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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Conflicts of Interest

So, I've got a rather more serious question to ask the readership; how do *you* balance the overwhelming desire to be around your child; with the need to support them and your careers?

I know walking that line is at it's core - each parents dilemma. But I'm a fan of learning from others when it is possible to do so. And I ask - how did you strike your balance? What kinds of choices stand out for you?


Lindsey said...

I think it gets easier as they get more independent and sassy. You start to need to take breaks from then during the day. You might be feeling like you're missing out on things at home, but you realize you are going to miss things. You won't be around to see every milestone or accomplishment, but celebrating the stories afterward can be a lot of fun too.

The sacrifices I'm making now are really tough. I don't see my kiddo much during the week and then I have to send her off on the weekends so I can study. It's rough and I feel like a bad mom, but then I remind myself that it's for the good of our future that we make these sacrifices sometimes.

I say that since you must be gone for work, spend your time at work working and cherish the time you have at home. You'll find the balance with practice.

Marcy said...

There is a reason this topic is debated to often (and furiously). There is no right answer for everyone.

I personally feel that with all the research showing how important the first 3-5 years are in development, that parents should make their kids their priority as much as possible during those early years. We are very, very lucky in that I am able to stay home with Donovan, and Zach has a stable job (at least so far) that allows him to support us without requiring crazy hours. He was able to transfer from a job title that required lots of travel, to one that requires almost none. We both feel strongly about making these sacrifices now to be around Donovan more. I at times wonder if I really am cut out for being a stay-at-home mom, but I also can't stand the idea of only seeing Donovan for a few hours each day (and readily acknowlege that there are many parents who are better parents BECAUSE they get that time away from their kids and to do something that fulfills them in a different way).

Then there's also the complication of wanting to invest in something that will pay off down the road-- like Lindsey going to law school. With all the above said, Zach is also going back and forth on the idea of going to business school, and when the right timing might be to do that.

I think the bottom line is what Lindsey says, to be effective at work and to cherish the time you do have at home. Do the best you can so that Laura feels supported (emotionally as well as financially). You have to find that balance that works for you and your family, and try to keep everyone as sane as possible.