Juggling work and children – a balancing act
Life can be hectic when both parents combine jobs with looking after children. When a new mother returns to work there are big role shifts happening - sometimes there doesn't seem to be enough time to get everything done.
Suddenly you have to think about which one of you is going to deal with a crying baby at night, who stays at home to look after a sick child, who attends the meetings at school? And then this brings up the unasked question of whose job is more important.
Before children your domestic roles may have been split fairly evenly. You may find that after children, the female partner takes on more of a traditional role - despite the fact young fathers in Britain are more involved in their families than their own fathers were. It's usually mums who stay at home or work part-time to look after the children. With both of you working, there may be less time to talk about and agree on how to split domestic and childcare roles. Trying to balance all of this in the limited time you have can cause stress in your relationship.
These stresses can increase when children are coping with serious illness. Interestingly, mums tend to be the parent who takes time off work to look after sick children, and they usually believe that they should be the one to do it.
Families of disabled children often require additional support. Stresses for these parents can be wide ranging and overwhelming and sometimes balancing work and home life may feel impossible. This is when you really need good reliable information, practical support and time out for your relationship. For more information on support see our links page.
If you and your partner have children and both work, think about the following:
- Are there domestic and childcare roles that you or your partner need more support in?
- How can you discuss these areas and help improve the support you offer each other?
- What can you do to take time out together?
- Do you know how and where to go for additional information and advice?