Juggling a Two-Career Household
Topics: Couples, Family, Mental Health
Two-career households are households in which both adult partners hold demanding jobs. Each partner can pursue a career and together they benefit financially.
Balancing work and family is an ongoing challenge and there can be conflicts between the two. If the spouse or significant other (SSO) of a PSP also works shifts and/or overtime, the challenges increase. Particular attention must be given to transitions, planning, and responsibilities when work schedules are always changing.
Family life is further complicated when both partners have PSP careers. Each partner has insight into the experiences and stress of being on-the-job which can be a benefit but boundaries between work and home can blur. If partners both work within the same sector, or if there is a difference in rank, conflicts can arise.
PSP and their families live with many different kinds of expectations. There are expectations from the PSP sector, the PSP organizations, extended family members, friends, the media, etc. In two-career households, there can be the expectation that the PSP job will take precedence over everything else.
In two-career households, scheduling is difficult at the best of times. Shift work, overtime, and unexpected call-ins can make it harder. Many activities and events are scheduled to accommodate standard hours of work (i.e., Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Challenges are often related to childcare, household responsibilities, social commitments, medical appointments, etc.
Family life-cycle can be affected by—and can affect—the partners in a two-career household. Families with young children have different needs than families with adult children. In the same way, family members who provide eldercare to parents/ grandparents can also experience logistical difficulties.
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References for this page (click to expand)
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