As of October 2018, the Silicon Slopes have taken over the tech industry, with Provo being named the fastest-growing U.S. city in tech employment.
It may not come as a surprise to the locals, but the city is also known for having the highest birth rate in the country.
While these two facts prove what is on the minds of the majority, here in Provo, it is essential to consider how they affect each other and to rethink how we might be balancing both work and family life.
With the new emphasis on technology, Americans are spending more time working and less time with their families. Today, 70% of American children live in households where all adults are employed, compared with the meager 20% of mothers working in 1960. The U.S. does not have a maximum length of the workweek, leading to 86% of males and 67% of females working more than 40 hours per week. To have both parents away from the home and working so many hours endangers the family life which is essential to the American dream.
How will we choose to walk on the tightrope of work and family life? Will we stay balanced, or will we wear ourselves thin by leaning to one side? My point is not that we should all work fewer hours. If we have a passion for our careers and are doing it for the right reasons, then we should continue to happily spend our lives working away. But for many of us, more work leads to more stress and a lower quality of life. Work replaces the time to take care of our home, relationships and life.
Reprioritize your life. Put family first and stay family-oriented by remembering that it is OK to ask to work from home, or take a week-long vacation if needed. Family time is necessary to lead a more balanced life, especially with a large number of kids in Provo who depend on their parents’ unconditional support. Do we have this balance? Choose to readjust our goals for quality time instead of working harder.