I grew up in in a family of 8 which includes my mother and father and 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Both my parents had a good size family as well with my father having 6 other siblings and my mother 4. We also had our extended family, Grandparents, aunts and uncles family nearby. Family dinners were a big part too. Mom and Grandma would cook and we would all eat together.
When I started my own family I wanted to make sure that I do my best to instill those same family values to my family that my parents taught me.
Working in the restaurant industry, it is challenging to juggle family and work. I would be able to see them in the morning but not so much at night due to the long hours and always working weekends and holidays. I often missed out on family dinners and vacations.
As a young chef I felt that I had a lot to prove to myself. My son was in grade school and I tried my best to be there for his practices and games, school programs, and special events. As I progressed in my career it became more difficult to make it to all his activities.
When I started the process of opening a restaurant, I believed that we should be a family as well so before each service, the staff sit and eat together and I think that strengthens the team as one. The months leading to our opening I found myself consumed with the restaurant and found even less time for family. As a new restaurant owner it is is more difficult because you’re usually the first one in and the last to leave. You want the restaurant to succeed so you can provide for your family but also don’t want to neglect your family. I struggled with it on a daily basis. I often think about my family at work and miss them tremendously. I always have to remind myself that I’m doing it for family but at the same time I can’t replace family with work. As the months went by at the restaurant and the majority of my focus being on the restaurant, I realized that i need to take time out for family. I often tell my staff to take time out for family, especially those with younger kids, because there will be a time when their kids will ask less of their time as they grow up. Now that our restaurant has been open for a year I realized that I needed to listen to my own advice. I needed to find that balance between work and family. As the new year begins I have committed to spend more time with family and find a balance with family and work.
Owning a restaurant or any other business is difficult and has its ups and downs but with the unending support from family, anything is possible. I love them for always being there for me and believing in me. I would not be able to make it without them.