According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business School, almost 94 percent of professionals tend to work in excess of 50 hours per day. In a family where both parents work, the added stress of managing children and the household can take a toll on them.
A 2015 study by Pew Research Center found that almost 50 percent of all 2-parent families had a working mother and father, with most couples admitting that balancing work and personal life is hard. Here are four ways working parents can help each other make the best of their home and professional life.
1. Decide on responsibilities
Be very clear about how the responsibilities of the house will be divided between you and your spouse. Who will take care of the children and on which days, who will clean the house, who will shop for groceries, who will manage the budget, and so on… These are questions to which there should be clear answers.
If you leave such matters ambiguously, there is a good chance that it might lead to a clash. For instance, a couple may take their children to school on a random basis, without any clear agreement on who is responsible for which day. If both of them have an urgent matter to attend, they may not be able to take the children to school, triggering a conflict. If both parents had planned earlier, they could have easily found an agreeable solution.
2. Hire help
If both of your salaries are good, you should definitely consider hiring some help — a nanny to take care of the children when you are not at home and a maid to take care of the household chores. If you cannot afford both, consider filling in at least one post so that some of the responsibility is eased.
When thinking of hiring help, do not just look at their wages and immediately consider it to be a waste of money. Instead, consider the time you save and how valuable that is. For instance, a maid might cost you US$200 per week. By hiring the maid, you might save about 3 hours per day. You can utilize these extra hours to boost your career, learn something new, or spend it with family.
3. Keep work outside
Many people have a tendency to carry over their work into their homes. Never do this. Home is the place where you devote time to your family.
If you continue to keep working at home, you will essentially distance yourself from your spouse and children. In the long term, the lack of strong, deep personal relationships can cause mental distress and depression. So talk with your spouse and make sure that you set aside enough time every day for the family. A strong family will provide you the strength to be emotionally secure as well as confidently pursue your career.
4. Be clear on priorities
There will come a time when you might have to choose between spending more time with your family or your career. Talk with your partner and prioritize what course of action to take when such a situation arises.
In most cases, one parent will embrace their career while the other must sacrifice some advancement to take care of the children. You should decide early on who will focus on their career and who will act as the primary caregiver. The spouse who focuses on maintaining the home will be the foundation on which the other party can progress in their career path and secure the financial future of the family.