Father, Husband, Architect – typically in that order

It’s Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer; And to be honest, this year, I’m glad it’s over.  I’m not sure if it was the stress from a couple of the projects I was working on, the heat from a relentless Texas summer, or the brand new experience of kidney stones that made this a summer not exactly worth wanting to do again. We are up to number 12 in the #ArchiTalks series and this time around the subject is work/life balance just in time for everyone’s hopefully long and fun weekend.

Architects have always, well at least as long as I can remember, been known for working long hours exhausting every possible configuration of a design idea and forgetting about all those other things in life. You know – family, friends, eating, things like that.  In fact the last couple of weeks has been 10+ hour days and coming in for a little bit on the weekends. Luckily though, this has only been the last couple weeks. I made it a point a few years ago, I wasn’t going to do the coming in before dawn and staying till midnight thing ever again. The work you accomplish at these extreme times is never the same quality of that during more normal work hours. So what made me take such a stand against the architectural norm?  I realized this is my one and only shot at being a dad. According to my 7 year old, the best architect dad she knows!

Every morning during the week I make sure I am there to help them get ready for the day.  Get dressed, eat breakfast, get the backpacks packed for school; you know the routine. By the time my better half leaves to drop them off, it is still much earlier than the start of my work day. Our office has 8:30 – 5:30 hours and with my 30 minute commute, I can still get to work pretty early. It’s nice to have that time in the morning before the office officially opens to go through emails and such without being bothered. Between 5:30 and 6:00 I make sure to hit a spot where I can call it a day and pick it up the next. I get home just in time for evening homework, cuddle time, and bedtime snacks. The days that I have to leave later than that and I get home after one or both have already gone to sleep feel like I missed the opportunity that day to actually be a dad and have a positive influence in their lives.

I’m sure some people might tell me that making that kind of a decision will only hurt my career, but I’m not so sure.  About a year ago, I had the opportunity to join a really great firm that offered me the opportunity to work on some types and scales of projects that I have rarely been able to work on before. I’m helping form the culture of one of the firms satellite offices and meeting some of the more influential people in our market. So far, I’d say it was a pretty good move on my part. One of the perks we are afforded throughout the year are a couple of four day weekends, and you guessed it Labor Day weekend happens to be one of them.

I’m not sure what every other architect’s long weekend consisted of, but I know mine consisted of a little bit of this…

A little bit of this…

A little bit more of this…

And a whole lot of this..

Tomorrow it’s back to the RFI’s, Submittals, and the beginning stages of two brand new projects in the office. You know what though, I feel really good about getting back to it!

Check out how the rest of the #ArchiTalks crew deals with the Work/Life balance by clicking on the links below.


Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
Work Life

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Work | Life – Different Letters, Same Word

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Work / Life : Life / Work

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Work/Life…What an Architect Does

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
The One Secret to Work – Life Balance

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
work | life :: dance

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
Living an Integrated Life as a Small Firm Architect

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
#ArchiTalks: Work/life…attempts

Collier Ward – Thousand Story Studio (@collier1960)
Work/Life

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
what makes you giggle? #architalks

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
Turning Work Off

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Work/Life — A Merger

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design / The Missing 32% Project (@miss32percent)
Work Life Fit: A New Focus for Blurred Lines

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
Work Life

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks: Imbalanced and uninterrupted

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
ArchiTalks #12: Balance is a Verb.

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
I Just Can’t Do This Anymore

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
An Architect’s House

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Brady Ernst – Family Man Since 08/01/2015

Tara Imani – Tara Imani Designs, LLC (@Parthenon1)
On Work: Life Balance – Cattywampus is as Good as it Gets

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
midnight in the garden of [life] and [work]

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Work = 1/3 Life

Daniel Beck – The Architect’s Checklist (@archchecklist)
Work Life Balance: Architecture and Babies – 5 Hints for Expecting Parents

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Work is Life

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@thatarchstudent)
studio / life

Lindsey Rhoden – SPARC Design (@sparcdesignpc)
Work Life Balance: A Photo Essay

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Work / Life

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