It’s not spoken about much, so you’re never quite sure, but I’ve just read an article on the observer web site, from a new Dad who actually wants to spend time with his daughter but is worried about his career, and it appears at least I’m not the only dad, who is franticly trying to minimize the impact of work on there family time.
Now as Ruth has already mentioned, you have to be carefully what you tell people they can have, because sometime it can be a bit too much. For me I don’t want it all, given half a chance I would walk away from my career tomorrow, if it meant I could spend more time with Ruth and Daisy, and live within our means. At the moment It’s only that second part that drives me to work.
I find it very hard to express, I either end up sounding terribly pompous, or like somebody who is living under an enormous weight, but I only go to work; to keep Ruth and Daisy in the manner to which to be quite honest they deserve. At it’s worst I don’t see this as a burden, more of an inconvenience which means I have to go away five times a week.
I may just have moved jobs, but I have no qualms telling people where my priorities lie, and it’s not in work. To some extent I’ve chosen that, after all I’ve stayed in the public sector for a reason, family come first; working for a private company, while challenging and more profitable, would have almost certainly meant more hours, more stress, and less Daisy, something I’m not prepared to tolerate.
You shouldn’t get the wrong impression I do like my job, I enjoy it loads, in some respects I’m a bit like a footballer (maybe not as fit or as ‘fit’), I get paid for doing something I enjoy, and I suspect just like Wayne Rooney, if I stopped getting paid for it tomorrow, I would still do it.
So when people talk about understanding employees ‘letting’ them leave at 4:30m I just think, I leave at 4:30 because I started at 8:30 and I’m only contracted to work 35, gosh I’m lucky.