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Melody DeFlorio

Associate Director

Randolph, VT

I can't wait to see the amazing woman that Isabel will grow into, having two parents who wholeheartedly support one another in our goals.

This story is not just about me but also about my husband and our collective decision to lean into new career paths. While I pursued a new job in financial aid in higher education, he became a stay-at-home dad and part-time photographer.

After college I worked as an account manager for several years. I didn't know what I wanted from my career, but I did know that I wanted to be a mom. In 2008 my husband got laid off from his job as a project manager and estimator at a construction company, and after a couple of years of him working odd jobs and starting a new career as a photographer, we put aside our financial worries and decided to try to get pregnant.

Within two weeks I took the test and it was positive. Isabel was born, and we decided that Ben would stay home with her and I would continue working.

Isabel was attached to me throughout most of my maternity leave, so when it came time for the test run of having Ben watch her for seven hours on his own, I was a wreck. I worried that she would feel abandoned, that she would cry for seven hours straight. While she shed some tears (she was a baby, of course!), he did just fine, and so did she.

Since then Ben has not just leaned into his role as a stay-at-home dad—he has plunged into it, all the while successfully managing a photography business on the side. His dedication to Isabel, and to me, is inspiring.

Ultimately I found a new job closer to home and have been able, with Ben's support, to lean into my career in the financial aid office at Norwich University while working towards an MBA degree. I can't wait to see the amazing woman that Isabel will grow into, having two parents who wholeheartedly support one another in our goals; one a caring and incredibly involved father and the other a loving, ambitious and successful mother.

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