SAHP with partners who work 2nd or 3rd shift - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-02-2010, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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My husband works second shift.  Compared to when he worked first shift I find being a SAHP of a 2nd shifter to be somewhat challenging.  I find it a bit isolating since most of the suggestions for things like dinnertime or bedtime seem to imply that you have someone to help you with it.


There are other unique difficulties with shift work and so I wondered if there were others hanging around MDC.  :0)

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#2 of 8 Old 12-03-2010, 08:55 AM
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I'll be watching this thread. DH has worked second shift for YEARS and we actually prefer it. Occasionally he gets switched to days for the odd week and it's so horrible. Waking up with an alarm clock is awful! It was really bad when we were on opposite shifts and weren't able to see each other during the week. I'm not working outside the home right now though and don't plan on getting a "real" job anytime soon. 


We don't have kids yet, but my niece comes over a lot, sometimes staying for up to a week at a time and starting in the new year, I will be watching my little baby nephew 4 days a week in our home. Not the same as having kids, but I see it as a good test run. ;)


There are drawbacks to being on a different schedule, but there are positives too:

  • You can get up "whenever" (with my niece we always got up around 8:30am. It helps that the house is quiet until we get up, there's no alarm going off, no one wandering around the house trying to be quiet etc.)
  • My niece and I would hang out together, eating breakfast, doing quieter activities while I tidy up. 
  • DH would get up and we'd all hang out together. (In the future, I can see DH and I having quiet time together while future kids are napping.)
  • Depending on when DH would get up, we'd have a good 3-5 hours together which splits up the day nicely instead of having a big LONG day alone with kids. 
  • Late morning/early afternoon is a good time to hang out! No matter what time of year, there's always daylight (sun is setting at 4pm now!
  • We go to bed whenever. There's less stress over "i need to be asleep by this time otherwise I won't be rested" etc.
  • We can sleep in in the morning without miss seeing DH (if he worked on days). 
  • Also, I like the fact that if our future baby wakes up in the night, DH could handle some of it or at the very least, I won't be up ALONE. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately, trying to see how a baby would fit into our lifestyle. I bolded the best ones (for us). I actually think DH working the evening shift helps us lead a more relaxed life. 

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#3 of 8 Old 12-03-2010, 11:42 AM
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My husband works graveyard shift. We have 2 boys, 6 years and 3 years old. I can't wait until he can work days, but financially, him working graveyard makes more sense for us now. 


I find it can be isolating too at times. DH works at a hospital, so it's 12 hour shifts. So during his work week, we see him for about an hour a day. His work schedule is better now, but there were times where he'd be working so much, I felt like a single mom.  Some of the challenges I struggle:

-bedtime routines...DS1 has to bend to DS2's routine. We take turns reading pre-school books to DS2. DS1 doesn't like being by himself while I put DS2 to bed, so he comes and lays with us. But when DH is home, we can each take one kid. 

-school/sports functions happen during the evening/night. DH misses out of alot of things because he's at work. DS2's pre-school is having their Holiday party later this month. DH is schedule to work that night, but is trying to find someone to trade with. DH has missed many of DS1's sports activities. I worry that when DS2 starts sports (which he'll probably start next summer), how am I going to get the boys to where they need to be, particularly if their schedules overlap. 

-On DH's days off, he's always tired because he has to switch over to "day" hours. 


I can see how it might work when the kids are young, but once they're in school, they have to get up early (the sound of the alarm actually hurts in the morning!!!) and have something of a bed time. DH has been on this shift for about 1 1/2 years now and probably will be for at least a couple more years.

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#4 of 8 Old 12-03-2010, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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My dh works 2nd shift on a rotating schedule so we never have the same "weekend" twice and he only has the standard weekend days off once a quarter.  For that reason and a great number more we homeschool.  It works well with the leisurely mornings and allows all of us to have the same weekend.  I don't know how we'd do it if my oldest went to the public school down the road.  Depending on whether or not he works overtime we might only see him for a couple of hours (either because he's still sleeping after getting home at 3am or because he has to go into work 3.5 hours early).  There are times when we think about him switching to first shift because it seems like he gets to spend more awake time with all of us than he does now.


There are benefits to him being home during the day and having non-traditional weekends in the mix as well.  We enjoy doing things in the middle of the week while everyone else is at school or work.  It also makes running errands a bit easier.  Bedtimes are my worst.  With three children now I find it even more complicated to try and get everyone in their bed and staying there without someone having a meltdown.


It's also a bit frustrating because most everything (yoga classes locally, classes, homeschool mom get togethers, meetings, etc) are all scheduled for the first shifters.  I have to find a babysitter or my dh has to find someone to switch with in order for me to be able to participate.  I miss out on quite a few things that way.

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#5 of 8 Old 12-03-2010, 10:11 PM
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my husband works a 2nd shift job as well, and is typically gone from 4 in the afternoon to four in morning, including commute.  Right now my dd and I share his schedule (we've always been night owls), so spending time together isn't a problem.  I'm hoping to homeschool so changing our schedules too much shouldn't be an issue, but I guess time will tell.  One thing that is hard is that between being a one car family and being a "night time" family, we're not able to really get out without planning ahead of time.  If I want to take dd to the park in nice weather, or we want to go on an outing with friends of family, we have to make sure we are up and ready before hubs work and coordinate everything.  We're not able to just break up the day with a trip to the park or story time, etc.  It's not in our budget to get a second car right now, and I don't see a reason to change dd's sleeping patterns when this way she gets to really spend time with daddy during the week.  I am very happy my husband gets three days off a week instead of the typical two, because we can do things on Friday together. 

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#6 of 8 Old 12-07-2010, 12:32 AM
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We are the same way.  SO will get up around one and gets on the computer to relax while he eats and gears up for his day.  He leaves for work around 3:30.  So we don't really see him until he gets home from work around 2:00 in the morning.  Then he spends a few minutes playing with Phoebe and then she and I go to bed.  Yes it's frustrating at times especially when we travel because it messes her up but I see no reason to keep her from seeing Daddy because she should be on a different schedule.

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#7 of 8 Old 12-15-2010, 05:35 PM
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I LOVE that my husband works third shift.  The kids stay up until he goes to work, and they usually wake about an hour after he gets home.  He goes to bed immediately, so sometimes we even get a little 'snuggle' time in while the house is still quiet ;)  He wakes in the afternoon, so we have plenty of daylight and most of the evening left to do things.  If i have an errand to run first thing in the morning, he can alter his schedule a bit and sleep later instead.  It helps that he's flexible about it.  One day a week i even 'work' (hardly call it that since i don't get paid, lol) for my dad.


I hated it when he worked second shift, because the day was split in half, and work took its half out of the middle!

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#8 of 8 Old 12-17-2010, 03:51 PM
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My DH keeps wacky hours (he works in music production) but he's home 1-2 evenings a week and that to me is *heaven.*  I admit, my favorite time of the day is after DH has left and DS has gone to bed, I flick on The Office, kick my feet up online, pour a glass of wine.....aaaahhhhh.  The 1-2 nights he's home we have a nice dinner and cuddle up with Dancing with the Stars or something.  We connect daily in the afternoon, he is a strong father figure and he has a great relationship with DS, I'm wary of saying how much I love my new SAHM life, I don't want to jinx it!!

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