Family Vs. Work


UNITED STATES—Family is the basis of all life.  We all love to spend time with family, but providing for our family requires us to work.  Most people on average spend between 30-50 hours working during the week.  That’s not counting perhaps another 10-12 hours spent commuting to and from work.  In total, about 40-60 hours of the week is spent away from the family.

Let’s factor in the concept of sleep, on average most Americans get about 6-8 hours of sleep a night.  So in a given week we are sleeping between 42-56 hours a week.  Now add the numbers of sleep and work, that’s about 80-115 hours a week that we spend away from the family. There’s only 24 hours in a day, so in a given week that amounts to 168 hours a week.  So we only spend about 50-70 hours a week with our family.

Some would equate sleeping as a part of the family unit, but work not so much.  In essence, we spend more time working than we do at home, these people become our second families, but why are we working more to earn so much less. It’s an issue of economics.  We live in a world where, money is the root to living a sustainable life, we all want it, we all need it and for a vast majority we tend to think it makes our lives better.

The unfortunate side effect is that we’re willing to sacrifice our families to provide for them.  Is this a finger pointed to all the hard-working citizens of the world?  No, this is a finger pointed at the greedy corporate honchos who spend much more time with their families than most everyday citizens do. They live the luxurious lives, while their counterparts fail to reap the benefits of the hard work.  Who came up with the idea of the eight-hour work shifts anyway?  Most of the day is already gone when you factor in sleep and work, leaving little if any time with the family.

Perhaps we could push for a maximum 6 hour work day, perhaps Congress will go through with their initiative to increase the minimum wage, and I mean come on, who really thinks they can survive on under $7 an hour to support their family?  You can’t and anyone who says the poor small business, trust me that small business is doing just fine, the money will continue to roll in if quality service is provided. I would love to see a project in place where every American citizen was forced to live off of the minimum wage for just 1 week; I wonder what the top 1% of the nation would think about that.

Heck I wonder what anyone earning over $100,000 a year would think of that. Most wouldn’t last a day on such income, but the sad thing is most Americans are just making ends meet on that type of income, forcing them to work more hours or to work multiple jobs to support their family and stay afloat. Work is not supposed to be overly stressful. After a long day of work, the last thing you want to think about is preparing supper, washing dishes/clothes, cleaning the house and helping the kids with homework.  Why not?  Your body is physically exhausted, doing more than what you’ve already done for the day is testing on your psyche.

I’m advocating that we need to consider the family as a more important unit than the ideology of work.  Work puts food on the top, but that’s not only what we should be striving for in life.  We should want to build memories, share laughs and address issues in our immediate families, without wondering what ramifications could occur because of work.  Who knew a four letter word could create so much controversy.

By Trevor Roberts