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我的似水流年

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【转载】你是不是在家比上班更疲惫?  

2014-08-19 08:54:20|  分类: 鸟语花香(澳音) |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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每个人都知道为人配偶以及为人父母不是件容易的事,但是谁会知道这可能比上班还累,比你的日常工作还紧张,比你被禁锢在办公室的小格子间的8小时还要令人疲惫呢?

但是对于笔者来说,需要应付2个不到8岁的男孩以及随之而来的各种家中让人抓狂的事可以让办公室生涯显得像是在公园里漫步那么轻松。当然我不是指那些和孩子一起散步的时光- 他们不停地抱怨,打架,捡起狗粪并且问你到底有没有上帝- 而是另外一种散步,独自一人的那种。还记得那种散步是什么感觉吗?好吧,其实我也不记得了。

在向一个同事吐槽关于最近家里让人抓狂的种种后,这个有一个妻子以及两个孩子的同事令我惊讶地回答:“为什么不多加加班呢?”开始我以为他只是开玩笑,可是他是当真的,就是两个家伙分享点有用的主意。

真的吗?延长上班时间?我也不知道为什么要感到震惊。其实我可能也认真思考过这么做的可能性。

对于下班回家我一再降低期许-咱先不指望能够来一杯啤酒懒洋洋坐在沙发享受悠闲时光,没准回家还得摩拳擦掌蹦上蹿下忙个不停。但是想到自己可能更愿意上班这个事实让我陷入了思索。

这让我想起在我的童年时代我父亲曾经说过的话。那时候我母亲身体不佳,我又顽皮不堪,有时候他站在门廊那儿,每靠近前门一步,他的脚步就沉重一分,好像他心不甘情不愿地深陷泥潭。

我现在知道了,回到有两个顽劣男孩的家让我也在家门外挣扎不已。但是根据最近的调查, 对很多人来说家是另外一份工作,他们在办公室感到比在家轻松。

美国现代家庭理事会最近测量了成年人的皮质醇水平 - 导致紧张的主要因素- 发现大多数人在工作的时候这种皮质醇水平比在家时低(也就是不那么紧张)。

宾夕法尼亚大学的Sarah Damaske说:“我们很惊讶地发现甚至为人父母者- 包括父亲和母亲 - 在工作场合的紧张度要比在家低”。“但是做父母的人到了办公室紧张度降低的程度不如没有孩子的人”。

Sarah,我可以向你解释这个科学之谜- 在晚饭时间来我家看看,答案就能揭晓。

宾州大学对这个发现提出了数种理论,从我们因为对“支薪工作”(相对于给孩子做午饭等无薪工作)带来的价值而感到被感激和认可,到我最爱的那个理论“我们随着时间推移工作越做越好,能力提高意味着紧张度降低,酬劳提高”,而这个研究说“然而没有人敢在为人父母中甚至婚姻中自称专家”。

所以那是真的对吗?家庭生活不象职场那样有结构组织,明确目标以及经常的鼓励和表扬(不,我不会把我和妻子在某天关于我咬苹果太大声的吵架归结为有建设性的反馈)。 我们看上去能从工作中得到更多奖赏,这是因为职场的种种设置是用来激励人的;而家么,呃,就是家。

所以可能关键在于在家中也采取职场的办法。我们从办公室返家后不是就歇下了,而是应该为一系列的家庭经济产出努力,开一系列的家庭会议,然后在日志里记下下一个星期的议程?

当年轻职员让我们抓狂时,或许我们应该组织一个经理会议,会上我们可以和他们进行一对一的谈话,看看当天的工作完成地怎么样,谁规规矩矩,谁需要纪律处分。我们甚至可以在facebook上跟踪他们的吐槽,然后再一起喝杯酒来修复关系。

这,就是我家周三之夜的安排。

【转载】你是不是在家比上班更疲惫? - 坐看落花 - 我的似水流年
 

Are you more stressed at home than at work?


Everyone knows that marriage and parenting is hard work, but who knew it could be harder work than, well, work; more stressful than your day job; and more tedious than being confined to your office cubicle for eight-plus hours?

But for me there are days, or weeks, even months where having to deal with two boys under 8 and the assorted family craziness attached to this domestic set-up that can make work look like a walk in the park. And not the type of walk in the park with kids -- who are moaning, fighting, picking up dog poo, and asking you if there really is a God -- but the other type of walk in the park… the alone type. Remember that? No, me neither.

After talking about a recent perfect family storm to a colleague who also has a wife and two kids, I was surprised to hear his response: “Why don’t you work late more often?” At first I thought he was kidding, but it was delivered sans irony, just two blokes sharing some useful advice.

Really? Spend more time at work? I wondered why I was shocked. Was it that this was “a thing”, or that it was a thing to which I was giving some serious thought, just for a moment?

I have lowered my expectations over time about returning home from work. I know now instead of cracking a beer, hitting the couch and chilling out, I am more likely to be cracking the whip, hitting the roof and singing along to Frozen. But the idea that I would prefer to be at work did give me cause to pause.

It reminded me of something my father once said about a time in my childhood where my mother was unwell, I was no doubt at the age of peak handful (somewhere between birth and moving out), and that sometimes he would stand in the driveway and each step towards the front door would feel heavier somehow, like he was physically mired down in the reluctance.

I get that now; coming home to two rambunctious boys can have me doing the front-door shuffle. But, according to recent research, my dad and my home-shy colleague may have been on to something -- apparently home really is the new work and many of us feel less stressed in the office than in our family lives.

The US-based Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) recently measured the cortisol levels of adults -- a key factor in stress -- and found that most people in the study had lower (ie: less stressful) levels at work than when they were at home.

“We were surprised to find that even parents -- both mothers and fathers -- had lower stress at work than at home,” said Sarah Damaske of the CCF at Penn State University. “However, parents did not experience as big a decrease in their stress levels as non-parents.”

I can unravel that particular scientific mystery for you, Sarah -- just drop around at our place about dinner time.

The Penn State team posited a number of theories, from the value we attach to 'real paid work' (as opposed to real unpaid kids’ lunch-making) and feeling more appreciated, to my favourite one: "We get better at our job with time (hopefully), and the increased competence means less stress and more rewards,” the study said, but “none of us ever truly feels like an expert at parenting or even at marriage.”

It’s true, isn’t it? Every time I feel I have cracked this Superdad gig, my kids seem to find a Lego container full of kryptonite. Home life lacks the structure, clear goals and regular appraisals of work life (and no, I don’t count the fight my wife and I had the other night about how loudly I chew apples as constructive feedback). Work can seem to be more rewarding because it is set up to motivate people; home is just, well, home.

So, perhaps the key is to take a more work-like approach to home life. Instead of going home to switch off, maybe we should arrive back from work to a list of household economic deliverables, a series of family meetings and then we can all get together to diarise the week ahead?

When the junior employees are out of our hair, we could organise a management meeting where we have a one-one-one deconstruction of how the day’s tasks went, work out which juniors are pulling their weight 负责 and which ones might need to be disciplined. We could even follow this with some messing around on Facebook, before we do some bonding over a couple of glasses of wine.

Or as we call it in our house: Wednesday night.



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