Written by Wendy McCance
Originally posted on 2/22/2012
I have 3 children, 4 pets and a wonderful husband. Home is my favorite place to be. I love nothing more than to fill our home with the hustle and bustle of friends and family popping in at a moments notice to hang out. I encourage the kids to have friends over at every opportunity.
People always comment on how peaceful and happy our house feels when they come over. We have definitely become the “hang out” house for our kids friends. My family says I’m the mushiest person they have ever met. I have to say that my most enjoyable moments are when there is great food cooking on the stove or baking in the oven, and there are friends and family that are hanging out in the kitchen talking and playing some game or other.
I have had many obstacles put in my path. Divorce, jobs with long hours, loss of income etc… I only see my kids half of each week which although it’s been about 8 years since the divorce, is something I have never grown accustom to and generally hate. I spent 7 years in a job working for General Motors on the assembly line. The plant ended up closing down and my life as a factory worker came to an end. The best part of the job had been the money and benefits. I was truly able to support my family and make a good salary. The worst part was that the job made me feel like I was selling my soul to the devil. Basically I needed to pick whether money or family was more important. At the time I was a single parent without a lot of college behind me. To have a job that kept the family afloat with a nice house, safe neighborhood and good schools was everything to me. The part that broke my heart daily was not seeing the kids much. I wanted so desperately to have been able to choose the kids over the job, but options for other jobs would have left us without the home, neighborhood and schools that the kids needed for their own success.
In my search for the happiness, I have come full circle. I am in the midst of trying to find that job which will allow me to make the kids my priority. I know these type of jobs allowing more flexibility are low paying, but I am determined to find a way to make this work.
In the scheme of things, you get one life. There are no do overs, only learn from your mistakes and do better. When I was working in the factory, I saw so many people that had given their life to GM so that their family could be taken care of comfortably. The problem was that these people who had basically stepped out of high school right into the factory had nothing else, this had to work for them. I can’t begin to stress how many stories I heard of kids growing up without a parent because they were always working. These same families faced divorce because the connection was lost between the husband and wife do to the long hours. Eventually these people would grab at all of the overtime because there was no life left to go home to. No family or friends because they were never there. The factory became their friends and family. The most heartbreaking part of this story was that these people who tried to give their families everything and ended up with nothing would fall dead on their last day of work. There was no life left outside of the factory. Retirees would stress about the last day. They would say, “oh just one more year then I will retire” even though they already had 38 years in. I’m not joking though when I say that the last day of work many of these people would have a going away party, talk about what they would do in retirement and never make it out of the place at the end of the shift alive. Usually these people would fall dead of a heart attack.
Sadly, because of the economy and fears of not finding a job, companies are more than ever paying very little while expecting the world from their workers. Companies expect that families be prioritized far below work commitments. 9 to 5 is no longer acceptable. At a moments notice extending the day or working on the weekend is something that should be expected and treated as a normal part of the job.
There has to be a better way. What is a job that will afford you a nice comfortable lifestyle for you and your family without having to decide between the job and the family? Does this even exist anymore? I would love to hear from you the reader. What are your thoughts on this? What are your experiences? Do you feel a strong correlation between family and personal happiness?
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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