Work & Life balance

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Work & Life balance

Post by adptnt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi All - For those of you who have older kids that are now teenagers and/or in their 20's/or off and are on their on - Do you have any regrets in that you worked too much during their younger years and have missed a lot of time that you now cannot get back? Has it all worked out for the best and was it worth it? If you could go back and change things - would you? Best Regards.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by Whatyear? » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:28 pm

My kids are 13, 11 and 9 and I am regretting working too much during their younger years as we speak. If I could take the next ten years off and then go back to work after they were gone from the house I'd do it in a heartbeat (even though that would mean I'd probably have to work until my mid-seventies to catch up).

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by EternalOptimist » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:31 pm

No regrets, I always believed in balance and continue to be close to my 29 year old daughter. I enjoyed being there with my wife to watch her grow. No regrets here :happy
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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by Watty » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:41 pm

EternalOptimist wrote:No regrets, I always believed in balance and continue to be close to my 29 year old daughter. I enjoyed being there with my wife to watch her grow. No regrets here :happy

I never moved up the corporate ladder but I have enough. Many of the rising stars that I knew that did not have a good work/life blance actually had career problems when they peaked out in job in their late 30's or 40's or their personal life ran into trouble.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:27 pm

10 years ago I quit a relatively high powered government position that had me traveling on the road and out of state at least 10-15 days a month and frequently working late when I was home for a job teaching HS science within the same school district that my children attend. It was more than a 50% cut in pay. This change was somewhat forced on me when we relocated for my wife's medical residency or I probably never would have made it.

At the beginning there was some personal adjustment to the loss of professional status and perhaps self-worth. But I wouldn't go back to that rat race for anything at this point with my kids ages 7, 10, and 15. I'm now on the same schedule as they are so I can coach, spend the summers traveling and hanging out with my kids and I have all the same holiday breaks as they do. Although I'm in a somewhat better position than most of my co-workers in that I have a higher-income spouse who makes some of that possible. Life is a bit rougher on just one or two teacher's salaries as is the case for many of my co-workers.

For me I think I've found a happy medium. I have plenty of time to spend with my kids but I haven't gone to the extreme of some who do the home schooling thing are basically with their kids 24/7. That would drive me insane and is to my mind is just as out of balance in the opposite direction.

I knew a lot of lonely 50-something types back in my old world who's kids had grown and gone and never looked back and who didn't have much else in their lives but work. That could have been me as well.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by livesoft » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:36 pm

No regrets because I always had plenty of time with the kids. Also I stopped working full-time when kids were teenagers.

Don't forget that kids have a job that takes up lots of their time: school. So they are not around to pester that much anyways. I always left for work after they left for school and I usually am home before they come home, too.
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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by Colorado13 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:29 pm

Another post mentioned the song "Cat's in the Cradle" which is probably relevant to this post as well. My dad choose work over family (mostly because we were quite poor so he had to work a lot, which is truly a different situation than being a workaholic in order to earn big bucks.) But he never had time for us kids while we were growing up, even when he wasn't working, and I believe he regrets that he does not have close relationships with us now that we're adults.

You don't get that time back. If you don't spend time with your kids when they're young, they might not be too interested in you when you finally decide you have time for them.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by investingdad » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:00 am

My wife and I are fortunate enough that we each earn a very good salary w/o having to put in the long trips and long nights at the office. We have flexibility to work at home at night after kids are in bed if need be.

I don't have the personality type that really lends itself to management and corporate ladder climbing. My wife does. And she was on that ladder when we got married. She made the decision to get off. Instead of pulling in the 100K that we've heard around here so much lately, she would making double that or more by now.

It all comes back to living below your means and investing and saving early. By doing those things, the extra money we could be earning is not missed. Instead, we're home in time for our 1st and 3rd grader to make soccer practices and I haven't missed a single game in two years. I'm sure at some point one of us will be on a trip and miss something, but it will be the exception and not the rule.

I work around a lot of people my age (now 40) and younger that are increasing their rank within the company. They are or will be making much bigger salaries than I. They have young kids, they often travel a LOT and are at the office late...frequently.

I will pass. My kids are young right now. In 10 years one will be off to college and the other wrapping up high school. We have a small window to enjoy them and their desire to be around us as much as possible. We're making use of it.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by ThatGuy » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:25 am

I rarely go much past 8 hours in my day job, but the mismatch in bedtimes means I only get a few hours a day with ThatKid. I do feel guilty, particularly because much of that time is spent multitasking, i.e. discussing something with ThatGal or trying to build/fix something and having him run off with my tools because I'm not focused on him, etc.

I have zero need to climb the work ladder further as long as I'm adequately compensated. If I could get away with working 3 days a week, I'd be happier.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by prudent » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:31 am

A neighbor I'm fairly close to is just dealing with the regret stage now. He is very ambitious, and worked hard to move up. Then a little over a year ago he got promoted to a VP job with global responsibilities.

But travel went from a couple days a month to 2-3 weeks a month. After a year of that, he decided he needed to be home more (2 kids in high school), and let them know he was only going to travel 1 week a month in the future. Now he's waiting to see what the repercussions might be. He knows something is going to happen because that company wants the VPs at that level to be traveling all over the world all the time.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by mevertsen » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:08 am

I have just recently married. She had a now 8 year old daughter form a previous relationship, whom the father had terminated his parental rights. I work a job that is 4 on and 4 off. I rarely work any overtime anyway, maybe 20-30 hours a year at most. I also have extensive medical issues, so my off time is more important than anything. I may not have the fanciest things, the best clothes, coolest vehicles, baddest guns, etc, but I can live at a comfortable level, have a decent vacation each year with the family, take a week for hunting, and still have a few days extra of vacation time to spare. There is nothing that can replace time, NOTHING.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by MathWizard » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:18 pm

No regrets.

I worked as much as I had to in order to provide a good life, but made sure my family knew that they time
that I spent there was for the good of the family. I also sacrificed some in career to be close to grandparents and
to good schools.

My wife was able to work part-time so she could be home with the kids when they were out of school.

Hopefully I have set a good example for my kids.

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Re: Work & Life balance

Post by btraven » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:39 pm

Corporate America will take your whole life if you let it these days. The hard thing was balancing my meager time off between my children and my parents that did not live close by. Now that my parents are gone, I am sorry that I did not spend more time with them.

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