24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
When I was growing up my father had his own floral business. He worked 6-7 days each week depending on the time of year and if it was around a holiday. It was difficult to take vacations because 1) he was his own boss, thus he didn’t get “vacation pay.” 2) If he wasn’t at the shop, he wasn’t earning money. After many years of that, my mother put her foot down, and we eventually took a vacation every summer. By then, he had hired one or two people who could work in the shop while he was gone, so he didn’t have to close entirely. It helped, but his main focus was still on his business. My mother made most of the decisions in the family, and usually my father went along with whatever she said. As a father, he tried to spend as much time with my brother and I as he could. He read to me every night before I went to bed, and did the same with my brother. Both Bob and I spent time “working” alongside Dad in the flower shop, and the money we earned went into our college funds. It taught us a lot!
My husband also has his own business. He used to work 6 days a week to keep his shop open, and had many of the same issues that my dad did when it came to taking time off. Because he’s self-employed and the only employee, we often joke about the really bad Company Christmas parties he has. My husband has always taken time to do things with our sons, and when he could, would squeak away from work on Saturdays to attend their ball games and other events. But it was difficult for him to get away. Now, he works 5 days each week, and really enjoys a “normal weekend.” As a couple, we make most of our decisions together. I’m proud that I have never given him a “Honey Do” list. It has just never been necessary, as we both know what needs to be done and share most of the work. I should add, that he also worked for my dad. During college, he would come back to town around the holidays and dad would put him to work making deliveries. Then when he graduated from college, he worked part-time for him and part-time for his mother in HER business. As you can see, the small business thing is in our blood!