Without a doubt, returning to work after raising kids is challenging - on many levels. We can make lists, involve our children, have back-up plans and cross our fingers, but without spousal support, we will never be 100% successful.
According to Betsy Myers, director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. "As a woman is climbing up the ladder, how does she figure out her role at home? How does she navigate her marriage? When the woman's career starts to take off, how does her husband handle it? It's different for everyone." Myers leads corporate workshops around the world on the changing nature of women's leadership roles. She maintains: "Of the hundreds of women I have spoken to who have really made it big, most tell me they could not have gotten to where they are without their incredibly supportive husband.... At least the ones who are still married say this."
Therefore, as you return to the workforce, engage your spouse. Discuss mutual expectations and develop goals TOGETHER. Most importantly, revisit your process every few weeks to assess progress. Identify what is working well and what needs to be tweaked.
Compromise might become your middle name. Your husband will make compromises, as will you. Women still tend to shoulder more of the parenting and housework but if you can shift that focus to co-parenting and collaboration, you will be much more successful.
As spouses (fathers) have a more domestic view of homelife and get more engaged in parenting, a family with two careers becomes not only possible - but plausible and enjoyable.