Role Swap

Last time I left you I was jumping out a window. Well I jumped and landed on my feet (thankfully) in a completely different location than what was expected. Boy did that post come bite me on the butt! I was going to go work in central Australia, with endless blue skies and red dirt, then within a week, I’m planning to move down to the wettest place in Australia, the Cassowary Coast.

I am working now within a model of midwifery care that I wholly believe in, and had no warning that that was where I was headed so soon in my career. It was an unexpected surprise, and I couldn’t say no, even with the endless rain that was about to soak my life. I do struggle with rain, Cairns is wet enough, now I live some where with an additional metre more of rain every year. What we do for love.

I have been here for 2 months now and so far I am in love with my job, I don’t even feel like I’m working. How blessed am I?

So we pulled the children out of their very loved school, and put them in the school across the road from us in our new home, they are going well. We go down to the beach and share it with the cassowaries. We found some bike paths, the two places to go for good coffee, the local bottle O, and Coles. That’s about it here! Sometimes we get lucky and some sun peaks out in between clouds. I have mentioned that I liken this place to Forks, which is where Edward the vampire lived with his vampire family, cause it rains so much, therefore the sun doesn’t reveal their true identity. I am definitely looking more vampire like, zero tan.

My husband and I have now transitioned into the completely opposite role. While at uni we shared both roles, now he has moved 100% into full time carer of kids, and 100% cleaner of house, and 100% cooking duties. Okay of course I too care for the kids, and do some house work, but its nothing to the extend he now has to do.

And I do know what he has to do. I was once in that role, and may I highlight that I was in this role when no one was at school. In fact I had 3 under 4yrs of age and no one went to daycare or kindy. It was just me, full time. So I totally get it when he says….

“This washing just keeps coming and coming!!!!”

“Kids get your filthy feet outside, I just cleaned the floors!”

“I just feel under appreciated.”

“You just ate the salmon that I bought specifically for the sushi I was going to make tomorrow night!”

“I am never making a laksa from scratch again, this is taking me forever.”


And I’ll be the first to admit, going to work is easier (when someone else is doing all the housework and kid organizing). I love going to work, and I come home to a home cooked meal. I can only imagine having to do this all as a single parent, or when both of you work fulltime.

I never come home and ask “What have you been doing ALL day?” if I see a pile of washing as high as the table, because staying at home and holding fort is hard. No one sees what you do, no one sees what you are unable to do because your holding the fort, keeping everything running, keeping people alive. He is now the one at school events, packing lunches every day, and he actually makes better lunches than me! He has baked chocolate banana bread a few times, scones when visitors come, he makes sushi (when someone doesn’t eat his ingredients), he makes laksa for dinner, and we had roast duck one night.

We have both transitioned into a new role, a role that we probably never imagined ourselves doing. Did I think, 4 years ago that I’d be working as a Midwife, bringing in the money, while my husband stayed at home? No.

I feel very blessed to be in a relationship where I feel we are truly embracing the new age for women, men, and families. This didn’t happen overnight, its been a slow transition over many years, many conversations, and sometimes disagreements. We can both now say, that we have struggled with the role of staying at home. Both of us. And that isn’t the same for everyone. We feel blessed that both of us have had the opportunity to stay at home with the kids, to give them consistency and stability. We love that now either one of us can go to work and earn enough to support the family on one income, allowing the other to look after the kids, or later in life, pursue other things, or take a break from paid work.

I have always thought we have been given much to be able to give much. My freedom and autonomy as a woman is possibly one of the greatest any woman could wish for in this world. And I do not take this lightly or for granted. We must use what we are given to improve the lives of those not as fortunate as us.

My mother said we are in a fast flowing river, moving quickly towards destinations and people awaiting us. The current calling us forward, propels us in the right directions if we follow him, if we trust him, and let go of the rocks and logs on the side. Sometimes it is hard for those close to us to come with us on this journey, it can sometimes seem like there is endless sacrifices they have to make for a current that they may not be as aware of, for a calling that may not yet be revealed to them. A trusting relationship is critical for a family moving forward into a future that hasn’t been fully revealed.

I have glimpses of possibilities. I think we all do, although we have no idea how they will come about, or what the point of them will actually be.

I want to encourage every family, supporting someone in a dream, in a calling. It feels like its all about them sometimes, but you really are a big part of it, an essential part of it. Everything you do is SEEN. This is your family calling, and as you move through time, each individual will branch off as each part is revealed. Our callings are intertwined, so go with whoever’s is presenting and more will be revealed x I promise you that!

role swap 5


One Comment Add yours

  1. Gail Reardon says:

    Very well written Jess. Adrian has been very supporting. You are both fortunate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s