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Combating relationship failures that results from working in our industry

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm a student in the day and a line cook at night. My wife works for a growing financial investment company during the day and she's a student at night. When I'm awake, she's asleep. When I'm asleep she's awake. Within our industry if we start off as a line cook we'll do 8 hours and as you progress and make your way up the brigade system, hours don't decrease they increase. My question is there's an alarming rate of divorces and chefs that never get to see their children. My wife and I really would like to have a kid but we barely see each other and adding another person in the mix is going to be hard. My dream is to become a top chef but I don't want to lose relationships along the way in order to reach that dream. I want to get people's opinions as far as how they go about balancing the work in the kitchen and the work needed at home. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 7
Better find someone in the same field or hope she understands that you won't be home for Xmas, Turkey day or any other holiday. For the last 9 months I been working 6 days a week and 12+ hours a day. I missed all holidays, all major family events and life. Not saying all chefs work like this, but most do.

Good Luck!
post #3 of 7
When you work long hours in this business its easy for your wife to get mad that your working so many hours. I will tell you when your wife begins to get upset with your career there will be a nice well build young understanding waitress to help you with your problem. Thats the problem, She works in all the restaurants and waits for the perfect time to jump in, she will know your having problems at home and you will be able to talk to her because she will understand you like no one else does...
OK now, don't let that happen, it happened to me 10 times.... Balance and understanding is the key. There is a balance and both have to work hard at finding that balance. All High quality restaurants are busy from 11am to 10 pm in large cities. A Chef could get out on a Friday and Saturday night around 9:30 maybe 10pm. The quality time in your relationship will be late hours. off on Monday's or Tuesday maybe even get a Sunday and Monday off depending on how good your Sous is. If you love what you do, and all Chefs do, work on the two things you love the most....Your wife and your career............................Bill
post #4 of 7
I have 2 kids(1 and 3)I left the city! Moved to the country, and slowly made my mark here! Now I run this place for the owners who are ready to retire! 4 days a week dinner only! still putting in 40+ a wk, but I still get to see my kids grow up! Money suck though, but hey that is a trade I am willing to make! I could go back to the city and make really good money but I would miss my time with my kids! This may not b for everyone, however I have never been happier! Hopefully you can find the balance to make it work for you!
peace of my life tyler
post #5 of 7
For a few years my wife and I homeschooled or sons, I know people think its all freaky and weird, but trust me its not. I had all morning with them all the time, where if they went to school, Id hardly ever see them. They used to come to work with me while I did ordering early, something they still talk about. It really helped build our relationship together, although i know this isnt for everybody. Sadly though, things went bad in the marriage anyway, and we decided that it would be better to put them in school. I get up with them almost every morning at 6, no matter what time I get home, to see them off to school so that we have that time together, but I sure miss the old days.
post #6 of 7
After 20 years in restaurants and hotels I landed my current job working at a college. For the last 5 years I've worked mainly Monday thru Friday 7.30 to 4.00, a few nights when we have big dinners. The college closes for two weeks over Christmas and New Years and we recieve 33 days paid holiday per year. There are alternatives to the normal restaurant grind and you can still cook great food (check out my blog if you think you've seen school dinners before!). I met my wife whilst working in a Italian Restaurant so she understands the industry...
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
post #7 of 7
My wife & I work opposite shifts 5 days a week. I go to work, come home & she goes to work. Oh & we have 3 kids aged 5, 3 & 1.
It's just reality for us. To pay the bills & try to get ahead without paying for daycare is a bit of a rough ride, but you just cope with it.
Will it eventaully lead to relationship failure? Probably not. Who's got the energy leftover for a divorce...:peace:

Anyways, prioritize. Dream career, happy marriage, kids, etc. Maybe change industry aspect. Go institutional with a rock solid sced. That or catering is kind of where i'm leaning towards.
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