For many of us, a two career home is a necessity. Sometimes it doesn’t start out that way and we often wonder, can we make the transition? Today we are talking with two different experts, Tammy Gold of Gold Parent Coaching and our very own Lani Lyons. Tammy is the owner of Gold Parent Coaching (www.goldparentcoaching.com), an innovative Family Coaching Company, can most definitely give your some expert insight into how two career parents can juggle parenthood, jobs and households. Tammy has earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University. She is a psychotherapist licensed in New York and New Jersey and is also certified as a life coach and a parent coach, from two different coaching programs.
In addition, she is also accredited by the International Coaching Federation. Lani just recently made the transition from being a stay at home MoM to her triplets to going back to work. Lani will offer some tips and tricks on how to handle the transition.
Some families start out as one career homes and have to become two career homes just to survive. How can parents cope with the guilt they may experience from not being able to stay home with their children?
Sometimes it is hard not to feel guilt about leaving your children. If you are feeling upset there is no reason to fight the feeling it is better to understand from where it is coming. Parents have to work to support their children so in a lot of cases there simply is no other choice. Parents need to know they are doing what is best for their children by going out to support them and provide food, clothing and shelter. It is important to focus on the quality of the time spent together rather than the quantity. There are many support groups for working moms especially. This may help parents and creating quality time and weekly events with the children will also help combat this feeling of guilt.
What tips do you have for families that are on the fence about becoming a two career home?
Parents need to assess the pros and cons of the decision. Asking themselves “What will taking this job do to me emotionally, physically and financially. How will this affect us and the children” If both parents work they need to make sure they have reliable and strong child care options for their children.
How can families cope with the stress of not being on the same shifts? For example if one parent works during the day and one at night, or if they do not share the same days off?
Working opposites can be extremely difficult. Parents need to find one day or afternoon that works for them to be together as a family. They must really take whatever small time they have as a family and work together to create lasting memories and rituals for the family to participate in together every week together. These small rituals like everyone waits on the steps to great mommy when she comes home from work take only a few minutes but make a lasting impression on the children and their feeling of family.
How can parents make the transition to two careers easier on the children?
Again, creating rituals and family time in the small moments between work. Spending time together in the morning even if only minutes at a time. Assigning certain rituals to certain parents such as Daddy always helps with getting dressed and brushing teeth, mommy always reads the last story before bed. Parents can be so super tired after work, but they really need to devote small chunks of time to the children and family. If a parent is really exhausted it is better to come home and take a few minutes to unwind, get undressed, take a shower and be alone and then when ready give that special time to the children. Special memories can be made in every day events. This is what children crave and remember.
How did you come to the decision to go back to work? Was it an easy decision to come to?
In a sense it was easy, because it had to happen. After being home with my kids for two years, it was just “time”. First of all, our budget couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s really important to me that we start saving for our kids’ future, and that wasn’t happening with the five of us being supported on one income. I wanted to relieve the financial pressure on my husband’s shoulders, and I desperately needed to start getting out the house on my own. It rarely happened before I went back to work. I didn’t realize just how bad I needed to get out until I actually went.
Sometimes parents decide to not go back to work because they are afraid of the guilt of leaving their children home, did you struggle with this?
I feel guilty all the time that I am not one with my kids all day, but luckily I still get to spend a lot of time with them. I think it’s probably something I will always feel, but in the end I know that having me working is going to be better for us, as a family. I definitely appreciate the time I spend with them a lot more now, and I try to make it really count.
How did you make the transition with the kids? Do you have any tips for making a smooth transition?
My au pair (live-in nanny) arrived last December, and I spent about a week and a half with her while she got to know our kids, and how we do things. My kids are 2, and luckily they only took about 5 minutes to warm up to her. I think the fact that I was present while they got to know her made them a lot more comfortable with it. As far as making a smooth transition, I would say to just stay as organized as possible. I started meal planning, (although I don’t always keep up with it) writing everything I need to do down, and planning our days off to a T so that we don’t waste any time. Life for me got a lot more complicated throwing in a fulltime job along with being a mom of multiples!