The Family Connection

big happy family
pudgeefeet / / CC BY-ND

Written by Wendy McCance
Originally posted on 2/22/2012

I have 3 children, 4 pets and a wonderful husband.  Home is my favorite place to be.  I love nothing more than to fill our home with the hustle and bustle of friends and family popping in at a moments notice to hang out.  I encourage the kids to have friends over at every opportunity.

People always comment on how peaceful and happy our house feels when they come over.  We have definitely become the “hang out” house for our kids friends.  My family says I’m the mushiest person they have ever met.  I have to say that my most enjoyable moments are when there is great food cooking on the stove or baking in the oven, and there are friends and family that are hanging out in the kitchen talking and playing some game or other.

I have had many obstacles put in my path.  Divorce, jobs with long hours, loss of income etc…  I only see my kids half of each week which although it’s been about 8 years since the divorce, is something I have never grown accustom to and generally hate.  I spent 7 years in a job working for General Motors on the assembly line.  The plant ended up closing down and my life as a factory worker came to an end.  The best part of the job had been the money and benefits.  I was truly able to support my family and make a good salary.  The worst part was that the job made me feel like I was selling my soul to the devil.  Basically I needed to pick whether money or family was more important.  At the time I was a single parent without a lot of college behind me.  To have a job that kept the family afloat with a nice house, safe neighborhood and good schools was everything to me.  The part that broke my heart daily was not seeing the kids much.  I wanted so desperately to have been able to choose the kids over the job, but options for other jobs would have left us without the home, neighborhood and schools that the kids needed for their own success.

In my search for the happiness, I have come full circle.  I am in the midst of trying to find that job which will allow me to make the kids my priority.  I know these type of jobs allowing more flexibility are low paying, but I am determined to find a way to make this work.

In the scheme of things, you get one life.  There are no do overs, only learn from your mistakes and do better.  When I was working in the factory, I saw so many people that had given their life to GM so that their family could be taken care of comfortably.  The problem was that these people who had basically stepped out of high school right into the factory had nothing else, this had to work for them.  I can’t begin to stress how many stories I heard of kids growing up without a parent because they were always working.  These same families faced divorce because the connection was lost between the husband and wife do to the long hours.  Eventually these people would grab at all of the overtime because there was no life left to go home to.  No family or friends because they were never there.  The factory became their friends and family.  The most heartbreaking part of this story was that these people who tried to give their families everything and ended up with nothing would fall dead on their last day of work.  There was no life left outside of the factory.  Retirees would stress about the last day.  They would say, “oh just one more year then I will retire” even though they already had 38 years in.  I’m not joking though when I say that the last day of work many of these people would have a going away party, talk about what they would do in retirement and never make it out of the place at the end of the shift alive.  Usually these people would fall dead of a heart attack.

Sadly, because of the economy and fears of not finding a job, companies are more than ever paying very little while expecting the world from their workers.  Companies expect that families be prioritized far below work commitments.  9 to 5 is no longer acceptable.  At a moments notice extending the day or working on the weekend is something that should be expected and treated as a normal part of the job.

There has to be a better way.  What is a job that will afford you a nice comfortable lifestyle for you and your family without having to decide between the job and the family?  Does this even exist anymore?  I would love to hear from you the reader.  What are your thoughts on this?  What are your experiences?  Do you feel a strong correlation between family and personal happiness?

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at:

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9 thoughts on “The Family Connection

  1. I had an interesting conversation with my brother recently. He said to me, “I don’t want to be rich. I just want to pay all my bills and maybe have a little left over.” I said to him, “In most parts of the world that is the definition of rich.” That was a big epiphany for me. I had to change my expectations just like my brother did. Obviously I’m not saying your expectations are wrong- having money to pay the bills and be with your kids to preserve your family is not asking too much. I hope it’s clear that is NOT what I mean at all. For me, however, I have recently had to really look hard at what I want, what I need and what it costs to get those things. I’ve found that I had way too many things I thought I needed when really they were just what I wanted. That helped me get a little more flexibility in the job I chose.

    You are such a wonderful mom because you are trying to figure out how to make them a priority, not how to make more money. You recognize the strain put on parents and employees everywhere. Because your focus is on the RIGHT things, you will find it for sure!

    • Thanks so much. I think a lot of people have been reevaluating what is really important to them and how much they really need since the recession hit.

  2. I hear and feel your dilemma Wendy and yet it’s the culture we live in today. We have the power to make changes and that’s what I see you doing. My hat’s off to you — bravo — in the attempt to break that cycle. I have no doubt you will make it happen too my friend! 🙂

  3. When my son was born I had my own home based business up until the time he was 2 and then my business took a nose dive and I had to get a real job. I was a single mother and had to provide for him. I have always bounced between 8 to 5 jobs into having my own business and back to 8 to 5 jobs. My son is about to graduate high school this June somehow we made it through. It was not always easy to be at work while my son was sick. There is a lot of quilt especially when you are a single parent. Right now I am unemployed, I have lost some of my hearing and I am looking for work that is meaningful and happy.

  4. My house was at times the go to hang out place for my girls and their friends and I liked it that way as I knew where my girls were and what they were doing but it then there came a time when Tash didn’t want to hang around here and we entered the troublesome years with her………….

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