While two important things are happening during our most viable years, how do we determine which one will dominate our lives?
How does a person truly commit to advancing in his/her career while raising a family? It's not easy.
If we consider God's plan for our lives, it's pretty obvious that God wants us to cheat on our careers rather than our families.
Reasons why we often short change family rather than career?
1. The feedback is more frequent: when was the last time your kids thanked you for being good at being a parent? At work, we are often given pats on the back or a quick "way to go." Our families are often the last place we receive affirmation so we want to excel in the workplace.
2. Our perspective is skewed: though it often seems more immediate, our lives will be spent working far more than the number of years our kids will be in our homes. We are often caught up in putting out fires at work or developing the next project and don't see that the family under our roof is in need of serious attention.
3. Goals are a part of our career advancement and not part of family life. Goals drive us and determine our direction. At work we have goals. At home we shoot from the hip. We are reactive rather than proactive. We don't have a master plan of what we want our homes to look like so we take life day by day in this department.
What's a parent to do? Two things that will make a difference.....
1. Consider the numbers: Consider the fact that the majority of your adult life will be spent working and trying to advance in your career. The number of years that you have kids under your roof who are able to be influenced is small compared to the number of working years. (I'll spend 40 + years as a working adult and about 18 as a parent with kids who live at home)
2. Become intentional: As parents, if we were to become more intentional about the way we raise our families, we may still feel the tension but would know how to spend our time. It would determine our priorities.
How about you? How do you manage the tension between feeling the need to advance in your career and investing in your family? Are you a cheating parent?