Dear Dr. Shore,
My husband works full-time and I recently started a full-time job as well. I'm worried that both of us working outside the home might have a negative affect on our kids, especially in regard to their performance in school. What can I do to help them continue to do well in school, given our busy work schedules?
The first thing you need to do is recognize that your full-time work need not jeopardize your childrens school success. Research backs that assertion. Studies suggest that children in families in which mothers are employed outside the home generally fare well both academically and socially. A five-year study by Kent State researchers indicated that children in dual-career families perform better than children in single-career families on a variety of measures of academic and social performance.
At the same time, you will have less time available to them, so you will need to organize your time carefully, do some advance planning, and recognize that all family members will need to make sacrifices and be flexible in accommodating your and your husband's work schedules.
That is not to say that there won't be some pressures and conflicts. There no doubt will be, but those tensions can be eased with some careful planning. Some school-related suggestions follow: