If you’ve followed my writing for awhile, you know I’m a fan of doing less and getting better results – including having more satisfaction in life.
Well, it turns out that finding a way to work fewer hours – especially for working parents – and doubly so for working mothers – is critical for feeling like we’re able to more successfully juggle the complexities of modern life.
How do working parents share the load when children are part of the picture? When both parents work full-time (a situation which has increased from 31% in 1970 to 46% of married or partnered households today), who takes care of sick children? Who plays with the kids? Who handles household chores? Who disciplines? Recently, an Atlantic magazine article titled “The Secret to Work-Life Balance: Less Work” highlighted the results of a study by the Pew Research Center.
Among the findings? 40% of moms who work full-time say they feel rushed all the time! And 39% say they spend too little time with their kids. What about moms who work part-time? Only 29% say they feel rushed all the time and 77% feel they spend the right amount of time with their children.
I’m grateful to count myself among the 77%. I know this reality because it’s the one I’ve created for myself: that of a full-time business owner and full-time mom who works variable hours that are mostly part-time. I have made the choice to not work full-time during the years when my children were babies or in preschool. And now that my youngest is heading to kindergarten, I am slowly increasing my hours.
Regardless of whether you have children or, if you do, what age they are: I invite you to take a look at the results of this study and ask yourself: do I find it difficult to balance family life with work life? If you’re a working dad, ask yourself: do I feel you spend the right amount of time with my children?
When you step back to evaluate your satisfaction level with the most important pieces of your life, it helps you to make more conscious choices about your career and your work hours. And please don’t forget to keep in mind the top 5 regrets of the dying:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
If you need a partner in figuring out how to transition from your current situation to one that is more satisfying, contact me. In the past 12 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients to make small, manageable changes that significantly improve quality of life; and some clients have made some pretty huge leaps that have resulted in dramatic changes and amazing new lifestyles that mirror the vision they always had for their ideal life.