I once took a quiz about being a workaholic. The answers pointed to probably “yes.” What is a workaholic, in my definition? Well, someone who works a lot. Right? Someone who is obsessed with work.
I run my own business, and I love what I do. I am definitely obsessed with working a lot.
But can you be a workaholic and still be a good mother?
I say “yes”
With an asterisk.
Q: How much do you work?
This varies from week to week, but I would guess that I work 45-60 hours a week. I work a standard eight to nine hours every day, and then I work two to four hours each night after my three-year-old goes to bed.
Q: Okay, so when do you see your kid?
Well, I work from home, so I see her throughout the day. I usually have lunch with her, and then I do my best to shut down the computer by 6 p.m. at the latest. She goes to bed between 8:30 and 10:00 every night, so we get several hours together in the evening. I also refuse to work daytime hours on weekends, so I can soak up as much time as possible with her.
Q: How do you have a kid at home and still work during the day?
I have childcare. i.e. my stay-at-home husband, Kevin. Even if you have a work-from-home job, you cannot focus on your kid while you’re looking at your phone or computer. It’s impossible, no matter how much of a multi-tasker you are.
Q: Are you a multi-tasker?
No. Yes. I don’t know. Can I write an email with a toddler on my lap? Yes. Can I listen to her stories while composing an email? Absolutely not. If she needs my attention, however, I clock out and give it to her.
Q: What kind of things does she need your attention for?
What all 3-year-olds need. Snuggles. Playtime. Tickles. Stories. And answers to 30 questions during a five minute game of “Why?”
Q: Why are you a workaholic?
I run my own business, and there are certain demands. I can say this honestly, though, I would absolutely not be a workaholic if I didn’t own my own company. I would not be a workaholic for someone else. I did that once when I was young, and I never will again.
Q: Do you glamorize workaholism?
No way. I truly believe that people should work 30-35 hours a week max. However, I get myself into trouble by saying “Yes” more often than I should. I also am a horrible estimator of time. I often forget, too, that I am a human being who sometimes gets sick or has a partner who gets sick. This takes away from work, which backs me up and causes me to work that much harder to keep my promises to my clients. Which, since we’re being honest, I sometimes have to break those promises. I think we all do from time-to-time.
Q: Do you think your workaholic tendencies are teaching your child bad habits?
I am doing my very best not to. When she needs me, I take a break. She is more important, and I always want her to know that. I pay attention to her when I’m not working. I do not spend time on my phone when I’m with her. I think this balances out my workaholism. Plus, to her, I work a normal, standard 35-40 hour week. It’s when she sleeps that I work extra.
Q: Do you have any thoughts for other workaholic parents?
Fully give yourself to your kids as often as you can. They are young for such a short period of time, and you cannot recapture those moments. Also, only be a workaholic if you’re doing it for yourself. If you’re working 60 hours a week for a salaried position, it just doesn’t seem worth it. Maybe start your own business – you obviously have the drive! I would be happy to give you free advice and let you know how I started mine. Touch base with me via LinkedIn or Facebook.