Wow. I totaly know what you mean.
So I'm married and have a 1.5 year old son.
It is not easy, not by a long shot. That's not to say you should be deterred at all.
There isn't a simple way to write a magic formula that will ensure a perfect family/work balance but a few things to set expectations / tips:
- Setting your expectaitons and preparing yourself and family: Your first project / 2 will be super hard to balance. This is a fact sadly. You will be a new consultant trying to swim with the other, prove himself etc. Honestly - I think just by expecting this and preparing the family and home accordingly, this will help a bit.
That's not at all to say you can't already start taking the lead on balancing family/work. But I promise you will become exponentially better at this by your 4/5/6 study.
- Setting expectations with your direct manager, EM. This isnt easy, but you should be as honest as you can in your priorities both at work and home. Most new consultants do not do this even though it sounds 100% trivial and straightforwrad. Most times you'll be surprised by how receptive the EM is to your priorites. This is for 3 main reasons:
1) They have been doing this for a while - and like I said in my first point - they have also become much better at balancing their work/life balance - they need it too!
2) Don't forget managers and especially EMs depend on great constructive feedback to do their job well, not to mention to get good ratings and eventually get promoted. It is their goal and priority to do the study well and deliver impact to the client but to also, and just as importantly, deliver a great experience to their team.
3) They are probably good people :)
Hope this short answer helps, I could go on for hours talking about this. A happy consultant is a great consultant and honestly it is a helpful life skill to become better at managing this delicate balance.