Monday, November 12, 2007

Journalists and their family life

This week it's my turn to take leave. Last week it was my wife's. Reason: To be with our son during his studies as he prepares for his exams. No longer people take leave only for going on holiday tours. Thanks to modern-day lifestyle, dictated by long and unusual working hours, parents have less time to spend with their children.

Journalists, like us, are among the worst hit. When children are at home in the evening, we are in the office. Even though people on Sundays follow news on radio and TV, and on Mondays read newspapers, few of them realise that journalists work on Sundays too. Yes, both of us work on Sundays, and our Sunday is on a weekday! Besides, most public holidays too are working days for us, with the result, in a year, there are very few days when all of us are at home through the day!

There's an opinion that such work schedules aren't good for the family. In fact, people do ask us: "How do you manage?!" There are also parents, faced with their children's dream to be journalists, who ask us: how good is the career, is it safe, is there family life for a journalist?

My answer: we manage just as others do. It's not journalists alone who lead such lives. Families where parents have the perfect 10 to 5 job aren't free of problems, are they? I know a family: the husband and the wife are officers in banks; but they are in two cities and their daughter stays with her grandmother. If that you think is the worst part, the best part is the daughter is so much smarter than some other girls whose parents are always with them. I am sure there are many such examples to show how generalizations aren't true.

Of course, more time with children does have its benefits. It'll be quite wrong to say that our son doesn't miss us. The same holds good for us: we too miss the evenings with our son. Family life of most journalists isn't the same as of many others. We do miss the usual weekends; but we do find time to go out as a family, relax, unwind and recharge ourselves. There are lot of advantages when you are a little different and you aren't following the crowd! That's the fun! One example, as we work from afternoon to night, we never get caught in the rush-hour traffic.

It's a tough job, no doubt. However, I believe adversities do play a positive role in shaping our lives; they make us a little harder and more prepared to face challenges in life. The trick, I guess, is not in ducking problems, but in working around them. And, it's not the problems we should be worried about, it's the way we tackle them.

3 comments:

  1. Been there, done that. So I can empathize with you. In the beginning of my career, I would relish the 2pm to 10pm shift; you would get time to do all sundry work till noon. But, now, I cannot think of doing nightshifts anymore; just the mere thought sends shiver down the spine. All said and done, journos are much better off than people working in hotels and call centers, who have horrible shift timings.

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  2. bang there. yea never thought u guys worked on sundays! hats off!

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  3. One thing I can tell you - Children remember far more than you think. Many years later, they remember that restaurant or place they visited with their parents. Give kids those memories, whenever you can, It will turn out to be very important in their lives.

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