PSP’s working schedules are not typical weekday, 9-5 schedules. This means that PSP couples and families have to work together to figure out household roles and responsibilities and make adjustments when the PSP is at work. Family members might have to take primary responsibility for household or parenting roles (ex: extra-curriculars, medical appointments, homework help) while the PSP is on shift. Because of this, when PSP come home, there is a transition period where everyone has to “feel out” who is doing what. Also, because the PSP might feel pressure to keep work and family separate, PSP family members can feel frustrated by a lack of communication.
Because of the nature of PSP work, there are a lot of non-typical absences (see non-standard schedules), and non-standard re-entry times. This can result in changes in roles and routines depending on what shift a PSP is working. After working a series of long shifts, PSP may be off shift for a few days and take on more household and family responsibilities. However, open communication about who does what, when and how is critical to avoid conflict.
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