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“My mom likes weekends because she doesn’t have to work”

Categories: Balancing Act, Career Talk, Parenting & Family

3 comments

The title of this post is an actual quote my 7 year-old kiddo said to someone this weekend.

Ahem.

To be honest, it kind of stopped me in my tracks. Of course I like the weekends — who doesn’t like a break from the work grind and a chance to chill with family? But what struck me is that my kiddo has this notion in her head that I don’t like to work. Or at least don’t like to work enough that the reason I like weekends is because I don’t have to work.

Without getting into yet another stay at home or work debate (which oh, I hope we are done with!), I’ll say this: I like to work and I’ve never imagined myself not working. (Well, to be honest, I have imagined myself on a prolonged vacation somewhere warm and tropical, but that’s another story.) When I read Leah’s post, about whether she’d still choose to work if she won the lottery, I was nodding my head. I work for more than money, although money is an important necessity. I work because I love the challenge, building something, creating something, working with awesome people, keeping my brain buzzing and my sanity relatively intact.

Sure, my job is stressful and there are bad days and days when I come home and tell my kiddo how tired I am because of work. But I am clearly not communicating to her the positives about working and I need to, because want it or not, we are the first role models our kids have. I do think I am more sensitive to this because I have a daughter and because I am acutely aware that she is going to have to be making some tough choices about family, career, and some kind of juggling arrangement that works for her. I want to do my best in sharing my experiences with her and I think being honest is really important, but I think I’ve been over-sharing on the “OMG I am so tired from work!” front and under-sharing on the “OMG this awesome thing happened at work!” front.

In general, do you find that you complain about work or being tired from work to your kids? Or are you pretty balanced in sharing the good stuff too?



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3 comments so far...

  • Thats funny because I actually took that comment differently when my 4 yr old said something similar. I thought, “is she kidding? I work just as hard on the weekends as I do during the week, it’s just different work!”

    Christin  |  March 7th, 2012 at 11:07 am

  • I took it differently as well…. I think you’ve done a great job reinforcing the fact that we have to balance our careers with the other things that are important to us: our families, our “non-work” activities, our seives. On the weekends, you get to do all of those other things during the time that, if it was a weekday, you’d be at office — so, in kid-speak, on weekends you get to do other things because “you don’t have to work”.

    Lylah  |  March 7th, 2012 at 11:15 am

  • Sometimes I share something stressful that happened - mostly to let my kids know that my temporary baditude isn’t about them. But that is the exception. I’m just as likely to tell them that I am pumped over something good that happened.

    My youngest is a bit odd as she takes more of an interest in my grown-up stuff than you’d expect from a 5yo. She actually asks questions about what’s going on with my clients / projects. So I don’t think I’m poisoning my kids’ mind against work.

    SKL  |  March 9th, 2012 at 5:49 pm