When you are a parent, transitions at work impact your entire family. Whether you are working different hours, working from home or taking more business trips, your family has to adjust to that change. While you may assume that nobody will notice if you come home thirty minutes late, you might be surprised to discover that your son really enjoys spending that time making dinner with you. Here are some tips that will help your family get through these changes with as few tears as possible.
Talk it out. Before the change actually happens, talk it over with your spouse and children. Listen to their concerns and do what you can to alleviate them.
Your family is probably not over the moon about this change, but they will accept it (albeit reluctantly) because they love you and trust that you are doing what is best for the family.
Make allowances. Your family may have particular sticking points on which they are not willing to compromise. For example, your husband might be okay with you working late every day except Tuesdays when he plays hockey with his friends. Your son may not want to stay at his daycare past 5:30 p.m. when his favourite teacher ends her shift. If at all possible, accommodate these requests. It will make everyone a lot happier and your family will see that you are taking their needs into consideration.
Sweeten the deal. Your family is probably not over the moon about this change, but they will accept it (albeit reluctantly) because they love you and trust that you are doing what is best for the family. Find a way to reward their faith in you. Plan a special day on the weekend where you do something together. Whether you are going for a hike or baking cookies, it’ll be good for all of you to take a break from the hectic pace of the week.
Emphasize routine. People (especially children) thrive on routine. The predictability of routines is comforting, particularly when other areas of your life are chaotic. Make an effort to have established times for going to bed, waking up, and having meals. When everyone knows what to expect and what is expected of them, things tend to go a lot more smoothly.
It’s exciting when a new opportunity comes your way, especially when you have been focusing a lot of time and energy on your children. Show your kids that they can and should reach for their dreams. Just keep your eyes open and be ready to respond quickly if problems arise.