Because You Owe Your Child Everything, Including Your Time
Once your child has entered the world and you have decided that you will keep this little person, you are 100% responsible for diapering, wiping, feeding, burping, kissing, snuggling, clothing, and caring for him or her (or, sometimes, him and her!). And in order for your to be able to stock up on diapers, food, and clothing, you've got to get out there and get yourself a job.
I get that.
Breaking down why jobs are obtained, it could be said that the purpose of getting a job is so that we can supply the four things that are deemed absolutely necessary for survival—food, water, shelter, fuel—for ourselves and for those that we are involved in caring for — a spouse, significant other, child, family member, dog, ferret, pet rock.
In addition to the diapering, wiping, feeding, burping, kissing, snuggling, clothing, and just about any other baby-related gerund you can think of, your child is more than deserving of your love and your time. Unfortunately, the attention that your child needs often takes a backseat to the ever-increasing demands of the work force.
Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, a trillion-dollar investing company, found this to be true and eventually decided to step down from his CEO position and find another job because of a scathing piece of paper that his daughter gave him. The wording wasn't where the issue was—it was in the content.
The content was made up of a list of things that he had missed out in her life, for example, “her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting at a Halloween parade.”
He was more than fulfilling the providing part of the unwritten parent contract, but he was noticeably inept when it came to offering his time to his daughter.
Granted, we are going to have to miss out on a ballgame here and a choir concert there, and I'm not saying that you should quit your job so that you never have to miss out on a single event, but our main priority should be our children, so there may necessitate a change in scenery in order to spend time with our kids. They depend on us for absolutely everything, so they should be our number one priority.
Would you be willing to change jobs in order to spend more time with your kids? Is it realistic for those who aren't CEO-level-earners to quit for more family time? Where do you draw the line for work/home balance?