Work + Family = Possible
I have a job that recognizes that I have a life outside of work. That is a rare and magical gift, and I don't know what I would do without it. I know a lot of women aren't so lucky. They have to support their families financially, care for them emotionally and protect their physical well-being—all while maintaining jobs that make it hard for them to parent the way they want. It makes a tough situation tougher.
I have one child, and my husband and I work the same daytime hours. (Like I said, we're lucky.) But here's what I can say: Ido have to try harder to make things run smoothly because finding family time takes WORK.
When we get home in the evenings, we have exactly two and a half hours to make and eat dinner, do homework and get the boy showered and in bed. Somewhere in between all that, we try to work in a little quality time. (I used to hate this phrase but now totally get it.) With all of the rushing we do in our lives, family dinner is the ultimate opportunity to bond as a family.
We try to eat as healthy as we can by cooking large batches, but what we eat isn't most important—eating together as a family is. It gives us a chance to talk at the dinner table and remember that we are a family. We discuss the day's events, what's happening in the world and we really have a chance to relate to each other. It's our little ritual, and we try to do to it as often as we can.
Not only has family bonding time over dinner made my relationship with my husband stronger, but it has helped my son to see us as more than just parents. He sees us as two independent, hard-working people who still make the effort to spend quality time together. I hope we're giving him a good example of how a working family can still manage to keep it all together.
My son may go to an after-school program. And we may not have time for sit-down breakfasts every morning, but I hope these little moments reassure him that his father and I try to keep our family as stable as possible.
What do you do to keep family life in a positive balance with work?