According to Politico, Obama's aides expect the workload to be so intense, at least for the early months, that they're trying to formalize ways to help staffers stay in touch with spouses and kids - with ideas under consideration that include inviting family members into the White House for casual after-hours meals.
Another possibility: urging aides to go home for dinner, as long as they come back to finish the night.
Obama aides say there are no specifics so far, but hinted that staffers' children may be seeing the inside of the White House like never before - as way to stay in touch with Mom or Dad.
"Family is very important to the Obamas and while the challenges ahead will require long hours, hard work and sacrifice for everyone in the incoming administration, they hope to make the White House a place that is open and welcoming to the families of White House employees," said Jen Psaki, an Obama spokeswoman.
Bush famously arrives at the Oval Office by dawn, leaves by 6 p.m. and goes to bed by 10 p.m. Dinners out are as rare as a lunar eclipse.
Obama, by contrast, stays up late. He holds conference calls with senior staff as late as 11 p.m., and often reads and writes past midnight. Ahead of the Democratic National Convention, he spent consecutive nights holed up in a Chicago hotel room, working on his speech until 2 a.m.
And in the 10 days alone, Obama stopped by a Senate cocktail party, dined out with foreign policy types, and made a visit Saturday to Ben's Chili Bowl, a Washington institution and pillar in the African-American community. He stayed out until 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at a dinner with conservative columnists.
"The expectation is that it will be a lot of hours, and hours we were used to working before the transition," one Obama aide said.
"Everybody is comfortable with that. There is an expectation that the first few months will set the tone."
In his attempt to maintain balance, Obama would routinely divert his lumbering campaign apparatus back to Chicago simply to be present for important events: picking out a Christmas tree, taking the girls to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, attending a dance recital.
His staff would take their own timeouts, too. Gibbs flew home less than five days before the election so he could spend Halloween with his son.
"There is a great deal of respect and importance for being there for your children," the aide said. (ANI)