You want to do what? The Spousal Support Checklist for Talking about Going Part-Time
Uh-oh. Getting some signs that your spouse may not be thrilled
with your decision to work fewer hours and thus, bring in less
As a marriage partner, your decision to change to less than
full-time work is not an independent one. Like with your boss,
there's some convincing to do.
But at home, at least you have the advantage of intimacy and
discussion over time.
Allow your spouse the opportunity to express personal opinions,
concerns, and ideas about your plan. This communication
process can help you develop the support and agreement you'll
need for ongoing success.
Use this checklist to guide you in your discussions with your
We've discussed how the quality of our family life is affected by our hectic/costly lifestyle.
We've discussed what we would like to change in our current situation.
We've discussed our feelings about family values and the kind of life we'd like to have for our family.
We've discussed each of our goals and roles in fulfilling that vision for our family life.
I've told my spouse that I feel my working fewer hours outside the home would enhance our family/home life.
I've told my spouse about WorkOptions.com as a resource for helping us meet our family goals.
We've discussed the shift in values that may be necessary as we make financial adjustments.
We've discussed how to deal with any power shift that may come with one of us bringing in less income.
We've worked out a household budget and spending plan that we both can agree to.
We've discussed whether or not my spouse might feel added pressures as the only full-time worker and how we might deal with it.
We've discussed the benefits and advantages of reducing my work schedule.
We've discussed how long I anticipate having a changed work schedule.
We've discussed how our long-term financial and professional goals might be affected by this change.
We've discussed our future plans for additional children and how we would adjust to that situation.
We've discussed expectations and changes related to household roles (e.g., housework, child care, bill paying, etc.).
I've shared my completed flexible work proposal with my spouse as a way to demonstrate how I've carefully worked out a plan.
To reach mutually agreeable terms, we've made modifications to my plan based on our discussions.
We've translated the my plan and proposal into a time line that we both agree upon.
We are both committed to doing our best to make the plan and proposal work.
As in any goal, mutual support between marriage partners can help make a flexible work arrangement successful.
Pat Katepoo is founder of WorkOptions.com and the developer of the electronic workbook, Flex Success: A Proposal Blueprint &
Planning Guide for Getting a Family-Friendly Work Schedule.