The New York Times, one of the most appreciated publications on the planet, just published an article on the American family. They titled it: Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family. It showcased many of the issues we as families face today by being stretch too thin; the inability to be there for everything you need to be. But they are all choices we make and we all have the ability to shift or adjust to make them differently. The article was not reflective of the entire population, but the comments on the article by the readers really demonstrated a broad spectrum of opinions and life experiences related.
What the article didn’t showcase was real opportunities for change for this ‘typical American family.’ The article had very few solutions and a lot of banter about what is not working. It didn’t account for the millennial population of out-of-the-box workplace scenarios and lacked content around alternative lifestyles like communities, expatriate living, or families who have worked out schedules to be home at opposite times to co-parent.
One other element not considered in the article: there is no talk about balancing behaviors like more sleep, a better diet and general health of the people they are showcasing. We find that often the main reasons people are stressed, tired and rushed is due to being overweight, sleep deprived and sickly, unable to function at 100%. Work becomes less productive and life is less enjoyable. All of this can be avoided through preventative health.
Kurt and I know this first hand because we’ve been there. When we first had Iza, we had just gotten two huge contracts. To fit it all in, we stayed up after Iza was asleep… we became sleep deprived and then ate poorly and drank too much to ease the pain. We stopped meditating and stopped exercising. Not only did we feel terrible, but we found that we were spinning and hardly getting any work done. We had strayed too far from our values, so we stopped, reevaluated and initiated a plan which supported our lifestyle.
What we love about this article is that it says what many of us are thinking all the time. It speaks to the realities many families face in the general workplace… the one with no life balance or boundaries.