Post # 1
So much of the news reports and studies on work-life balance focuses on families with children, but I was wondering about your thoughts on balancing work hours and personal time if you’re a working couple with no children?
Although I love my job and career and continue with lifelong professional development, I’m not that interested in working crazy hours every week. Although we don’t have children, we have parents to help out, among other responsibilities. Plus, I love my personal time!
People seem to assume that because I choose to not have kids that I want to transfer all that time into a super ambitious career, but, honestly, I really don’t. And then I feel sort of judged for that (i.e., “You don’t have kids, so go climb that proverbial ladder! What else are you going to do?”)
Post # 2
Can my dogs count as kids? We lavish too much on them. This morning they had homemade doggie icecream in kongs. I feel more judged that I am not as successful as I could be because kids haven’t been in my way. I have traveled a bit (30 countries so far) and have some great stories. But friends with kids can say the same. You have to let the judgement of others go. Only you can judge you. Own your choices.
Post # 3
I have a ‘good job’ but my self construct is not in the least concerned with career. I work 3 days a week, as my husband has an exceptionally stressful job that means he works 60-80 hour weeks. This allows me to look after him and our home without getting too stressed. In some ways, our relationship would seem very old fashioned.
I am strongly introverted, and need a lot of time away from people to recharge (especially given my job is very people oriented) so it works for us.
I do feel judged sometimes, working part time and being a Stay-At-Home Wife the rest, but in the end, it works well for us. I am more than my job, and my focus is on having a happy and harmonious life with my husband, not career success.
Post # 4
If anything I think being CFBC has let me/us have better w/l balance because I pretty much feel like ‘if I want to eat ramen for 3 months to afford a trip [we aren’t at that point, exactly, but you get my drift], that’s great, but if I had kids then I’d be more worried about providing for them a more stable way. When I first started working I worked crazy hours and loved it (I loved my job and co workers, so that helped) but at some point I realized that there’s no actual gold star for being busy and stressed out all the time, so I’ve definitely cut back. I agree with theatrejulia to own your choices and be comfortable with your goals and how you are moving towards them, regardless of if you have kids. Just because you aren’t putting your time and finances into that ‘extra curricular’ doesn’t mean you don’t have plenty of other extremly worthy non-work things to be putting your time and energy into!
Post # 5
We wouldn’t have time for kids even if we did want them! DH runs his own web design and development company, and I’m a vet, so between my long hours and him frequently going off to networking events and pulling late nights to meet deadlines, we don’t have the best work-life balance to begin with.
The good thing about him being self employed is he generally has more flexibility, so that helps. Ideally we’d like to get to the point where we’re making enough that we can both work a 3 or 4-day week so we have more time for hobbies and spending time together.
Post # 6
Sunny.Day : we are currently CF but will probably decide to try for kids eventually. I just don’t know how I’m going to fit kids into my life. We both have busy jobs ~60 hours a week if not more.
1) I have so many friends that don’t live nearby, so need to dedicate weekends to seeing them
2) we have a holiday home that I haven’t even had time to go to in the last six months
3) we work out almost daily
4) our families are very important to us, so we catch up with them when we can
We probably only have four weekends free before Christmas, but we do a lot of stuff together. So even though we don’t have kids, we are so busy.
Post # 7
I work 6 days a week and my FH works 40 hours plus some weekends and being on call. It also might be because we are saving for things like a wedding and future house.
I see my collegues that have kids taking more vacation time than me and doing things on weekends.
Post # 8
I would say Darling Husband and I have a pretty good work/life balance, but a lot of that comes from me being self-employed and having a flexible job as an adjunct professor. I have the long summer break and the typical holiday breaks of college students and will only be on campus three days a week once the new semester starts. To fill in the gaps, I also work as a freelance writer and have a lot of flexibility in setting deadlines and choosing what time of day to work. Darling Husband is a park ranger, so he works most weekends and often works night shifts from 2 PM to 10:30 PM, so I can synchronize my schedule to his fairly well to give us more time together. I also make sure to spoil our dogs and take them on lots of long walks when I’m working from home.
The self-employment was rather necessary because we live in a tiny rural area with few career opportunities in my field, and the adjunct position was a true Godsend. If I were ever offered a full-time position, I would definitely consider it, but we hope to move from this area before that becomes a consideration. Once we’re in an area that we want to put down roots, then I would more seriously consider going full-time as a professor.
Post # 9
We currently have a very good work/life balance, similar to what olivepepper described above and it’s pretty great.
Post # 10
Olivepepper : My reply is basically the same. I work 3-4 days per week but don’t consider myself a Stay-At-Home Wife. My husband works full time with some level of overtime every week, and every 2 weeks he has to work weekends. I’m really happy with our work/life balance. Working “less” guarantees I can keep up the housework, take care of our kitty, make dinner, etc. I’ve also never been too concerned with having a career, though I’d like to have one. But right now I am just able to work a job and pay all my bills, and we are able to go on vacations, save decently, we own a house and cars, etc. I’m also introverted and being around people too much is draining, and my job requires all customer service. 😟
Post # 11
I love my job, and have a certain degree of ambition to advance within my profession, but I’m in the “work to live, not live to work” camp. Work/life balance is important to me. I still have a family even though I’m CF. And there are things outside of work that are important for me to dedicate time to – which is part of the reason I’m CFBC! I want to be able to have enough time/money/energy for all the things I want to do.
Post # 12
I hope to get a better balance. I’m a Stay-At-Home Wife at the moment and have been for a while. If I do get to the place where I’m working, I suspect it will be part time for a while. Not sure if I will ever get to the point where I can work full time.
Post # 13
GreenGables : Everything you said, same here! Totally agree.
daniTS : “at some point I realized that there’s no actual gold star for being busy and stressed out all the time”<— Yes yes yes! I did the long hours thing when I was younger and got burned out by the stress and by the lack of reward and acknowledgement from a company that didn’t care about its employees. There are periods in our lives when we have to work the crazy long hours, but I think I just don’t have the energy to do that anymore.
My husband and I got married a little later in life (mid-40s), and as a result became newlyweds at a time when we had more responsiblities at our jobs. Still, we make a concerted effort to have balance. It’s not easy, but I really push for it. He works more hours than I do, so I take over much of the household duties and cooking, and I’m totally happy to do that. If we both worked crazy hours, I’m not sure how we’d manage!
Post # 14
Olivepepper : “I am more than my job, and my focus is on having a happy and harmonious life with my husband”<— Agreed!
Post # 15
I struggle a lot with getting a work/life balance due to a stressful teaching job. It is incredibly overwhelming because I just don’t have enough hours in the day sometimes. I try to leave school stuff at school, but it’s almost impossible to stay ahead that way.
I know next school year I will need to leave sooner after school than I did this past year (around 5:30 pm or later most nights). My position was cut by 20% so I need to be on top of my game so I can get out of school right away when I’m done. Basically I need to show that my job is full time and I can’t stay past my contracted hours otherwise my pay may never go back up again.