I prefer a handgun for most HD uses. That said, a good shotgun can be absolutely devastating and can dominate the handgun range fight. I would use it as a safe room weapon, where you can barricade with your family until the Calvary arrives, in that way you have devastating power at your hands. If it was a situation where you needed to maneuver to gather children a handgun is more practical. The most important thing would be some basic training on the shotgun. Look to the NRA or the state agency that regulates CCW training for instructors in your area.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.