Who’s (Really) the Boss? Distinct Roles in Marriage

A year has passed since we took our Winnebago EKKO RV (KanVan) for a spin across the northern plains of America. We are planning another trip, and I am exhausted from all the work. Not my work; I basically do nothing. It’s mostly my husband Mitch who is in the trip-planning lead. As a result of Mitch working so hard, I had time to think about our distinct roles in marriage, from travel to our daughter’s special services and Who’s (Really) the Boss?

Watching Mitch plan and prepare is exhausting. He is an expert at navigating our roads across the country. On the other hand, in the RV, I am an expert at checking my phone, napping while he drives, checking my phone again , eating, and stopping to use our facilities, it’s a good thing our bathroom travels with us.

This is our dynamic. Mitch is our travel agent, booking agent, navigator, predominant driver, parker of RV into tight places, cleaner of all nasty hoses and cassette things, and pretty much everything else. What is my role? I am good at cleaning! I also do some laundry and cooking.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

This year, we are headed to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. It’s a bucket list thing. We are meeting friends at the event who have talents that surprise us daily. First off, Mrs. Friend is a talented watercolor artist, and I am a huge fan.

Mrs. Friend’s Pumpkins

Mr. Friend has several skills as well.   For example, when I asked the Mister if he ever went in a hot air balloon, he responded, “Yes, I have a Hot Air balloon pilot license, and we owned two balloons back in the day!” WOW! I didn’t see that coming.

Yeah, that’s probably not happening…

Wizard of Oz

Mitch and I avoid flying like a plague (hence the RV). Many people have asked if we will try to get on a balloon for a ride. I would consider a tethered ride, and Mitch is happy watching from a distance. We are newbies and I am unsure if hitching a ride is an option. I would love to get back to you to say I flew like the Wizard of Oz!

The Distinct Roles of Marriage

Our marriage has always had distinct roles – Our daughter Jessica has a rare chromosome deletion, 1Q43-44. And navigating the special education and human service landscape was my specialty. I was and still am the travel agent of Jessica’s services.


Special Education, Accommodations, Decisions

While Mitch navigates the roads across the country, I navigate the roads of services and different options. There are many detours along this path. Jessica requires numerous support and accommodations, and there are decisions. I feel confident in this role.

In our marriage, two people like to be in charge. How did that happen? Two bosses make for some exciting discussions. I am grateful that we each have different talents and are not vying to control the same areas of life. Or I may be writing a very different type of blog today.

Who’s The Boss?

Of course, I am not comparing an RV trip to the importance of providing for Jessica. This essay is a short pondering of Who’s the Boss and the realization that Mitch and I complement each other. We are both the Boss and the passenger.

I’ll let you know if I (we) get on that Balloon.   

For an inspiring stories about Raising a Child with a Rare Chromosome Deletion, check out 3-time award-winning memoir,  Raising Jess: A Story of Hope!

5 thoughts on “Who’s (Really) the Boss? Distinct Roles in Marriage

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Vickie and Mitch, great article. Mike and I can relate to the complementary aspect of our lives. We didn’t get to visit with one another this summer (which has been hectic ) but we’ll definitely that before too much time has passed.
    Ps I went on a balloon ride once and watched the sunset over Lake Erie.

    1. raisingjessstory Post author

      Is this Sandy? And I’m not surprised that you have been in a balloon already. !!!! My fearless friend. I felt bad that we didn’t get to go to your place this summer. There were too many things going on, and we never went on an RV trip until now. Hope all is well with you and your family. Xoxo

  2. Ab

    Come on, Vickie, you gotta go on the hot air balloon. Nothing conquers fear of flying and heights like a hot air balloon ride! 😆

    I love how you and Mitch have clear roles. It is essential to surviving marriage and special needs parenting. Good luck and have fun with your upcoming trip.

    PS. I think you left the anonymous comment in my recent post about wanting stir fry recipes. If so I’ll email a few veggie suggestions sometime this weekend.

    Take care!

    1. raisingjessstory Post author

      I am not sure why it came up anonymous. But if it was the post about non-spicy, stir fried tofu, it was me.
      I am wavering about hot air balloon, and not sure if they will even be an opportunity . But I am so excited to see this.
      You and your hubby seem to have your roles defined as well. I think we all have to wear that we have a child with special needs or not, but especially with a child with special needs.
      On our way to aspen now 😀


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