Mr. Dr. Mr. Amelia (MDMA) declined to participate, but fortunately, I am also married to an academic. MDMA and I are living about as close to the dream as one can get, with two academic jobs that are within 100 miles of each other and a neat town with good schools halfway between in which we live. Neither of us is working at a job that maxes our potential. But we're not complaining at all.
Our lives during the school year are pretty crazy, and we both talk about work all the time. I think my kids know a lot more about how colleges work than most people, and my oldest can sometimes help with key-based grading or finding grammatical errors in student lab reports. We work kind of ridiculous hours during the year. MDMA regularly gets up at 5 to get a few hours in before the day starts, and I am often working from the time the kids hit the sack to 10 or 11. But we're not complaining at all.
We don't teach in the summer, and try to keep other summer work to a minimum, too, hence the long hours during the year. So we don't get paid in the summer, either. So we eat a lot of beans, and get many of our clothes from thrift shops. We buy a car about every 14 years. But the summers are great. We put in maybe 2 hours of work a day and enjoy the rest of the time with museums, hiking and camping, visiting the park and other family time. So my kids know by example what it is to work hard, but also have some solid family memories.
We're not complaining at all.
-- Dr. Amelia