A recent article at this site “Families that Learn Together Stay Together looked at a way that families can create common interests and income with a family micro business . Family though can mean much more than the nuclear family of old.
Going… going… almost gone. Family structures have changed dramatically in the past forty years. In the 1960 45 percent of households were nuclear families consisting of a married couple with children under 18.
According to census figures such households had dropped to 23.5 percent by 2000 and single-person households amounted to 26 percent of the total by 2000.
New U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the rate is as low as 10% in many cities. For example in Baltimore and Washington nuclear families represent 8.6 percent of the population.
When I was a kid our family was together, almost every night. First, we listened to radio. Later we all sat round a black and white TV. Then the TV was in color. In retrospect, there were better things we could have done as a family… but at least we did that together. We all watched the same show, so in some ways we all had similar thoughts.
Later generations had more than one TV. Not all family members watch the same show.
The internet arrived. Fracturing of common interests in the family grew.
My mom never worked so she knew what was up when we left for school and how we felt when we were at home.
Then people in the Western world became richer, but had to do more. This made maintaining balance between earning a living and being with the family grow, especially for moms.
A New York Times series is featuring stories on how working mothers balance careers with family responsibilities.
One article entitled “Coveting Not a Corner Office, but Time at Home” by Catherine Rampell looks at two different schools of thought.
Here are excerpts: FALL RIVER, Wis. — Sara Uttech has not spent much of her career so far worrying about “leaning in.” Instead, she has mostly been hanging on, trying to find ways to get her career to accommodate her family life, rather than the other way around.
The Balancing Act
She emphasizes that she wants flexibility in her career. The ultimate luxury for some of them, in fact (though not for Ms. Uttech), would be the option to be a stay-at-home mother.
By comparison, about half of mothers in the United States are actually working full time, indicating that there are a lot out there logging many more hours than they want to be.
Up Early, Always Moving
On a recent Tuesday, which she said was broadly representative of most workdays, she rose at 5:45 a.m. and did a load of laundry before everyone else awoke. Soon she was wielding the hair dryer in one hand and a son’s permission slip in the other; running to the kitchen to pack lunches and help one of her sons make dirt cups (pudding and Oreo crumble) as part of a book report presentation; and then driving the children to school at 7:15 a.m. before commencing her 40-minute commute to the office, where she arrives a little after 8. She heads back out — often directly to the baseball diamond — at 4:30 p.m.
On Sundays, she teaches at her church, and then prepares most of the meals for rest of the week, making great use of two wonders of modern cookery: the slow cooker and the freezer.
This balancing act is more that just a mother’s challenge. Moms, dads and grandparents often find themselves so torn between work and family that they have schedules like this. They are so busy there is little time for contemplation. The daily tactics of survival leave no time for thinking strategically about one’s destiny.
Yet fulfillment of our individual destiny is the most important thing we can do.
How then can we become more efficient and at the same time more relaxed so we have time to balance our work, our family AND also fulfill our destiny.
The first step is to plan for ways to unite our work with our destiny. This creates an automatic balance and will help you succeed because you are doing what you are supposed to do.
Second, integrate work with family. Technologically fractured media streams make it harder for families to have common interests. This can be overcome by recognizing that there are basic interests everyone has regardless of points of view. Everyone likes conquering challenges. Everyone likes giving and receiving. Everyone likes success small or large.
Even though every member of a family may have a different mind set… a family business can bring everyone together through these basic human desires.
Many years ago when we had a direct mail business… Merri and I used to sit round the dining room table with the children and fold letters and insert them in envelopes and stick on the address labels and… talk as we worked together.
We shared the feeling of accomplishment when the work was done and made the sure the children accompanied us to the Post Office to send off the mail and pick up letters that arrived… with checks… so they participated in the full circle. We let them have a commission on sales so they connected giving… to receiving.
Our webmaster David has became our son-in-law. Our daughter Cheri ran our administration. My sister Sandra helps us with social networking. Work brings us together. We have great things to talk about every day… common challenges, mutual interests and shared satisfactions. It’s also really great to end a business email or phone call with “I love you”.
This works for moms, dads and grandparents as well. What a great way for any of us to be with family… serving together… earning together… supporting each other in commerce and all seeing how to give and receive as we develop pinnacle careers.
Learn how to develop a business with writing to sell.
[showad file=”https://www.garyascott.com/ads/writerscamp”]w York Times Article The Balancing Act