Family vs. Work; Can’t We Have Both?

Tomorrow begins another work week, and the whirlwind of the previous 48 hours that made up my weekend sure feels like we could use a vacation, or at the very least a kid-free evening out without worrying about prepping for the next day at work. Before my husband and I were married with kids, we would get home from work and hit the gym before eating a late dinner and vegging out. It was calm, relaxing, and, for the most part, stress-free. We would take leisurely strolls around our condo development or visit with friends at an impromptu happy hour. When I think about those days now, it’s like they occurred in another lifetime.

When I became preggers with my oldest, I returned to school to go into education. I wanted the flexible schedule, but I also wanted to make a difference. I often reflect on the long days spent going directly from work to the classroom and how far I have come just through sheer determination to get through it and on with my career, and get to have a life again. Yet that is as far from the truth as I can get. These days when the alarm goes off at 4:50 (ugh!) I hop (okay, tumble) out of bed, grope through my dresser for workout clothes, and in a zombie-like state, head downstairs to stave off that elusive body fat (okay, it’s not so elusive when the person it has taken ahold of enjoys munching chocolate, bread, and any other sweet treat in the vicinity!) with a quick 30 minute workout.

Most days end with a mad rush to get the kids to bed at a decent hour to procure some time for ourselves, which typically devolves into my husband playing online and me grading papers and responding to parent emails. I love my students, but when did life become one big hamster wheel of work?!? It’s difficult to draw a line for myself and say, “no more answering emails after a certain time” or “just let the grading go until tomorrow.” I, like so many of you out there, feel like I should be doing something other than relaxing. But, especially as a hardworking member of society, sometimes it is best to do just that. Put down the work and enjoy your family or significant other.

The work will ALWAYS be there, they are not always promised to us. When we are 90-something, retired and reliving ‘the good old days’, what will we remember? All the essays we plodded through, or the memories we made with the people who matter most? So, in tribute to this concept which I am going to try very much to implement immediately, I say, read your new, intriguing novel; Lay on the couch and watch the movie your husband pulled up on Netflix, or play tickle fight with your little ones. And take a deep breath. Anxiety over work gets you nowhere. Work will be there tomorrow.

In honor of this work/play idea, here are pics of one of my favorite casual Friday options that takes me from work to family time in a flash! Links to shop below!

Button down shirt

I ordered a small for a more fitted, relaxed style, but you can go up a size for an oversized look.


Denim also pairs well, here is my current obsession, and best yet, they are on sale this weekend at 40% off! I am 5’3″ and slim, and a size 4s/27 fits well with a bit of stretch.

Lastly, I love an easy to accomplish hairstyle. Check out this video to see how to create your own ‘messy bun’.