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Kitchen Life and Children

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've always found this to be a difficult thing to manage and I'm still doing a horrible job of it - do any of you cooks out there have a hard time juggling your work life and your family life?


At this stage in my life, I have a five year old daughter and a 10 month old daughter and both demand a lot of my attention and tend to disrupt my sleep (which is already shoddy enough at 4-5 hours a night). My lady is constantly upset that I will go into work on my days off because another one of the line cooks call in sick and we get a reso of 90+.


And, all things considered, I've been pulling in 55+ hour weeks since opening in January.


So, my question remains:


How do the rest of you juggle a family life and a healthy relationship with your children and still maintain a respectful work ethic? I mean, the pay is low as it is and I'm expected to bring in the bacon, so to speak.


I'm rambling.


Am looking forward to where this conversation will lead or what kind of lights it will spark in my head.

post #2 of 3
I feel for you. I was probly in a bit of a different position than you when my kids started to be born( 4 girls, 17, 14, 11, 8 months) and was 30 years old and a exe chef, makeing good money at a stable employeer but it is definatlya tough balance to strike. First, talk to the lady about sleep, it is important to get enough rest so you can do well at work and continue to bring home the bacon. Next, and I didnt learn this until after my 3rd daughter was born, learn to say no. No I cant come in, no I cant work on my one day off this week, ect, ect. I came to this realisation when my 3rd daughter was born at 10 to midnight on a monday and at 6 the next day I was teaching 8 country club members a cooking class. That was nuts. After that no became a big part of my answers and to be truthful I didnt get any crap for it. Again I was probly in a bit better position than you are now carear wise and age wise but you get my meaning. 55 or 60 hours a week isnt too tough in our business but try to get 2 real days off, in a row if possible, and say no to the xtra days.

Another important thing to do is when your done with work, go home to your family. Dont sit at the bar having having cocktails with the other staff. If your going to have a family life this is really big. Im not judging and maybe thats what you do already but if not its time to start. It will do wonders in your relationship with you lady and kids.

Leave work at work. We all bring home the food smell, cuts and nicks, burns and sore feet, but the waiter tbat ticked you off, forget him when you punch the clock. Bad mise en place from the previous shift make your night a living hell, paste a smile on your face when you walk in the door, kiss the misses, hug the kids and change a diaper, the tough day disapears.

Im lucky, Im semi retired now, own a few places of my own with partners and work 2 shifts a week at my job,for fun, where I was the ex chef. Im lucky but it took smart, hard work to get here but anybody can do what Ive done.

Well thats enough from me.

post #3 of 3

Tke it from Lagom. That is a sound advise. I have been in your situation, But i was unfortunate not to seek advise from the the more experienced chefs. Those incidents broke my marriage. So, from my experience don't go that path. If you have a young family just do the 40 hours per week so, you don't miss out on your 'children's growing-up. However, it is your own decision, your priorities counts!

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