Do you get home after your kids get to bed?

You like me may have married early and then decided to have kids quite early. There are upsides and downsides to being a young parent. Leaving a long gap after marriage to have your children does allow you to pursue your career more fiercely, and lets you enjoy your youth. But there is an upside. If you make that little sacrifice a little earlier you are partying when all your friends who decided to have children later are housebound because of children.

But whatever stage of your life you are at, don’t make the mistake I made. Of being so much in love with your work, your business or your career that you are constantly coming home after your children go to bed. Money and ambition go hand in hand to become a powerful drug that makes you forgive yourself for not attending that crucial sports day at school, or seeing them at a theatre performance, but time lost with your children can never be regained. So if you are constantly coming home after your children have gone to bed, its a good barometer to tell you that you are overworking at the cost of your family life.

When you are late at the PTA, you are missing important events in your children’s life like taking them to tennis or their piano lessons, hoping that all the money that you earn is going to make up, you are sadly mistaken. Time that you lost enjoying your children grow up, is time lost forever.

If you are silently telling yourself, that you will make it up next time, or it is just this once that you are late, or that you are going to make so much money that your kids will forgive you, it may be a good time to look in the mirror and ask yourself some tough questions. Many times you can become careless with yourself and your children, if you have a very understanding partner who makes up for your absence. But that is just a false sense of comfort. Don’t ever think that one parent can do it all or that one parent can make up for the other parent not being there. It doesn’t work like that. If you are over depending on your partner to make up for you, it might be another sign that you are working too hard, and its time to think of a work-life balance.

The thing about working late is that you only begin to regret it when your children have already grown up. Thats when you start regretting all the evenings and weekends you forsaked and sacrificed for your company or your business. Suddenly they are going to be grown up adults before you know it and they are hardly likely to need you as much as they did when they were still growing up.

Take time out. Think about your life. And your family and children. If you are coming home after your kids fall asleep, there is hardly any doubt that you are mismanaging both your professional and your personal life. Reflect and set it right. Remember, you can’t re-write the past.

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