General Question

qualitycontrol's avatar

Is working a lot worth losing time with loved ones?

Asked by qualitycontrol (2570points) June 1st, 2009

What is more valuable? How do you feel about this? Would you work less to spend more time with family, friends, loved ones even if it meant sacrificing other things?

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40 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

As a rule there is little choice, you need to work to support them. I wouldn’t volunteer for overtime or similar unless it was necessary, but you have to ensure that you keep your job if you care about them.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s about what’s important to you. A lot of people work hard for many years, and then wish they had spent more time with their families. Work brings prestige in the public world, but time with family brings love. I guess a lot of people found they didn’t value love as much as they wish they had.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I guess it depends on your situation and who your loved ones are. For example if it is for your family, like wife and kids, then depending on your family goals, like buying a home, college etc, it is pretty important to work more and maybe see them less for those reasons. However, if you find that you are starting to take your family for granted and they are becoming more distant and is putting a serious strain on things, you might want to reconsider how important these material things. It’s a tough choice and nearly impossible to balance the two.

zephyr826's avatar

I feel like the answer to this question changes greatly as the years go on. When you’re young and unattached, you can work all the time. Even early in a marriage, both partners can work a lot, and the relationship doesn’t necessarily suffer. However, once you add children to the mix, things change. I’m not whole-heartedly advocating quitting your job to stay home with children (not that it’s a bad thing – it’s not a decision I’ve had to make, yet), but someone (or hopefully both partners) need to change the work-home balance to provide both adequate emotional and financial support. Then, as children move on and move away, the work return to the forefront.

dynamicduo's avatar

Your question reminds me of a quote I heard on a really cool African CD, One Giant Leap. It was an observation from someone doing a survey. It was along the lines of, “in interviewing dying people, not one person said they regretted not working harder or making more money. they all regretted not spending more time with their loved ones, friends or family.” I heard this years ago and have taken it to heart. As for which is better, I’m not sure. But I really value my family, so I would never take a job that would seriously impact the ease of our relationship.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Since I work to provide security for myself and my immediate family, that takes precedence over my leisure time right now. For me in the past, more money has always afforded more quality time with people.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I have told my supervisor that I will not volunteer for overtime on the weekends, unless they can’t get anyone else to work it. My wife works first shift, I work second shift, and the weekend is the only time we have unlimited access to each other.

I will work the overtime if I need cash in a hurry, but usually, family is more important than work.

Lupin's avatar

Moderation is the important factor. If you spend all your time with the family you don’t eat. (Unless you have someone else supporting you.) If you work all the time, you don’t spent it with the family. Work at least enough to keep everyone healthy. After that, you can start working on the tradeoff.

mattbrowne's avatar

Occasionally, yes, but it should remain the exception.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When the kids are young, I, ideally want both myself and my husband there with them but that is impossible, because someone’s gotta work…with my first I stayed home, with my second, he is staying home…I work and I miss them dearly but I understand that I have to support my family…once my youngest goes to daycare as well, my husband can work more, part time and on his business, as well…then I can consider going back to school which would change the hours we spend with our family – but our time with family takes precedence over my time with friends or anyone else…

I think ideally, both partners would work part time and can also stay at home but unfortunately with health insurance being linked to jobs and all that, this situation remains a fantasy

ubersiren's avatar

For me, nothing is worth spending a lot of time away from my family and friends. Some people need more time with their loved ones, and some don’t. Make it a point to balance work, social, and personal time according to what makes you comfortable. Enrich your life the way that suits you, not by someone else’s example. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

I envy anyone who has the luxury of a choice.

cyn's avatar

There’s time for everything! If you know what time is for what, well you can be happy!

Facade's avatar

There’s room for both work and relationships.

Since010501's avatar

My husband is a soldier. He is forced to be away from his family for months at a time. It is hard on us all-but we understand that his job is to protect his family and others’-and that does make it worth it.

galileogirl's avatar

If my Dad hadn’t worked a lot he would have had more time with us. . . as we slept in a car. He had 2 jobs to keep us fed and housed not for his own pleasure. All of his time off was “family” time and a lot of that was work too.

essieness's avatar

Definitely not. This was a factor in my divorce. My ex-husband was a severe workaholic. He was a firefighter/EMT and on his days off, he washed and detailed cars for extra money. He got a lot of business and even on the days that I was off work, he was washing cars from sun up to sun down. Granted, he was at the house the whole time, but what use is a husband who’s outside washing cars rather than spending time with me? His argument was always that he was doing it for us… so we’d have extra money and nice things. But I just wanted him to spend some time with me. So from that experience, I learned that I would truly rather have time than money!

galileogirl's avatar

@essieness Why weren’t you out there washing cars with him? Time together is time together.

tinyfaery's avatar

No. And I think we all have a choice.

I do not want to spend my youth, or my life, seeking money. I want to live my life and be with the person I love. Unfortunately, we have to work to live, but the wife and I have arranged our lives so that we can see each other, and live our lives together. I changed my career path when I met my wife, because I couldn’t imagine spending so much time working instead of being with her. However, we are one of those couples who do everything together; I know it’s not for some, but I just can’t be away from her for too long.

essieness's avatar

@galileogirl Believe me, I offered to help repeatedly. He was entirely too anal with his work to allow it.

ubersiren's avatar

@essieness : It must be something about husbands… my husband refuses to let me help him with any project. The most he’ll let me do is get a fan to cool him off. I guess that’s the woman’s place lol!

tinyfaery's avatar

Glad I have a wife right now.

essieness's avatar

@ubersiren I guess so! He was very much the alpha male and his way was the right way. Psh, men… ;)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ubersiren sorry to hear that but it’s NOT the wife’s place
it should be that both partners can help each other out
i’ve had a lot of input and developed a lot of my husband’s business

ubersiren's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir : I was mostly joking. We have very healthy gender roles in our house. :) He’s just very particular about projects that he’s working on, as I am when I’m working on something. What’s important is that we are there for each other when we do need help.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I work about 70 hours a week…and I need every penny, I still manage to make time for my gf, friends, family but it sucks! I’m so tired…

filmfann's avatar

I worked 70 a week for about 15 years. Made a lot of money, and my family suffered for it. When the overtime stopped, there was no fun money and the family suffered for it.
You know the expression about a young man spends his health to make money, and an older man spends his money to get his health back? It’s true.
On my deathbed, I am sure I will regret not giving more lurve.
This message brought to you by Suicide Propagation.

bonus's avatar

In limited doses. Life needs to be lived and without balance it will suffer. My wife left me after tolerating 3.5 years of graduate study in architecture and a year out of school, the demands on my time were even more frustrating to her.

We grew apart. It was inevitable but devastating. I miss her so much. Never will I let that happen again.

If you love your family, your friends, your life, you need to prioritize, be proactive and take control of your life. Get things done, Manage your time better. Get in. Get out. Live.

There is no romance in suffering for your work. None.

YARNLADY's avatar

The amount of quality time spent with family is most important, but it doesn’t have to be related to the actual amount of all time spent.

For a parent to work less, and sit around complaining the family can’t do anything or has to sacrifice because of it does no good for anyone.

Many parents are restricted in the amount of time they have to spend with family, but manage to pack a lot of loving into it, and that’s what is important.

cak's avatar

My dad, when realizing he was dying, said something that struck all of us. He wished he had spent less time working, less time taking the promotions, less time moving us all the time and more time just being.

I think it’s the reason why I work for myself and while I am doing well, I’ll never be a huge mogul. Don’t want to be, I like seeing what my children are doing at school and I love our Friday night movie nights.

It’s a matter of choices and priorities. Some people just don’t have that luxury, but if you do – really think about what is important to you, money or family?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@ubersiren, not all husbands are like that. My wife and I do all sorts of projects together. We are best friends first and a married couple second, the way I see it, anything worth doing is worth doing together.

I read a great quote tonight. Once you start to see through the myth of status, possessions, and unlimited consumption as a path to happiness, you’ll find you have all kinds of freedom and time. It’s like a deal you can make with the universe, I’ll give up greed for freedom. Then you can start putting your time to good use.

Those are words to live by in my book.

YARNLADY's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra My favorite people in my whole life are my Aunt (deceased) and my Uncle who worked together in their photography business their whole life. Three of their four children joined them in the business and are now famous photographers in their own right.

CMaz's avatar

NO, unless you need to work a lot to feed your family. If you work a lot so your family can live in a Million dollar home. Down size, family will not be with you for ever. And, your children will grow up .

casheroo's avatar

My husband would say it was. He thinks the more he works the happier his wife and child will be…since we’ll have material things or whatever. He works excessivly and lets people abuse that over him. He thinks he needs them more than they need him, yet he’ll work for free. Its pretty ridiculous, and the major issue we have together.
I don’t believe work should come before family, but I do know you have to do what you have to do when times are hard.

Clair's avatar

to me, it’s about family. but it’s up to whatever makes you the happiest. it’s about what you value most.

essieness's avatar

@casheroo Sounds like what I went through with my ex. I hope you guys can get through this. And I guess you can at least be thankful he’s willing to work so hard for you guys. :) Hugs.

sakura's avatar

I consider myself lucky as I was able to stay at home with my daughter full time for the first 2 years and then only worked part time until she went to school. The time I spent at work she went to a preschool/nursery which she loved as there was only so much fort building, playdough making, cake making etc.. one can do before your daughter need the company of other children and you need adults!
I am currently on extended half term and have an extra week off even though my daughter went back to school and I must admit I am really enjoying takingher to school and picking her up, we get home at a decent time, tea is ready at 17:00 instead of 18:30 and I get to spend more time chatting with her. Happy days all round :)
I am not looking forward to going back to work, teaching is great in view of the fact you get lots of holidays and you get to meet some really cool children who are fun to work with. But most of your spare time is spent planning for the next term, marking etc… and evenings and weekends are the same! No time for family, and I know its not just me lots of teachers feel the same way, what are we doing wrong?

Kraken's avatar

Nope.
Family time is more precious than rubies.

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