Monday, January 22, 2007
The Battle Between Work And Family Life. What Would Elmo Do?
There’s just something about being at work 10 pm on a Sunday that really gets a parent/spouse like myself thinking about ‘the career’ and the future.
I’ve been working a lot the past few weeks and the part that really bothers me most is not seeing the wife and daughter nearly as much as I’d like. I see my daughter for about 30 minutes in the morning and that’s about it.
The other night just made my heart melt, I called the wife (like I do every night while on my 20-minute ‘dinner break’) and talked to my daughter. She was doing her normal chatter about Elmo and then she comes out and says “Daddda --- I-luv-yooooo” all in one breathe. After I said my goodbyes, I hung up the phone and about died. What’s happening to me? That must be the helpless feeling that a parent in jail feels after the kids leave the visiting area – the only difference being that I’m free to choose Coke or Pepsi at dinner. Thankfully, these crazy hours should be over in a week.
The ‘higher-ups’ at work are there all-the-time - even during non-demanding times. These people can be found there until 8-9 every night and also come in on weekends (I sometimes wonder if they sleep in their cars...) The thing that strikes me is that the vast majority of them have spouses and small kids at home. That bothers me - a lot. I’m wondering if that’s my destiny and if I really want a life like that too (I'm on that track...) I’m almost to the point of getting off this soul train. Maybe staying on the slower one that doesn’t require passing up my family along the way, much like those people have done.
My greatest fear is looking back 25 years from now, when my daughter is all grown-up and wishing I would have been there watching her grow (feedings with Elmo, chasing boys away, teaching her how to draw and play video games, crime-fighting, etc.) but somehow missed out because I was too busy working.
Although, on the flip side… What happens if she ends up working at Hot Topic, smokes crack, and runs away with some truck driver/wannabe rock star, actor from Oklahoma?! Then I would be wishing I did spend more time at work. Does anybody know where I can borrow a DeLorean with a flux capacitor?