March Fast Company : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

All In The Family

by Amy Wilson

March, 2000

This article dealt with the struggles between meeting career commitments and meeting family and/or personal commitments. In todays society where business is carried on twenty-four hours a day, balancing a job and a family becomes an overwhelming challenge. Little time is spent really listening to members of our families. Too many times we are interrupted with business calls or called away from home to attend emergency meeting.

Craig Forman, 38, the CEO of, a Web site that helps baby boomers make better use of their time, schedules a weekly meeting with his wife and young son. He wants to make sure that his familys priorities dont get lost in the frenzy of Silicon Valleys startup culture. Formans family meets every Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. The family meeting allows them to come together and update one another about what is on tap for the week ahead. This meeting is the family business. Our meetings are like my companys project update sessions. They really matter. Nothing - not friends, phone calls, or TV- interrupts them. Forman also uses these meetings as a teaching tool to help his son understand how people work together to reach compromises.

As I read this article, I couldnt help but think of my own family and the struggles that we go through to keep each other informed. Sadly, we are rarely together as an entire family for dinner. Working around jobs, school, sports practices, confirmation at church, and drivers training has make it difficult to do more than leave notes and schedules taped on the refrigerator door. I keep imagining that things are going to slow down and we will actually have a life again. My fear is that this probably will not happen soon.

As I think about the students in my sixth grade classroom, I realize how many times a week I am asked by one of them if they may use the telephone to call a parent to find out where to go after school. Schedules frequently change for them and they are left confused and uncertain. Telling them that these arrangements should have been made before hand is often unfair because no one was at home that morning to talk to them. It is sad for me to think that while I am trying to balance being a wife, mother, teacher, and student; I have probably placed my own children in this same uncomfortable position.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2000

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