The Question Matters

Gen X Resurrection: From House to Home

Posted in Family,Generation X by treyfinley1008 on March 29, 2010
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I’m subscribed to a blog called junkdrawer67. I know nothing about the writer other than this: he is from Generation X and he lives in Michigan.  Thanks to a recent post, I also know that’s he in the midst of a divorce.  His post is about the divorce rate in America.   The short story–the divorce rate in America is dropping.  Don’t believe the 50/50 success rate.

If this article is to be believed, then Generation X is making a difference in the divorce rate in America:

More than 65 percent of first marriages reach their 10th anniversaries. That number has jumped to about 80 percent for recent marriages…Many long for the 1950s, when intact, happily married couples populated the popular imagination. In a way, that era has quietly returned. The average number of children exposed to divorce today has dropped to near the average experienced during that decade…for those marrying in the early 1990s, 78 percent were still married after 10 years compared with 73 percent of those marrying in the late 1970s.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  Marriage is a marathon, and what these stats tell us is that we’re less likely now to throw in the towel in the first few miles than we used to be.  It doesn’t mean stumbling and falling is inevitable, especially since these stats tell us nothing about the second decade of marriage and beyond.

If we want that resurrection to continue (and I think most everyone who came home to an empty house in their childhood does), we must continue finding ways to prioritize our families.  Here are some things our family of four is doing to breathe home life into our house.

LIVE FIRST, WORK SECOND.  My wife and I are big proponents of this.  We both work only four days a week.  Right now, that means there’s less income and more untapped business than we’d like.  It also means that our 22-month old only goes to daycare three days a week.  It means that I can pick up my four-year-old from school today and hang out for a while before dinner.

KNOW WHEN TO STOP WORKING.  Confession time–I’m really bad at putting away the iPhone.  It finds its way into my hands while the kids watch TV or play outside.  My wife and I are also pretty bad about working late into the night, a habit we both want to change.  We’re still getting better at this one; we’re a work in progress.

SCHEDULE TIME WITH THE FAMILY.  Set an appointment.  Kid time is kid time, spouse time is spouse time.  For my wife and I, American Idol is three hours of our weeknight evenings.  One night each week is Family Night.  One night each week is Boys Night Out.  Date Night for my wife and I stays on the calendar.  I’m not naive; our schedule will change in the coming years.  I also know that as those changes come, our investment now in family time will yield dividends well into our boys’ teen years.

Your house is different from mine, so your strategies will probably differ from ours.  What’s your strategy for living first, working second?

Check out Live First, Work Second.


3 Responses to 'Gen X Resurrection: From House to Home'

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  1. James Nored said,

    Trey, only work 4 days a week? Gen X slacker! 🙂 Seriously, I have the Achiever strength, so that would be like a slow death for me. Achiever are often notorious workaholics.

    Reggie McNeal shared with us that Achievers need to set clear, measurable goals in their personal relationships. I’m trying to do this.

  2. 2mannasisters said,

    I sure feel blessed to be hitting that 10 year mark with you THIS YEAR! This is a great post about living first and working second. –Marla Finley

  3. 5kidswdisabilities said,

    I agree the statistics on divorce are misleading. Many couples get married and divorced 3 or 4 times.That screws up the statistics for us who remain married. (For myself, it will be 38 years in October.) I have friends who have been married 3 rimes. For just the 4 of us (the 2 of them and the 2 of us,) we have a DIVORCE rate of 75%.
    Lindsey Petersen

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