Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents figure out how to nurture their family while also providing for them properly. Many people spend too much time at work and neglect family, while other people may not work enough to provide for their family.
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urge members to provide fully for their family but to do it in such a way that nurturing does not suffer. President N. Eldon Tanner taught, “The happiest people I know are those whose life-style centers around the home. Work is very important, and success in one’s profession or business is also essential to happiness, but remember what we say so often: ‘No other success can compensate for failure in the home.’”
E. Jeffrey Hill and Bryan L. Sudweeks wrote a textbook titled Fundamentals of Family Finance – Living Joyfully within your Means. In Chapter 12 Work and Family, the authors wrote the following:
… Recent social science research proposes that work, family, and other life domains can actually be complementary – not competing – priorities. Success on the job often contributes to our success outside of work and vice versa. A recent international study reveals that relationships and social interactions, physical and psychological benefits, and improved skills are some aspects of work that can enhance home life, and it also works the other way around. The key to harmony is to invest our time and money in activities that enhance multiple domains that we value in our lives. Regularly making the time and spending the money to engage in family relationship-building activities can be thought of as a long-term investment, lie the stock market, which will yield long-term blessings of family unity.
This concept of enhancement – sometimes called life harmony -- utilizes a musical metaphor. Just as the different melodies in a well-composed piece of music unite in harmony, the different facets of our life can also coordinate in peace. Using the perspective of life harmony, we no longer see work, family, and church as fighting for our limited time and money. We see mortality as a great symphony, with the many different responsibilities in our own lives as instruments united harmoniously to the glory of God. The way we manage and consecrate our financial resources is a great orchestrator of these instruments.
There is no single formula for creating a life where we successfully provide for and nurture our families. However, there are a variety of strategies that can help us no matter our circumstances. Employing any of these strategies can help us experience greater joy as we bring the demands of job, family, and church into greater harmony… (p. 162).
The authors then discussed seven areas for our focus to bring greater harmony into our lives: (1) Enhance Energy [by doing the most energizing tasks just before going home or by choose to do things that are “personally renewing.”] (2) Increase Quality Time [Eat dinner as a family, have a bedtime routine, create special playtime.] (3) Learn to Bundle. [Take child with you while running errands or to purchase groceries, have meaningful conversation while chauffeuring children to games or practice. “When we do two or more things at the same time in harmony, we give that time period greater value” (p. 165).] (4) Focus on the most important things. (5) Work flexibly. (6) Simplify your life. (7) Center on the Savior. [“We create harmony as we center on the Savior by building spiritual patterns in the home.”]
Every parent has the responsibility to provide for their family, and they also have a responsibility to nurture their family members. There are ways for parents to both nurture and to provide for their families. When parents follow the authors’ suggestions, they can strengthen their family, community, and nation.