The Work-Guilt Paradigm
In today's society two incomes are the norm, and some parents have as many as two jobs each, not counting their important jobs as parents. People have all kinds of issues and concerns about whether they are good enough parents, or employees, or people. It's easy to get caught up in the belief that despite all the things you do you are simply not good enough. Magazines tell you that working parents don't feel they have enough time with their children and that stay-at-home parents don't feel fulfilled. Somewhere in-between is the truth: There is a balance; it just takes a lot of effort to find it.
Job Sharing and Flex-time
There are several ways your employer should be able to help you balance your work and home life. For instance, perhaps your employer would consider a job-sharing arrangement — one in which you would split a full-time job with another person who can do the same kind of work into two part-time jobs. This way, you and a fellow employee would have more time to spend with your families — and the job would still be accomplished for the company without skipping a beat.
Does your company permit use of a flex-time option?
If so, your 40-hour work week could become four days per week at 10 hours each — with one extra day off each week. If this sounds like it would be too grueling, ask if you can arrange a workday that begins earlier or ends later than usual.
If your job is one that can easily be accomplished at home, ask if you can work from home — and come in only for important meetings, presentations, or the like. Working from home is every bit as challenging for a telecommuter as it is for an entrepreneur, so be sure you're up to it. If you're the type who's distracted by the need to vacuum over the need to finish a report, think twice before considering the telecommuting option. And remember, just because you are at home you will probably still need child care in order to get anything done — however, your baby can be cared for in your own home in your presence.
Hunt for a new part-time job. There may not be much part-time work available in your field, but you might consider branching out into a related field. You just might find work that you enjoy even more than your old job!
Or you could consider a job where you can work evenings while your partner works days (or vice versa). That way, one of you can be with the baby all the time. This option works best when one parent has a part-time job. If that's not possible, make sure to reserve some time each day when you are all together.