Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

Review: Work Shift by Anne Bogel

The work world is changing, partly due to the incredible developments in technology.  It is now feasible for many people to work anywhere, anytime, leading to some major changes in family life.  Anne Bogel describes the trend in her 69 page ebook Work Shift:  How to Create a Better Blend of Work, Life, and Family.

Rather than ‘merely’ balancing work and family—which can lead to a lot of trouble—Anne suggests that the new trend is to blend them.  Because it’s a new trend, with few recent role models, the challenge is to find practical ways to blend your part-time work, shift work, telecommuting, microbusiness, or job-sharing with your family life.

Anne not only describes the shift in work patterns, but also shares what she herself has learned about this lifestyle.  Best of all, she profiles over two dozen women who are successfully blending their work with their families.

Apparently, this approach to work and family is good for kids, moms, and even dads.  Anne’s husband Will, who shares childcare with his wife, says:

My wife’s income has allowed me to choose the work that I want and not just chase the biggest paycheck …. And I get to be with my kids—not just take them on camping trips or something else spectacular, but just be with them.

Some  of my Thoughts

If you are struggling with work-life balance, Work Shift can show you a saner way to live.  But in many cases, blending work and family this way, especially when there are still children at home, requires a husband to make adjustments to his work schedule.  Anne’s husband is happy with the change, but many men have been called to vocations that will not allow such adjustments.

God has given us wives the role of helper suited to our husband and each family must work out what that means in practical terms.  However, in our egalitarian society there’s a temptation to reverse marital roles, especially if the wife makes more money, leaving husbands to become helpers for their wives.    This is wrong.  Now, Anne nowhere recommends this, but I’ve seen it happen, slowly but surely, starting as innocently as possible.

So it’s a tricky question.  What is our husband’s God-given purpose in life?  Probably it’s not only about career and supporting his family.  And how can each of us be a helper to support our own husband?  This, also, is not exclusively or even mainly about paid work.  Understanding how to blend our family life with paid work (or not) is a matter that requires wisdom and a determination to trust in the Lord, not in our society’s definition of success.

I am grateful to Anne for leading me to think about this matter more deeply and from a completely different angle.  And I’m grateful to some of the women she profiles, such as Crystal of Money Saving Mom, who do what they do while supporting their husbands in their demanding vocations.

Back to the book: Anne Bogel’s ebook Work Shift is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn about blending work and family life.  It’s well-written, contains practical information, and profiles some very dynamic women.   It would have been helpful, though, if Anne had also discussed the issues I mentioned above.

You can get this ebook at the Work Shift website.

This is yet another book in the in the 2012 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, The Better Mom, Encourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday ,and Raising Homemakers.

Disclosure I received a copy of this ebook from Anne Bogel in order to review it for you.  I was not compensated for this review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Share via email
Submit to StumbleUpon Share

6 Comments

  1. Annie Kate – thanks for the comment on my blog. I came over here to read yours. Sure, a good blend of work and life might require some adjustments from dad, though I know some single mothers doing a great job of it too. I think we let everyone off the hook a bit, though, by claiming some people are called to vocations where there is no flexibility. Maybe there are some. But sometimes we’re just stuck in old ways of looking at jobs. Once, people thought that being an obstetrician was a 24/7 job (babies can come at any time!) That’s not so family friendly. But as women have come to dominate this profession, they’ve organized themselves into group practices and done cross-call with other practices so that their call schedule is down to 1-2 nights per week, which is much more family friendly. Some personal touch is lost, but many new moms also like being cared for by other moms — so it’s the trade-off we make. And how wonderful if fathers can feel called to be deeply part of their family lives too?

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Laura, I’ve been thinking about your comment. I totally agree with you that fathers should be a part of family life. That, after all, is their primary responsibility. Recently I reviewed a book that goes into this in great detail. http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2012/08/review-father-hunger-by-douglas-wilson/

      But I’m convinced that a man need not actively support his wife’s career ambitions if that impacts his ability to accomplish the other things God has given him to do. The Bible points out that we wives are meant to be the helpers, not the other way around.

      Here I’m not talking about men who are selfish slackers, nor am I talking only about time constraints. There’s more to one’s ability to do things than meeting time constraints (although 168 Hours effectively points out how much more time we have than we think we do).

      Here I’m talking about those men who are working to their limits to meet their obligations and, for certain times in their lives, are barely able to cope. It happens, often. When jobs are difficult to get, highly performance based, emotionally draining, stressful, or require great creativity, a person often has nothing left to give at the end of the day. If my husband has been given a dragon to conquer, far be it from me to distract him so that I can do my own thing; I’d rather support and encourage him in whatever ways work for our family.

      And then there are other seasons in life when everyone has a bit more margin and other things are possible.

      With this attitude, we’re not letting our husbands off the hook; we’re extending grace.

      1. Annie Kate says:

        Laura responded on her blog and so did others. I think it’s worth your while to pop over there and follow the conversation.
        http://lauravanderkam.com/2012/09/work-shift/#comment-8768

  2. Stacy says:

    Sounds like an interesting read. I have just been battling some of my own issues on this subject — balancing how to work f/t outside the home, yet still trying to do my best to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Not an easy thing to do!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      No, it’s not easy. But, Stacy, I think you’re doing a good job and making it work for your family. God bless you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Archives