Thursday, September 18, 2008

Economics 101

One of the concepts that we teach in Economics very early on is something called Opportunity Cost. Although I know everyone who took an economics course in high school or college already knows what I'm talking about, let me assume that there is maybe one of you that has forgotten what this is: Opportunity cost says that every decision we make carries a cost -- that is, that we must sacrifice something to get something else. Boy, is the Weinrich family learning opportunity cost first-hand!

About a month ago, we were all extremely happy and relieved that Karen finally found a teaching job. Not only does the checkbook like this circumstance, but we continue to rejoice that that job has turned out to be in a school that has a great administration and wonderful colleagues. The atmosphere at Trinity is very conducive to both spiritual growth and educational excellence. On top of that, she only has 6 students! Wonderful! Right?

But (and there's always a But when speaking of opportunity cost), what's the cost? We're having a hard time adjusting to the forgone time at home. Our meals are suffering since she's not home to prepare the delicious meals that take time to develop. We spend the time at home doing laundry, doing the dishes, and straightening the house that the kids still (despite the lost time) seem to be able to destroy very readily. The boys are more resistant to chores since they don't get to "play" at much (they're in an after-school program). Let's just say that we have a new-found respect for families that have both parents working. And our eternal admiration goes out to those single parents who pull this miraculous feat off on their own. Amazing!

As time goes on, we'll have to take account of our decision. Is the added income worth the stress?

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