We all work too much. I work far too much, I know that. Just ask my four-year-old daughter, Mia, and she will tell you I do too. Though if she had her way I would stay at home playing with her in the backyard, dropping her off and picking her up from kindy, and generally be glued to her side.

Oh wouldn't it be lovely to be around to do all that instead of going to work, sitting at your desk, and pushing the old grey matter to extremes?

Of course, Mia still doesn't have a proper grasp on where the money to buy her shoes, winter jacket, and new toys comes from. And nor should she. We tell her about saving her money, and that we can't afford certain things, but if she wants to believe that money magically appears in my wallet then that's fine - for now, at least.

However, back to working too hard, because there's a new study out that has found kids reckon parents do just that.


Hey, it's an Australian study but since we're all moving over there in droves then it can surely be applied to New Zealand's family unit too. And besides, though we may not get paid as much as the Aussies we sure do work just as hard - if not harder - than they do.

The study, by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, surveyed 10 and 11-year-olds who believed their parents not only worked too hard but bring stress home with them which impacts on family time.

Given the age of the children involved in the study they would be far more observant and knowing about what their parents are up to than my little Mia is of us. However, I know that sometimes the stresses and pressures of work walk through the front door with me at 4.30pm. I'm often trying to fire off emails, take calls, do interviews (which I need to be kid-free for) in between getting dinner ready and doing everything from changing a pooey nappy to giving one-year-old Katie a cuddle after she's fallen off the couch.

I have to admit, we are lucky enough to have a lovely nanny - who we can afford thanks to help from grandparents - to look after our girls until I get home from work. But still, it's bloody busy and finding that work-life balance is hard.

We always try to both be home to eat dinner together with the kids, and then pick work up later after they have gone to bed if need be.

It helps our hours are reasonably civil - and quite often flexible, as many work places have to be. But during the day I am head down and bum up at my desk to get everything done so I can be out the door in time to get home to take over from the nanny.

It can be chaotic at times, especially if something crops up work wise.

But I love my job. My wife loves her job too. We like working. Crikey, I can't believe I just said that. But I kind of do. And the bottom-line is, like many people, we both need to work so we suck it up and get on with it as best we can.