The number of families with two working parents rose from 31% in 1970 to 46% in 2015. Working parents now, just as before, find themselves faced with many obstacles. Below are some of the age old challenges that still require attention for anyone in a two income family.
When find out you’re having a child and start thinking about returning to work, child care will be at the top of your pre-baby checklist. Finding both affordable, reliable, and educational child care is a daunting task. Make sure you prepare by researching each child care option – from nannies to in home care facilities to day care facilities. Find one that works for your budget and your schedule. But most importantly, you also want to make sure it’s one your feel comfortable with.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is work/life balance. Balancing the job of parent with the stresses of a full time job is no easy feat. There are many options for working parents nowadays, such as flexible schedules, work at home opportunities, and part time opportunities. Many employers are learning that better work/life balance for their employees means happier employees.
If you don’t have as much flexibility, make sure you make a to do list of all of your tasks, both personal and work related. You’ll find that working efficiently is the keystone of making sure you maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Time to for Your Marriage
Every couple knows you need work on your marriage to keep it healthy. But working parents find that they have to put extra effort into their marriage. The stresses of work, kids, and housework is sometimes enough to get one of the spouses reaching out to get their Texas divorce forms.
But to avoid those drastic measures, you need to take time out of your busy schedules to work on your marriage. This may be regular date nights, scheduled talks, couples therapy sessions, or simply watching your favorite TV show together. Whatever you and your partner decide, you just need to stick to it.
To be honest, my husband and I have yet to crack this code. The necessary tasks for keeping a house are never ending. We tend to resort to taking care of the necessities – food shopping, dishes and laundry. This means one or two (or three) of our common areas are in disarray at any given moment.
You’ll find that a “divide and conquer” mentality works well with household chores. And when you have children, especially small children, not sweating the small stuff is also important. Your house may not look like Architectural Digest every day of the year and that’s OK! Finding that comfortable balance is important – for you and your sanity.
There will always be obstacles to working parents today. But working together with clear communication and understanding will help you through the toughest challenges.