How much time with your family is enough? Well, it depends, I guess, but there is, most certainly, enough and there is also not-enough.
The reality of this hit home yesterday when it came up twice in my day. During a lunch strategy meeting, I and two Mommy colleagues got to talking about money vs time. A recruiter had been nosing around, offering a job at more than double the pay with more than double the travel. Not one of us was tempted to look at it.
That afternoon, I met with another colleague who confided that she was dialing way back, skipping a conference, taking Fridays off, resigning from a board she had loved serving on. “My kid needs me,” she said.
(Do men chat like this at meetings? Sorry, I digress…)
I think I’ve talked before about two jobs I had that just about killed me. Both were the highest profile jobs I’ve had in a twenty-five year career. Both allowed me to work with uber-smart people and contribute to ego-boostingly important projects. Of all the work I’ve done, those two positions were, professionally speaking, my favorites. But.
But, in each case, they took me away from home too much. The price was too high for my young family. Ten years later, my kids will still refer to that period in our lives as, “Mom, remember when you were gone all the time?” My daughter gets very tight lipped when it comes up in conversation. At fifteen she started talking about how she planned to manage her education to land a career that would allow her enough time at home; do you wonder why?
There is enough, Mamma. And there is not enough. Only you know what your family can handle. What your kids need. What your marriage needs. What you need.
Choose carefully. We can work till we die, but we only raise our kids for a little while.