Why is it that any article, conversation or feature about the difficulty in making time for yourself and your family always uses the phrase 'work / life balance'?
Why is work the first word in the phrase?
Why can't we just talk about balancing our life?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not stupid and I've lived the life of working 60+ hours a week, carrying on in the evening and quite often at weekends too because that was 'just life'. It was expected and plenty of others were doing that too.
But not any more. 3 years ago I left my well paid job to 'spend more time with the family'. And I haven't looked back since!
I have an 8 year old boy, James who is now delighted that he gets to spend so much time with his dad. School runs, homework, football, tennis, swimming, playing at home or in the garden and exploring the local countryside. Whatever it is, we do it together.
But what is even more amazing is that once you step off that hamster wheel a whole new world opens up. A world I didn't even know existed.
It seems it's very possible to earn a good living, or start a business and work at a time that suits you. Inbetween school runs for example.
And encouragingly there's loads of dads out there doing just that.
According to Future Trends 'at home Dads' is one of the western worlds fastest gowing demographics.
There are 3 key drivers to this trend.
Firstly there's the rise in women's achievements and status in the workplace and with it the money women now earn.
This leads to the second factor. Home economics are changing with women often out stripping their sposuses in salary and benefits. This coupled with the expense of child care is helping to drive up the number of men who stay at home with the kids.
Thirdly society is slowly becoming more accepting. In years gone by the notion of a father staying at home was unheard of. But now dad's are more regularly seen at the school gates and engaging in community activity that was tradionally the role of mum. Old stereotypes are starting to be questioned.
I can honestly say that leaving the corporate world behind was the best decision I ever made. I'm happier, healthier, more connected and more fulfilled than I ever have been.
If you've already made the lifestyle change then I applaud you and hope you are enjoying your new life.
If you're thinking of taking the plunge then you need to properly consider things. There's loads to think about from economics to the impact on you personally. But get loads of advice from people who already have made the move. It’s a different world and takes some getting used to.