What if you asked your spouse and kids to write down your priorities? From their perspective of being in your life every day, what do they see you value? What do they see you spend time doing? I’m not asking you to do that, but do take a minute and put yourself in their shoes. What answer would you give?
I never really asked that question, in part, because Nancy and my kids were pretty good at calling me out and letting me know if I was out of balance. For me, choosing family over career is a priority that I highly value but have to be very intentional about making that happen day after day. Culture values career. Companies reward those who give everything. Then there is also the pressure to keep up with friends. We can rationalize why we are spending more time on our career than we do with family, and for the most part that earns a pat on the back from our culture in general.
Realistically, I know that there are times where career can take over. My experience is that if it is just for a season, with a beginning and end date, our families can make that adjustment as long as it is reasonable. The problem comes when it this is a lifestyle for us. It will continue to erode our family relationships and could ultimately break up the family. I don’t think any of us would ever want that.
So how do we make sure we don’t fall into the career over family trap? Each week I look at my schedule and make sure there is time for family. If I need to make some adjustments to make that happen, then I do. Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with the whole “career over family” thing? Are you in or out of balance? Do you need to make some changes? If so, what is your first step? Why not begin today?