Do you live in the US?
The concern for prestige reminds me of the T.V. series, The Office. In the first couple of seasons of the U.S. version, anytime Dwight Shrute refers to himself as Assistant Regional Manager, his boss corrects him and calls him Assistant to the Regional Manager.
Either way, Dwight’s bringing home the same paycheck.
St. Thomas Aquinas pointed to “honor” - synonymous with admiration and prestige - as one of those factors that we can start pursuing instead of God.
I hate to sound harsh, but consider putting your ego on the sidelines. It seems to be clouding your judgment.
Maybe it’s just my age, but if finances were the priority that they rightly are for you, I’d accept a janitorial position if it paid me more than my current, Masters-level field. (And unfortunately, it very well might. )
All of this is impossible to properly assess without knowing the hard numbers on comparative salaries, tax rates, costs of living, savings rate, accumulated savings (and potential investment earnings), potential to cut lifestyle, etc… etc…
It may be that the OP has the means to provide just fine for his family on a greatly reduced income, and just needs a little bit of financial coaching, rather than professional coaching. Or not. Not enough info.
Again, I don’t know what the OP does, but… if it is something that he could freelance part-time (and probably make a higher hourly net rate doing), while moving to a lower-paying, less stressful full-time job elsewhere, that might something to consider. Especially since from the sounds of it, he is working 80+ hrs/wk right now.
The OP indicated his wife would need to work. Thus my comment about day care costs. I don’t intend to do a “Dave Ramsey”; but there is plenty of evidence out there about what the net is or is not when the second adult has to go to work, and they have small children. As to hours, possibly (especially if he is a young attorney in a large law firm), but he indicated he traveled a lot - so probably not that.
I most strongly suspect this is not about money; it is about how he views himself, particularly as against others. While there may be some relevance as to how he measures out, he talks about prestige. Prestige is irrelevant to evangelization, to reference one of his comments.
He talks about performance in reference to others. So what? There are not too many high paying jobs which continue to pay someone who is not performing adequately; since he is still employed one can reasonably presume he is adequate, or he would be out of a job. It takes him longer, he has to take notes, he does not have the ability to “shoot from the lip” - none of those indicate that he is inadequate for the job. They may indicate that he will never be in the top 10% (or in a position I once held, in the top 5%) and so will not get that “prestige”.
Prestige will not get you into heaven. It won’t make you a better father of your children. It won’t make you a better spouse. And in the world of work, it is not likely to evangelize others; most often it will engender envy - not exactly a virtue.
It might make you more money; but learning and dealing with the difference between “wants” and “needs” takes care of that issue by and large.
I get it that he is not home as much as if he were an eight to fiver. But quantity of time spent with kids does not equate with quality of time spent.
The issues are in his head; it is up to him to find a different way of viewing his own scale of values, and to quit comparing himself to others.
Right. I guess I missed that.
There is a correlation though. It’s hard to have a relationship with your kids if you only see them for ten minutes a day. So this could potentially still be a concern. You might be more or less on point with the other things though. Either way, I’m sure it’s fairly complicated, and we don’t have all the information, so I’m going to stop speculating now unless the OP responds.
To which I would add, we don’t know that he gets only 10 minutes a day. As a matter of fact, he puts in long hours, but beyond the normal work day it is not at all clear that he is not around his children. How much of his work is due to matters he could control but currently does not, we cannot tell.
Compare to a long haul truck driver; a pilot, someone in the military, a sales person with a large geographical territory, or any number of other means of employment which take one away from the home for long periods of time; that is life. learning to do what is necessary and organizing it well is a challenge. Given the amount of stewing the OP is doing, I would not be the least surprised if he is not spending time effectively. As you note, details are less than sparse. And pretty much, I stand by what I wrote. A strong dose of “Dutch uncle”, but that is what I perceive is called for, unless and until more information is given.