I have been fortunate enough to have been a stay at home dad for the past 12 years. I didn’t spend every single day with my kids due to a short period where I chose to live the 9-5 lifestyle to support my family. Corporate jobs were a detour that took me off of my path. I made that choice without thinking of the long-term ramifications. Fortunately it ended before I got too deep and was sucked into the vortex of work life imbalance.
I discovered during my divorce from my ex -wife that my kids were one of my top priorities. After our final court session, I dedicated my time to rearing children and watching as many minutes of their development as I could. It is a decision that I do not regret. Ever since that point in my life, I have been able to see the month to month transition of both of my kids. It is such a rewarding experience.
Being a professional musician allows me to spend the days with them yet work as much as I want to at night. I don’t get much sleep, especially if I don’t get to take a nap during the day. I wake up at around 6:30AM Monday through Friday to get my kids from my ex. This is done after getting to bed generally after midnight since I’m so wide awake and wired from my gigs, but let me tell you, it is worth it.
I’m not sure why so many of us Americans work so many hours for creature comforts but so often neglect the things that I feel are more important in the long run – family. I have read that there is a cultures of some European countries have siestas. I sometimes wonder why we can’t adopt some of their ideas here. I like how everything shuts down at a certain point in the day during siestas. It’s fascinating.
What do you think Americans would do if we HAD to go home during the day from 2-5 during the week? What if we were forced to take off 4-6 weeks during the summer and not work? Would people spend it with their families? Would they disconnect from their phones and connect with their spouses? Would people cook more at home?
I have found a way to maximize my income as well as maximize my time with my kids. So much has been written about work-life balance. Why not call it life-work balance instead?