One evening after I returned from an extended out-of-town work trip, I overhead my eldest daughter Alex tell my wife that she (my wife) would make a great single mom. Ouch! That’s not something you want to hear when you are married to this supposed single mom.
While my daughter meant no harm by the statement, it’s the underlying meaning behind the statement that was important. Here are some of the top signs you know you work-life balance is out of whack:
- Your family jokes about your absence. Alex is quite the comedienne. But underneath the laughter there is a grain (…or sandbox…) of truth. You see, in my daughter’s eyes, my wife has carried the brunt of the family workload over the past few weeks. In my daughter’s eyes, my wife has been living like a single mom and doing a great job at keeping the household together. In my daughter’s eyes, I have been absent from the family. That’s a sign!
- You see disappointment in little faces. Just last week as I was heading out the front door at about 6:00am for an early morning of work, my second daughter Addy ran downstairs to give me a hug. I filled up with joy as I heard those first few words, “I love you! Have a good day!” Then, as a took a step away from my home life and towards my work life, I saw and heard her disappointment, “See you tonight…maybe…” That precious 8-year-old voice crushed me with a boulder of truth. By saying “maybe” she knew that I was not going to be home another night. And that’s a sign!
- You miss details of family life. You certainly may be busy with work obligations that keep you from home activities during the week. But when you get home, you have to check-in to your surroundings If you find that you missed a soccer practice, or a birthday party, or a family outing to the park, DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOUR SPOUSE TOLD YOU MULTIPLE TIMES, then that’s a sign.
You and I can make all the excuses we want about how much work has to be completed during the week, but if we miss the signs and details of what is happening at home, we cannot find balance.
Question: What signs tell you that your work-life balance is out of whack?