“He’s newly married without any kids. He still can be awesome.”
A buddy with four young kids said this to me the other day. It wasn’t said in a bitter way, but laughing. After saying this there was a bit of a pause in our conversation as we imagined (or at least I did) how much we would get done – how awesome we’d be – if we didn’t have kids.
When I get up early to work (I’m writing this at 6AM) there would be no chance an early riser would demand breakfast. (+4 hours/week).
Instead of a two-hour “bed time” routine followed by an hour of exhaustion, my bed-time routine would consist of a 15-minute shower. (+14 hours/week).
That’s 18 hours per week (10% of a week!) right there that I could spend writing, reading, working, and being “awesome.”
Are parents less productive?
Employers seem to think that mothers are. Researchers conducted a study in which they sent out 638 fake resumes that were identical except one was a mother and the other woman wasn’t. The childless woman got 2.1 times more callbacks. But for men, which is where I come in, there was no difference. In fact, a study of lawyers in Canada showed that men with school-aged children are more productive.
The study reported in the Wall Street Journal found that…
• Mothers with school-aged children are less productive than non-mothers, whereas fathers with preschool-aged children are more productive than non-fathers.
• Fathers, on the other hand, seem to benefit more: family resources are positively related to their productivity and family-friendly benefits allow them more time for leisure.
That said, my buddy wasn’t talking about hours worked, he was talking about being awesome. Yes, parents have less free time to spend and/or waste. We have to (try) to be more efficient with our time. Unlike Google, maybe we can’t give ourselves 20% free time to follow our passions and pursue something that may or may not be worth pursuing.
It’s tough to find the time to be awesome to the world when you’re a parent, but awesome happens to us everyday. When I’m away, I miss bed time. I miss morning cartoons. I miss being read to by someone who can’t read.
I have less working hours in my week than I did a few years ago, but I have more awesome.
I was going to make a few more points in this post, but my 2-year-old daughter is hollering for me from her bed room. We’ve got a busy week of bed time, chalk drawing, Halloween. Harper is going to be a cowgirl..