The attitude of your direct supervisor will be critical.
According to a recent study (Zimmerman, et al, 2003) of dual-earning (both partners full-time employed) middle-class and professional couples with children that perceive themselves as successful in balancing family and work, these couples strive for marital partnership to support balance by: Proactive decision-making: If you just define success as what you do at work, then that is all you will do.
Talk to both working and at home parents about the pros and cons they have experienced.
Some experts recommend asking about these issues up-front during job interviews in order to promote accurate expectations for the employer and you.
They advise that if these discussions lead to your not being hired, it probably wasnt the right job or organization for your balance priorities.
It is critical to distinguish between lip service and real commitment.
Committed large employers will have written policies and procedures to address these issues.
Experts recommend a minimum delay of one year before trying to become pregnant.
Other issues include reconciling personal, career and financial developments with preferred timing of children and biological imperatives.
Another key balance decision is whether one or both partners will work outside the home and the characteristics of their jobs.
These decisions will depend on your financial and career goals, the amount of gratification that you experience at work, your energy levels, your willingness to forego a high level of involvement in some aspects of your childrens lives, etc.
Family-work balance is a complex issue that involves financial values, gender roles, career paths, time management and many other factors.