My friend (used to be a real life friend – now fb friend since she cancelled dinner on me the day she found out she was pregnant… I haven’t seen her physically ever again and she’s now on baby #2) just posted on fb advocating a reduced hours working week. The video was all about not being able to get back family time and see kids grow up and so on and so forth. It said that the average worker works 47 hours a week and it was advocating a 30 hour week… whilst playing pictures of kids and babies and men talking about how they wanted to spend more time with their families.
It kinda made me see red.
Maybe it’s the context: She’s one of those people who “accidentally on purpose” got pregnant to trap the boyfriend. (It was a success.) I used to go out on the town with her and she was intelligent, thoughtful, fun and we’d have interesting conversations IRL about corporate life and 30-something social stuff. She now has only one topic of fb posts: babies. I recently had a miscarriage after 15 years of “unexplained” infertility. On my last project whilst going through the emotional and physical drain of IVF (only to lose the pregnancy at 9 weeks), I was working 80-90 hour weeks with the majority away from home. She has spent 2 of the last 2.5 years whiling away her time on maternity leave posting daily pictures of her kids.
I’m feeling kinda sensitive.
My point is: Why do parents feel like they have some sort of monopoly on having a work life balance?
I’m sorry, but I’m a human and therefore if you think that normal people deserve a work life balance, that should extend to all people and not just parents. Don’t keep giving me this rhetoric about how you want to spend more time with your children… Maybe I want to spend more time with my dog/partner/family. Maybe I have hobbies and interests outside of work that I don’t get to do because of work.
Your free time is not more precious than mine.