Striking the work/life balance at times feels like the impossible dream. How can I spend more time with my family but still concentrate on and succeed at work? I am sure I am not the only parent who faces this dilemma and when I actually think about it, I wonder – is it about more time or quality time?
The normal start and finish to my day is pretty repetitive. I get up at around 6:30am and get ready to walk out the door by 7:20am to make it to work by 8. I get to spend very little time with Immy, though I always read her at least one story (and have time to make a cup of tea for Christie) but it’s not what I would call ‘quality’ time.
My work day is normally pretty hectic, yet always a little different. I generally eat at my desk and don’t take a lunch break as I would rather get out the door as close to 5pm as possible instead of wasting time walking aimlessly around the city for the sake of it.
I get home a little before six, just as dinner is served. We enjoy dinner together and then either Christie or I will start the dishes while Immy has her dessert. It’s now about 6.30pm, fifteen minutes of play time and then time to run the bath. Bath time is something I do every night, unless I have a work commitment. Bath time has been my part of Immy’s daily routine since she was born, time for us to build our relationship. It’s the longest time we get together during the normal work day, time to play and talk and laugh. It’s then off to bed and Christie and I take it in turns to take charge of the sleep time routine. The rest of the night is then ours, except for THE BLOG which takes up an incredible amount of Christie’s time but is going from strength to strength.
Our work days are what they are, I really enjoy my job but it leaves little room for quality time at home, as I’m sure just about every working Dad or Mum appreciates. Getting home half an hour earlier would be nice but in the end it is not really going to change the amount of quality time we all get together.
That is why the weekends are so important, we always plan ways to spend our real quality time together. Every Saturday we all sit down to have breakfast together, there’s time for a few stories and puzzles, maybe some gluing or drawing. But the real highlight of my Saturday is my swimming lesson with Immy. Immy loves the water and we sing, throw balls, splash, jump, paddle and generally have a great time. I am not the only Dad out there of course who does this, about eight of the 10 parents in our class are Dads.
This week’s trip to the pool was extra special because Christie came along and we had a picnic on the grass after the lesson finished. After rest time on Saturday, Immy and I went to the shops and then helped Christie (if you could call it that) start the next DIY Kids project (keep an eye out, coming soon!). Sunday, we headed to a local school fete which was a fun way to spend time together.
Most of us have to work and of course this restricts the amount of time we can spend together as a family. I believe it’s not the amount of time we spend together but rather how we spend it that counts.