With the cost of living continually growing, two-income families are the ones more likely to survive. In many areas, it’s two to three times more costly to rent a place to live than it is to own, but you really need excess income to qualify for a home loan.
There are reasons to have a one-income household – one parent may stay home to raise the children. With side hustling and work-from-home opportunities, even stay-at-home parents can be working parents.
Some of the Downfalls of Two-Income Households
You might think the income earned in dual-income families would make things easy, but money isn’t everything. If both parents in a family are income earners, who’s home with the kids? Working parents aren’t bad parents, but they sometimes have to put more focus on making time for their kids, and each other.
1. Childcare Expenses
If you’re both working at the same times, or crossover times, you will find yourself in need of childcare. That costs money, unless you have a kind family member or older children responsible enough to care for their younger siblings.
If you have really little ones, you may consider day care. Older children can easily be taken care of by a local babysitter. If your children are in school, you might be able to sign them up with an after school “latchkey” program where they can hang out until one of you gets out of work.
2. No Time for Each Other
If you’re working the same schedule, you’ll get time to see one another, but you might not get any alone time with the kids. If you work opposite schedules, you probably rarely get to see each other. The pitfalls of two-income families lie in the trouble with scheduling conflicts.
However, you don’t have to let your schedules rule your lives. There are things you can do to make sure you get to spend some time with each other, alone and with your kids.
Making Time for Family
The key to managing your two-income household is scheduling. You may need to schedule time with your kids and with your spouse. Yes, even romantic time may need to be scheduled, but that’s the price of adulthood and responsibilities.
Here are some ideas for making family plans that will allow you all to have a little time together even when it seems like your lives are far too busy.
1. Plan a Family Night
Have one day a week where the family all gets together and plays board games or watches a moving together. If you have a daytime slot available, go to the park together or go sledding together. Time together doesn’t have to stay in the home.
This gives you a chance to all have fun together. You might not have much time to catch up on information about new friends or favorite classes, but you will get important bonding time. Even if only one parent can attend, due to work, make family night happen anyway, so the kids get some time with their working parents.
2. Require Family Dinners
You may not be able to pencil in a family dinner every single night – a time when all of you can sit around the table together – but you should schedule at least one each week.
Family dinners are an excellent time to catch up with your spouse and your kids and find out what’s new in their lives. Dad might be able to announce his raise, while the kids can talk about their good (or not so good) grades and their new hobbies.
3. Make a Date Night
Just because you have children, you shouldn’t still find some romantic time alone. Whether you send the kids to grandma’s house so you can have a romantic dinner at home, or you plan something big and reserve a hotel room, that’s up to you.
Don’t let the love and spirit of your marriage or union die just because you have more responsibilities now. By keeping your love strong, you’ll set a great example for your children and their future relationships.
4. Go on Vacation
Family vacations are a blast, and there are so many options for what you can do. Of course, you want to consider the age of your children before you make plans.
If you have toddlers to teenagers, places like Disney are a good option. Even camping can be fun. Older children will want something more stimulating, and the chance to roam off without the parents following.
Two-Income Families Work
You have the income your family needs to survive, now have a little fun with that money. Don’t always be the first to sign up for overtime – take some time to spend with your family and remind them why they’re so important.
Feature image via Ellevate