I was talking to Esther the other day about how to balance family life with a working life, and it brought up some interesting thoughts…

I am an animation producer and Esther is an architect, both are professions which we are passionate about and both are a lot of fun. On the flip side, they are jobs that are very difficult to switch off  from when the working day is finished.  We have both been finding it “challenging” to keep all balls in the air, but we agreed on one thing: having kids and a job teaches you an important lesson — how to switch from work to family.

I used to drink, eat and sleep my job and was never fully able to enjoy my evenings. Now with kids this is actually physically impossible –when I get home I need to give them my full attention if I like it or not. Funnily enough it gives me a rest from obsessing about work issues, which actually means that I am possibly better at what I do now because I get some distance from it and take a real break in the evening.

Now I might be pushing this theory a bit too far but I think having kids might actually make you better at your job. Who would have thought!?

- Emilie


Shinzi Katoh

4 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Esther | March 17, 2010 | Reply

I could never really understand how my husband could leave his job at work (and I brought it to bed), but I’m getting much, much better at it and yes, I can switch off completely, allowing for some rest in my head.
The moment I walk in the door and my kids fly in my arms, I forget work. But I do find it challenging, especially since the moment they’re in bed my laptop is open again… Oh well.

2. jen | March 18, 2010 | Reply

I agree with that statement at well. I think in order to get things done with kids and work you have to eliminate the random and delegate where you can. So it gets you to the important stuff faster. Whether that be a true deadline or the cute little things that want to crawl all over you.

3. Serena | March 21, 2010 | Reply

I love this idea! I think that it goes even beyond work. Kids teach you to be in the present. They themselves live in the present and they offer a good lesson in learning to really be in the moment. My job is not very stressful and it doesn’t require me to take it home with me (neither literally nor figuratively) but what I’m having to learn is, when I’m with my son, to really be with him and not have my mind wander about the dishes that need to be done or an email I need to write. I think for me that is a big challenge, and a good one at that.

4. Tina | March 24, 2010 | Reply

I love this post. And I couldn’t agree more. I am a child and family therapist, so coming home and leaving work behind was once a challenge. Now, it’s not a choice. I have to be present with my son. This forces me to truly focus on work so that I can shut it off at home.