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Working While Raising Your Family

A Career Crossroads

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This article is the second in a series about women and men who are facing a career crossroads -- starting a family. It focuses on those families in which both parents continue to work outside the home while raising a family. The first installment of this series addressed the issues faced by those who decided to put their careers on hold while raising a family. Finally, the last part of this series deals with issues those who return to work after staying at home face.

How Will My Working Affect My Child?

The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development has been conducting an ongoing study of the effects of different forms of child care on child development. At the 1999 Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, some results were reported that should put working parents' minds at ease. In short, family factors have a greater influence on a child than the amount of time that child spends in child care.

How Do You Find Quality Child Care?

How do you determine the type of child care to use? Many people choose to place their child in a daycare center. Those families feel there will be a benefit associated with interacting with other children. Others prefer the one-on-one attention a child receives from a private babysitter. "Consider Options, Priorities Before Selecting Child Care Provider," from About.com Child Care Guide, Robin McClure, compares the various types of child care and helps you figure out which one is right for you and your child. Making this choice is only the first step.

Next, parents must evaluate a particular child care provider, whether it's an individual or a center. Robin's site can also help you with this.

Finding Balance

Regardless of where they are in their careers, working mothers have a tough time achieving balance between work and family. Generally, women take on or are given more responsibility for their homes than are men, leading to frustration and exhaustion.

Working all day and then coming home to a young child can be difficult, at best. You've put all your energy into doing your job well — answering to your boss's, co-workers', clients', and employees' demands. The last thing you may feel like doing is answering to your child's. However, these thoughts just make you feel guilty. How do you resolve this? One option is to cut your hours and work part-time. You may also work as a temporary employee, which would allow you to choose when you want to work. These two options may not be financially feasible for your family. You can ask your employer if you can work a flexible work schedule or perhaps work from home.

More
Taking Time Off to Raise Your Family
Returning to Work

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