Work and Family

For many families, having to juggle every increasing work and family demands is an unfortunate byproduct of our modern existence. Our work time keeps increasing, our family time keeps dwindling, and our guilt about the situation grows.


The Work and Family Merry-Go-Round


Work more – Spend less time with the family
Spend more and buy more to compensate
Work more to pay for the things you buyEtc., etc., etc.


A quick checkup (to be answered honestly)

  • 1. Are you working yourself to death to be able to afford things that you think you need (but may not really)?
  • 2. Are you compensating for your lack of family time by buying things (toys, gifts, etc.) to help manage your guilt?
  • 3. Do you let your children get away with things they shouldn’t because you feel bad about not being with them as much as you would like?
  • 4. Does regret about you family situation affect your performance on the job?

If at all possible, ask yourself some questions and make some decisons. Am I working the way I am, which is negatively affecting the family, because I need to or want to? Don’t rush to answer this question with an automatic “need to.” It’s amazing the number of people, given the time to honestly answer the question, realize that to a large degree their work habits are ego gratification, or in order to buy things that they believe they need.

Getting off the Merry-Go-Round

  • 1. If you are working longer and harder just to make ends meet, start by controlling your expenses. Develop a family budget and learn how to live within it.
  • 2. If you find yourself “overbuying” the answer is pretty simple: STOP. Analyze your purchases more carefully before you buy them. Working longer and harder to pay for things that you really don’t need is counter-productive. Learn to get more for less, and more value in the things that you buy. Forget about ego-gratification purchases.
  • 3. Organize yourself in the workplace. Many times just a simple organizational plan can buy you a few extra hours of week that can be devoted to family instead of work.
  • 4. Shift your focus. Instead of thinking of work in your free time, focus on those things that are most beneficial to the family.

For more insight on juggling family and work, read The Job/Family Challenge : A 9 to 5 Guide by Ellen Bravo, available at 20% savings at Amazon.comThe author discusses flexible schedules, leave time, and such topics as how to involve the whole family in housework.

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