4 Strategies for Two-Career Family Sanity
Lots of moms are employed full-time outside the home, making parenting and home management a different ballgame than for their stay-at-home friends. It’s possible to keep things together in the office and on the home front, but it requires that your family act like a team.
1. Plan relentlessly. A family calendar and a dedication on the part of each family member to use it properly is a must. Not only do mom and dad need to update it weekly with work travel and other items that will affect the family, but the kids need to realize that they need to put all activities on the calendar, as well. Otherwise, it’s impossible to plan transportation and supervision for the kids at all times. If keeping the calendar updated is a challenge, institute a weekly Sunday night calendar meeting to go over what’s coming up in the week and make sure all bases are covered.
2. Divide and conquer. For the work that life requires, it’s all hands on deck: keeping the house tidy, cooking, cleaning up after meals, laundry, etc. Work out a chore system that spreads the tasks among all members of the family so that no one—namely mom—gets bogged down with more than she can do. Many hands make for light work.
3. Mom-Dad communication. Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and dad, all day, every day. Text messaging makes it easy to send one another reminders or check in without disturbing work life excessively. Just a quick, “Are you still able to pick up Jenny from soccer at 4:00?” message in the afternoon can keep things running smoothly and allow you to adjust on the fly when one of you gets caught in a scheduling problem. If your children are old enough to have phones, you can check in with them in the same way.
4. A great supporting cast. If your budget allows, you may choose to hire some help in the form of a housekeeper or nanny. Get references from people you know, and check submitted references exhaustively. Doing your homework on the front end and hiring the right person for the task is far less stressful than having to fire the wrong person a short time later and start over.
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