Patterico's Pontifications


How to Tell When You’re Working Too Much

Filed under: Real Life — Patterico @ 6:03 am

Every night, when I put my five-year-old daughter to bed, we talk about our favorite and least favorite parts of the day.

Lately, I have been working too much. It is, I’m sure, temporary. I gave up a lot of money to leave a job where I would always work such hours. Now, I work long hours only when in trial. But lately, I have been in too many trials that have needed too much work, on weekends, evenings — every spare moment.

So lately, my favorite and least favorite parts are always the same.

My least favorite part: having to work too much, because I hardly got to see her.

My favorite part: talking with her about her day. This is my favorite part, I say. Right now. Can I stay a little longer?

22 Responses to “How to Tell When You’re Working Too Much”

  1. Yes, spend as much time as you can and adjust your work schedule accordingly – albeit it is difficult in law. Nothing and I mean nothing is as important than the time you spend with your child!

    Soon she will be grown and off on her own and you will wonder why you did not spend MORE time.

    But, on the other hand that is why God created grandchildren! You get a second chance.

    Flap (27ae41)

    Patterico has a touching post about putting his five-year old daughter to bed….

    Michelle Malkin (3ca10e)

  3. I almost cried when I read your post. How lucky your daughter is to have a father who loves her so much.

    Michelle Malkin (19389f)

  4. Patterico,

    You have good guest bloggers. They can hold down the fort till your time-crunch has passed. It’s all about priorities, so spend as much time w/your daughter as you can, and in relatively brief periods like this, remember, you are also teaching her by example about responsibility; that’ll stick with her more than you know.

    My own kids are teenagers now; enjoy all you can the age that yours is at now – it’ll never come again.

    ras (482403)

  5. Yeah, on days like the days I’m talking about, I post only 1) in the morning before she wakes up, 2) when I first get home, before she gets home (I generally take the kids to day care and Mrs. P brings them home), or 3) after she goes to sleep.

    It’s not always this crazy. It’s just been like this for a little while. I’d quit otherwise.

    Patterico (08c813)

  6. We’re going through the same thing in our house. My wife is in school and working a part-time job and is starting to express guilt about being away too much. She graduates in three months and then her schedule will become stable. And I used to love the opportunity to travel, but not anymore. I dread business trips now.

    steve M. (107ded)

  7. Hear, hear!

    Patterico, I have an 8 y.o. daughter, and the best gift I could give her, I did. I gave her a father who adores her, who spends time with her, does “projects” with her, and disciplines her lovingly.

    I grew up with a dad I idolized. It’s made me into a stronger, more confident woman, and I bless God every day for my daddy. I’m glad my daughter will do the same.

    Your daughter will grow up confident in your love and support, even when you disagree. Never be afraid to bring everything else to a screeching halt so you can love on your family. They’re the best gift anyone can have.

    Romeocat (bd9f19)

  8. Hey Patter: Remember the saying: No man on his death bed wished that he had spent more time at work.

    I have been blessed with 5 children and chose a type of law practice that did not require long, after 5:00 hours (real estate) Didn’t make as much, but was always there for sports, etc.

    Allen Patterson (89d6e4)


    MIKE (a73ecc)

  10. This is something I’ve carried in my wallet for the past 20 yrs. My Dad had cut it out of an Ann Landers column and carried it in his.


    My hands were busy through the day
    I didn’t have much time to play
    The little games you asked me to
    I didn’t have much time for you.
    I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,
    But when you’d bring your picture book
    And ask me please to share your fun,
    I’d say: “A little later,son.”
    I’d tuck you in all safe at night
    And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
    Then tiptoe softly to the door…
    I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
    For life is short, the years rush past…
    A little boy grows up so fast.
    No longer is he at your side,
    his precious secrets to confide.
    The picture books are put away,
    there are no longer games to play.
    No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear…
    that all belongs to yesteryear.
    My hands, once busy, now are still.
    The days are long and hard to fill.
    I wish I could go back and do
    the little things you asked me to.

    Dave Flint (ae5cc7)

  11. A year after my daughter was born, my wife and I decided that we would do whatever it took so that she could stay home with our daughter. My daughter will be 2 in May, my wife no longer works, and we no longer live in Southern California.

    william (b8a0e0)

  12. A post I could have written
    Patterico sums up my thoughts exactly. My daughter is three (not five, like his), but I could have written that post.

    Kudos, Patterico.

    Commonwealth Conservative (a936fc)

  13. Thank you for sharing the time you spend with your daughter. I have three daughters and my standard questions each evening are “what was the best thing that happened to you today” and “what was the worst thing that happened to you today”. It is a great conversation starter, especially if there is something they want to (or should) tell you. Your post made me thankful for the time I spent putting my 6 year old to bed tonight and telling her a story. I will do it more often.

    Rodney (fd7e28)

  14. My precious little 5 year old will turn 15 one week from tomorrow. I’m getting choked up, just now. DON’T MISS THESE YEARS. Whatever it takes. Just DON’T miss it. Take less money. Be broke. Whatever it takes … DO NOT miss being there with your little girl. I know. I took less money. I spent my best time and my best energy on and with my son. But I am the wealthiest parent on the planet. I’m 50. I will “career path” myself after my boy is on his own. You know what? The greatest achievement in my life is and has been raising one decent human being. OH … the things I’ve learned, and the maturity I’ve gained along the way, and the depths of everything good that could ever cross my path that I have experienced … it defies words for me, right now. Just made being Daddy FIRST.

    Deborah (27fa9e)

  15. Patterico’s Pontifications
    Patterico’s Pontifications has a post about his interaction with his young daughter. It hit home in an emotional way. When my two daughters were about the age of his daughter I was a stay-at-home dad on a disability retirement from the federal gover… (6ce825)

  16. This strikes home because I have a 5-year-old daughter also, but also two sons, 13 and 16. Maybe my daughter will be different, but my sons didn’t wait until they were “grown” to not want me to tuck them in anymore. There is no time like the present to make time for our children. I have no regrets about choosing a 40-hour workweek, less money, less opportunities for advancement, less time in professional training. I can do all that when my children are grown…or I may just take more time with my wife, a breast-cancer survivor.

    Geoffrey Bard (3e8199)

  17. Thanks for the comments, folks. Yesterday was much better.

    Patterico (756436)

  18. Favorite part of my day this morning: one of my 2-year-old twins accidentally? dials Daddy while he’s on the road. URI is to my journal with details.

    Dan (15eb7a)

  19. Patterico; you keep up the good work with both of your kids. As you know mine just turned 20 yesterday and all I have are the memories right now. Hopefully she will get it together and return to the family that loves her soo much, but until then If you don’t mind I will get a few hugs from yours.See you soon.

    Steve (756436)

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