Relationship Q&A: More Work and Less Family Time
Q. I'm up for a promotion. It would mean working longer hours and sacrificing time with my family. But it would also mean a lot more money -- which we really need. How do I make such a tough choice?
Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., a family therapist based in New York City and author of Make Up, Don't Break Up (Adams Media), answers:
A. It's easy to understand why you feel so torn by this decision. As you struggle with it, remember that you can achieve a good work/home balance by enlisting your family's support.
Talk to your husband and children. Explain what the benefits of your new position would be, as well as the potential problems, and ask for their input. Discuss how you'll all work as a team to keep things running smoothly at home. If everyone feels that they're a part of the decision, they'll be less likely to resent your long hours. If you take the job, schedule family meetings once a week to discuss how the arrangement is working out.
When you are home, give each family member -- especially your husband -- one-on-one time. If it becomes clear after a while that the benefits of the bigger paycheck aren't worth the sacrifice, you may have to rethink your choice. But if everyone cooperates, you should be able to meet the needs of both your job and your family.