworked and underpaid under-appreciated, I asked my employer for an extended leave. Low and behold, I was considered an "essential employee" and they couldn't survive without me.
So I did what any stubborn, determined, and obstinate young man would do. I promptly put in my notice.
Now what?! Only one thing left for me to do...survive!
My wife and I discussed things and decided that I would become a Stay-At-Home-Dad while I forged through the unknown to open my own business.
Headaches. Sleepless nights. Learning curves. Tears. Dirty diapers. Way more courage than I ever knew I had. And lots and lots of trial and error.
*Flash forward to present day*
It has been an incredibly short (and somehow long) 10 years. Many ups and downs, highs and lows, and way more failures than successes. (And do I even need to mention a global pandemic?!? Didn't think so.)
I have been incredibly blessed.
10 years later I have worked with hundreds of couples, families, and individuals; supervised almost a dozen interns; presented dozens of couples workshops and professional trainings; researched, designed, fine-tuned and completed more than 100 Private Couples Retreats; officiated four different weddings, earned two highly sought after professional certifications; taught multiple masters level courses; travelled around the country; presented at local, state, and national conferences; and became the only person in Indiana with my training, experience, and expertise.
And what am I most proud of?
I've been able to (with my wife, of course!) raise three beautiful, smart, creative, wild, brave, and insightful children. I've seen them challenge themselves, face their fears, learn music, try different sports, lose in the first round, become champions, be selected to robotics teams, fall asleep reading, learning new games, beat me at chess (all of them!), break bones, learn to swim, almost drown, explore, sleep in, stay up late....and did I mention all the CUDDLES!?!?!?
I am no fool. I know I have been amazingly fortunate to balance being a SAHD while building my dream solo-practice. There have been costs as well - but the things I have gained along the way FAR outweigh any challenges I or my family have endured. Even though I say it's my business and my dream...truth is, without my wife behind me, I could never have accomplished the things or worked with all the couples I have.
Ten long wonderful, sometimes miserable, and often frightening years.
And now for my wish....
*whispers to self (and the universe) *
In the next 10 years, I wish that I can touch thousands of couples's lives with workshops, retreats, presentations, writings, events, and various projects and dreams.
I wish that these couples find the strength and endurance to intentionally designed to build, maintain, and repair their relationships. That their children, families, and neighbors truly appreciate the great legacy that is a trusting, fulfilling relationship with two partners that never stop fighting for their future.
I wish that I can play a tiny but meaningful role in the future of this world. One relationship at a time!