Career change, starting a new business, promotion or going back to school to reinvent yourself are all significant life events that impact a dynamic of the whole family. Couples can overcome any obstacles stemming from these changes by keeping the line of communication open and functioning as a team. The main things that should be discussed in these times are finances (budget and bills), childcare, division of household responsibilities, and expectations of how daily routine may change.
Starting a new business can temporarily mean little to no income and potentially a lot of investment. Be sure to plan and estimate a budget for this time so that there are no unpleasant surprises. Any big career change will impact how money in a family is spent and saved. Discuss with your partner what daily life changes do you expect to happen, e.g., Will you be eating out or ordering in more due to being busier? Do you need to hire a nanny or housekeeper? Do you need to take out a loan?
Identify in what ways your new career will impact your spouse. Make sure you both understand that quality time together and as a family may become less frequent for a while as new endeavors are typically time-consuming and require utmost focus. You may find yourself sleep-deprived and constantly exhausted. Figure out together how to find a balance between both of your careers, family, and me/rest time. Navigating two different careers is a lot of work and requires patience, support, and understanding from both partners.
Starting to work in your new role will likely change the schedule of your day. You are likely to experience information overload and may often feel behind on getting stuff done, especially around the house. It’s all part of the process, and it takes time to find a new normal. Staying on top of household responsibilities may feel difficult at first. Prioritize what truly needs to be done and determine what can wait to be done another day. This doesn’t mean that you should procrastinate; the idea is to not spread yourself too thin to the point of experiencing burnout.
One of the hardest things for a dual income family is figuring out how to prioritize both careers without anyone feeling like they must sacrifice their career progress. Always communicate and be considerate of each other’s aspirations and dreams. Be prepared that career change can impact both of you emotionally, which can lead to voicing of frustrations and even resentment in some cases. Find ways to balance both career and your marriage by keeping each other informed and planning ahead. Juggling two work schedules and raising children is a lot of work, but it is well worth the opportunity of both partners being able to pursue their career fulfillment.
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