Choosing To Cheat

When Work and Family Collide

Are you choosing to cheat? If so, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just don’t let it happen too often. Wait….are we thinking about the same thing? I’m talking about the time you manage between your place of work and your family. Now that you’re back on track, keep reading so I can explain what I really mean.

via Katharine Parker @ Flickr Creative Commons

via Katharine Parker @ Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve had problems in the past with working too much. Still to this day, I fight the urge to run back to the office after dropping my kids off at home to slay that never-ending to-do list at work.

This picture below is actually me a few years ago at 9pm, right before I walked out the door to make the 35 min. drive to work because “things had to get done”. I worked that night until 3am.


Have you ever done anything like this? You’re constantly torn between hanging out with your family and getting things done at your job. If you choose work, you feel like you’re cheating your family. But if you choose your family, you feel like you’re cheating your team.

What I want to help you understand is this:

1. You have the ability to choose. You don’t ever HAVE to do anything. If you take your kids to baseball practice, it’s because you chose to. If you eat lunch with your spouse or drive to work an hour before you were scheduled to be there, it’s because a conscious decision was made. No one can make you do anything you don’t want to do.

2. There will be seasons when you have to cheat on one or there other. It happens. Life is full of seasons. There will be times that you will be needed at home to eat with the family, run your daughter to dance class, mow the yard, or help catch up on laundry. There will also be times when your desk is covered with projects, deadlines are looming, and decisions have to be made. Just make sure it is actually a season and doesn’t turn into a lifestyle.

3. You must have more deposits than withdrawals. I learned this the hard way with my wife and kids. Marilyn felt like a single mother. The kids only saw me in the mornings on the way to school. I had overdrawn on all of my accounts with Stevens Nation and have had to prove to them again that they are the priority in my life.


When you regularly make deposits at work by going above and beyond and by doing high quality jobs, they will usually understand when you have to take off work to take care of your kids or take your spouse on a small trip.

Likewise, when you regularly make deposits at home, your family certainly can overlook (and maybe even enjoy) a night away.

Your days are numbered and you’re only allowed 24 hours in each day. Choose wisely how you use them and always keep the main thing as the main thing.

QUESTION: When work and family collide, which do you usually choose? Why do you think that is the case?

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