Life in the twenty-first century is fast-paced and hectic. Time is of the essence but that doesn’t mean we can’t fuse the necessity of work with the pleasure of a family

 

Life forces us to make many decisions. One of the most difficult decisions which people have to make is choosing between family and career. Some people choose family and don’t work at all, while others are so absorbed in their career that they neglect creating their own family. For me, both options are equally unattractive. I don’t believe there should be a choice at all! Why choose either/or? One can have both and live peacefully.

First let’s speak about men who choose the career path. Choosing a career over having a family has its obvious disadvantages. A person works all day long, returns home in the evening, cooks his unglamorous dinner and goes to sleep. A man who dedicates himself to his work is very purposeful, but usually incapable of providing moral support, committing to a serious relationship and, sharing responsibilities with ordinary people who are not his co-workers.

Sometimes it happens that a man almost ‘lives with his career’. That kind of man is frightful. Such people are too obsessed with work, they can’t relax, they don’t even have free time to just chat.

Well, many men announce that they love such a lifestyle; it’s convenient, they don’t depend on anyone, they don’t have to do anything for someone else. However, I just don’t believe that there is never a thought in their heads about ageing and living alone. For every man, saying: ‘It’s my work, it brings me pleasure and money’ is good and acceptable, but to say: ‘That’s my family and I love them’ is still better.

If you ask me about women who choose a career over family, I’m even more certain that such a choice is not the best one. Nowadays traditions have changed and women work and are independent and self-sufficient. However, this doesn’t change the fact that a lonely, childless woman in her late 30s may look miserable to some people, even if she is a successful person in her own right. There are many women in politics and business, but those who reject creating a family are always somehow too austere, sometimes even angry and — literally — iron-like.

I believe that a woman should work but not at the cost of having a fulfilling family life. Women should have their careers, by all means, but not instead of a family.

On the opposite spectrum, women who choose family over a career also miss out on some important things. First of all, social interaction. When a woman is a housewife she practically doesn’t see other people, she doesn’t interact with many outside of her own family circle. All she knows is cleaning, cooking, ironing and the rest of the customary chores. Trapped in her own apartment a woman doesn’t see the outside world. Soon she’ll start missing all the important news and won’t be able to support a conversation about something of current interest.

Second, if a woman just sits at home and her husband works, there will likely be few points of contact between them. Men like talking about their job while having dinner, but a woman confined to the home may struggle to understand her husband when he talks about the stresses of work. Sometimes, insensitive husbands even mock their unemployed wives.

The third regrettable feature of a woman who doesn’t work is that she almost always stops looking after herself. She loses her pretty appearance and starts looking like a slob.

So, dedicating yourself solely to your family is not always brilliant for you as a person — the key is to strike a balance.

I also have to mention men who don’t work and perform as so-called ‘househusbands’. It’s not very common because it’s not traditional, but we still hear about such cases. Personally, I don’t think it’s appropriate. I’m fond of the idea of a man being the main breadwinner, so can’t agree with the image of a man who allows himself to sit at home while his wife goes out to work (unless of course there are serious reasons, such as illness, disability etc).

There should be no extremes between family and career. Both a man and a woman can work but in a way that doesn’t consume all their time, so there is still the opportunity to create a family.

The whole point of working really, is so that you can support your family and in turn, your family will support you when work gets too much. Everything is connected. A person shouldn’t be obsessed with just one thing and forget about the rest. Family and career can coexist in every person’s life.