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Maggie's Portfolio

Rat Race Essay

           The constant balance between work and home is a struggle for every parent. Between the hassle during the workday and the extra work to take home, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for talking and listening to your child. As Double Daddy by Penny Parker explains, it’s not only mothers who deal with the work stress, but fathers as well. Balancing work and family is difficult and sometimes impossible, no matter what time management books can tell us, as Diary of a Mad Blender by Sue Shellenbarger states. And what do kids really think about their working parents? They understand it is necessary. They just wish that you were not so tired and stressed the few times that you are with them, Cora Daniels tells us in The Child’s View of Working Parents.

            Recently, men have been saying, “I’m working so that I can support my family. But I’m not spending any time with my family. That doesn’t make sense.” It’s a national movement. More men are becoming interesting in their role as fathers, and really want to be there for their children. However, more companies and businesses would not let a dad take off a day of work to watch their sick child, or take care of family issues, while with a mother it is acceptable.


            Trying to juggle with family and work can be even worse. Blending them into your day leaves you feeling tired and confused. Even while heeding advice in life-balance books, it’s still incredibly hard to make time for your family. Working with tidbits of time can leave you feeling rushed for the rest of the day. And while sneaking in work in spare minutes can cut down on the overall work, “it makes you stupider.” Your mind is occupied all the time and has no chance to be creative and think of new ideas.


            Children understand that you have to work. It’s one of the first things we can comprehend. However, when we are sick, we want you to be there with us. We would like to see you more often, in a good mood, able to focus and listen to us. Often though, that’s not the case. You come home tired, stressed. We talk to you, but you are focused on something else, not listening. We tend to move away from you, try to grow around you. Businesses need to understand that if you give more time for someone to take care of family issues, they will be resolved quicker and workers will be there when you need them.


            Overall, the fast-paced rat race every parent faces can be overwhelming. Trying to balance work and life is impossible. But as Cora Daniels explains, children understand. We worry about you a lot. And all we can tell you is, hang in there. 

Copyright (C). 2005. Maggie Escobedo. All Rights Reserved.