Finances and Other Basics Article

When Long Work Hours Are Unavoidable










Today's economic realities create difficult circumstances. Many careers demand long work hours, your new baby is going to add to your financial requirements, and your mate is going to be out of commission as an income generator for at least a while.

You may run your own business on thin margins with no backup. Taking a month off when your baby is born may be as much an option as going to the moon; making sure you're available for the birth itself may be difficult.

Many veterans faced such circumstances, and you can learn from their ideas:

  • Set the tone that you are here to be a player. Get involved early (change that first diaper!). Make the time you have count as much as possible.
  • Strive for solutions that enable you to spend time with your child. Be creative. Figure out how to work from home, if possible.
  • Play a strong role in providing emotional support for mom (such as calling her from work and asking how she is doing or letting her know how proud you are of her).
  • When you are home, spend a good deal of time alone with your baby. Don't let your inexperience preclude this. Learn to do it by sending mom out with some friends; just do it.
  • Make sure you are there for the birth. Many hospitals offer beepers for this purpose or will call on your cell phone.
  • If you simply have no choice, do not allow yourself to feel diminished because you can't spend lots of time with your new child. Your work and income is your family's lifeline.

It is an ongoing challenge, as two-thirds of fathers report that they would spend more time at home with their children if they were financially able to do so.

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