Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spending time with my "other" family

I love my husband and son. I enjoy our adventurous weekends, inside jokes and our Family Nights together. I often wish there were more hours in the day so I could spend more time with them.

But, let's face it. I'm a full-time working mommy. I spend most of my time with my work family. And, I love that family, too, just in a different way.

I am lucky. I work with an incredible team of people. It is one of the most supportive groups I've ever been a part of. We work in an always-on-deadline atmosphere, but we boost one another's spirits when needed and are always there to act as a safety net. We are a bi-coastal team, but we do fun activities together and it never feels like half the team is on the other side of the country.

It is an incredible working environment. And that is one of the reasons I think some of the things we do to strengthen our team at work can be used to strengthen my family. There are already plenty of articles about parenting skills being incorporated into the office, let's turn that around to see how work skills can be used in the home:
  1. Have each other's back. My husband and I are a team. I know that if I fail to do something, he'll pick up the slack. That kind of teamwork is a great example for our son.
  2. Present a unified front. A good team works as one, with one voice and toward a common goal. It shouldn't matter if that goal is deciding what fun activity to do on a Saturday or conquering the yard work.
  3. Excel at communication. Communication should be beyond "what's for dinner?" and "how was your day?" We try to share stories at dinnertime and ask our son to share about his day, too.
  4. Make work fun. Admittedly, not everyone at home enjoys my "Does this belong here?" game, but we do try to incorporate whimsy into our day. Sometimes dinosaurs come out and play and pirates have adventures in our household.
  5. Express gratitude. We tell each other thank you and find opportunities to make each other smile. Both of these things boost our moods as well as the other person's.
  6. Know when to take off. We all need a break from work. Take a break from your family when you need to, as well. You'll have a much better perspective when you return.
What aspects of your working life can you bring into your home life? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Agree with the last point completely - sometimes a break is needed to break perspective. I would add 'don't bring your problems to the door'. When I'm at work i always try to 'be at work' and when I'm at home I'm 'at home'. I try my best not to have a crossover.

    1. Great point, Genna - my work time is for my work family; home is for my husband and son. (I get so messed up when I have to work from home!)