This last week at work has been rough. I usually manage to get most of my work done in time to leave the office by 6 every evening, but due to some changes at work, this week has required much more than my typical 10-hour days. Even on days that I know I’ll need to work late, I make it a priority to get home at the usual time, put down my work, and give a good hour or two of attention to Hannah and Lydia before logging back on again at night. I’ve always found taking a break is important (especially when it’s for my family), and I find that it helps me concentrate and be more efficient when I get back to work. Tonight, though, I didn’t even get my break because I’m 2,000 miles away from my family in New York for some meetings. I know many people who travel for work try to paint it as glamorous and fancy, but what travel really is for me is proof of how great it is to have a home and a family.
Just look at this picture. How could staying in an empty hotel room ever be more exciting than hanging out with these two?!
Hannah does her best to help make traveling easier by sending me videos of Lydia throughout the day, documenting her daily life on her Instagram story, and calling me on FaceTime before she puts Lydia down for the night, but I still find myself thinking about all the things I’m missing out on. Little things like watching Lydia play with a bunch of balloons, seeing her wave to all the cars that drive by while she’s in her stroller on a walk, or seeing her face when she bites into the rock-hard piece of bread she’d secretly stashed behind the couch for two days (I’m so glad Hannah caught that one on film). I don’t know if I can ever get enough of those moments, and sometimes it’s tough to know that I’m not there for them.
I’ve occasionally wondered what the motivation is for a company to hire a married person who has a life outside of work. If you think about it, wouldn’t a business really just want someone who has nothing better to do than work all the time? Especially if that employee is on salary with no overtime! As I’ve spent more time in the workforce, though, I’ve realized that I think married people with families at home are actually more motivated. Not only do I have a reason to work (so that I can provide for my family), but I also have a desire to work as efficiently as possible—so that I can get home in the evening and devote 100 percent of my attention to my wife and kids. My motivation to be home for as many moments as possible makes me work hard and smart while I’m at the office. I’ve found that when I’m traveling, and know I won’t get to go home at night, I no longer have the same motivation. Without the carrot-on-a-stick of getting to walk in the front door and give my family a big hug, I find that everything I work on during the day moves a little bit slower than usual.
If you can’t tell, I’m excited to get home and spend time with my family after spending some especially long hours on the job this past week. I think I’ll even pick up a bunch of balloons for Lydia on my way home, so we can celebrate.