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Discussion Starter #1
My husband is currently gone 12 hours a day because of a long commute, and he's also out of town a lot for business trips. It's working out okay (although sometimes very stressful) right now, but we're expecting another baby in 10 weeks, and I'm a little nervous to be home by myself with a 2 year old and a newborn. We had planned on moving closer to his work, but it just hasn't worked out for us to do that yet.<br><br>
Our families don't live close, so we don't have too much help there. I just read through the mother's helper thread, and that may be an option for us. I also have a few friends who can help if I need it, but they all have small children too, and it may be too hard on them to do much.<br><br>
I'm really wanting to hear other strategies for long days without help. It would make me feel good just to know there are others out there who make this situation work.
 

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My dh works 12 hour shifts plus adding in a commute time of 45 minutes plus often time he stays later so he is often gone 16-17 hour a day. He is also pulling many overtime shifts now.<br><br>
I am 39 weeks pregnant and have 3 children ages 2, 4, 7yo.<br><br>
As for tips to handle long days I only have one <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Each night they get to watch a movie and I go to bed to relax and read. We go to bed at about 9. As long as I have plenty of rest I am fine.<br><br>
I have nobody to help me but even when I did never needed it.<br><br>
I will have dh for 2 weeks after the birth then it will be just me and 4 kids.<br><br>
Honestly I had a 2.4 yo and a newborn and it was very easy to care for them both.<br><br>
Not to make you feel bad but I really think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Relax and go with the flow.<br><br>
Get a mother helper, I am sure it would help you, either that or somebody to come clean.<br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I'm sort of in the same situation. We have an almost two year old and I'm expecting this month (yay). DH works 12 hour shifts, typically 5 a week. Sometimes 6 and sometimes he works a 24 hr shift as well.<br><br>
I don't even have a guaranteed amount of time after the birth for DH to be home. We are hoping for about a week. But, we have family coming in waves, my stepdad first, then my mom, then his mom and possibly dad. I'm sure I'll be on my own in between sometimes as well.<br><br>
I've never done this before, but I have to second mom to l&a's advice to relax. I'm trying to relax about it as much as possible. My biggest concern is getting the rest that I need. However - I'm not above going to bed at 8 p.m. when my 2 year old does, sleeping during his entire nap time and (don't flame me for this) putting on a video and sleeping on the couch/lazy boy with baby while he watches it for the 30-45 minutes.<br><br>
I'm not planning for any help (like a mother's helper, etc). We've discussed my "maternity leave" as well - which has helped me feel a lot less stress. My stress was not so much about taking care of baby and toddler - but of taking care of the house as well. After that conversation, I felt like we both had a better understanding of what to expect of each other (and ourselves.)
 

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My dh works 14 hour shifts for either 3 or 4 days and then gets either 3 or 4 days off (3 on 3 off then 4 on 4 off). I have 2 DCs that are 19 months apart. Each of us are different and each of us perceive things differently, for me it can be hard. Particularly on the 3rd & 4th days of him being at work. I have a hard time being the only one doing everything for those days and I get lonely for adult interaction. I also find that if I am not taking care of myself - not getting enough to eat, drink or a few minutes to myself every now and then I have a harder time.<br><br>
I think depending on your newborn the first few weeks are easier, especially if you use a sling. Also, be easy on yourself if you don't keep up with your normal routine for a while, it is tiring waking up all night to feed a baby! Don't worry if your house is a mess, your dinners are less than stellar, etc. Take the time for you and dc to get to know your new baby while dh is away!<br><br>
Hint: if you need to take some time to feed the baby or rest on the couch first get a snack, a drink and a few books for dc to enjoy with you while you are nursing or relaxing.
 

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Yes DH works long days. Oh, and he deploys to Iraq for half of the year. So, yeah, he works really long hours and it sucks. I don't have any extra special tips. You just have to have a positive attitude, a hopeful outlook, and faith that all will be fine. Don't worry too much and don't sweat the small stuff. If the house doesn't get cleaned, it really isn't that big of a deal. Just do what you can to get what you need to accomplish and try not to think of how long it will be until your DH comes home. Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
These were just the type of responses I needed. I think my anxiety comes from remembering how hard it was to deal with my colicky daughter when she was born and worrying that situation will be repeated, and we also have a lot of extra things going on right now that we'll have out of the way in the next couple of weeks. As you all recommended, my plan is to not have high expectations, stay relaxed, and trust that things will work out.<br><br>
Thanks for the reponses.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MissSJ</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8005705"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hint: if you need to take some time to feed the baby or rest on the couch first get a snack, a drink and a few books for dc to enjoy with you while you are nursing or relaxing.</div>
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Oh, I can see how this is a helpful tip. I'll keep this in mind.
 

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I'm not in that situation myself, but my suggestion - if you had room to have someone live with you - would be to look into the U.S. Au Pair Program.<br><br><a href="http://exchanges.state.gov/education/jexchanges/private/aupair.htm" target="_blank">http://exchanges.state.gov/education...ate/aupair.htm</a><br><br>
This is the program for foreign students to come to the U.S. and live with a host family in exchange for 45 hours a week of childcare and a small stipend. The weekly wage due au pairs using this program is $139.05/week. That is based on 45 hours @ $5.15/hour = $231.75 less $92.70 for room and board.<br><br>
In addition, the host family is required to pay $500 towards the au pair's education.
 

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My dh leaves at 4:15 a.m. and returns at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and gets home at 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. He works 11 hours a day and the rest is commuting. Sometimes his job takes him out of town for a month at a time, but he does come home on weekends. We have three children - 6 yr old twins and a 2.5 yr old. We have all adjusted to it, but still do not like it.
 

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DD is 3 months old and I am having such a hard time with DH's long hours. He normally works 12-14 hours per day and often on weekends. This week he is gone on a business trip. I hired a babysitter for two afternoons a week for two hours and she canceled this week. My baby wanted to be held the whole day today or to nurse, even the whole time while napping. I feel like I never can get everything done since help is so lacking. I know DH has to work these hours as he owns his company. Tell me it gets easier!
 

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DH has been gone for the last 18 months. When he is here, he works 12+ hours/day. I honestly don't know how I do it. For 12 months he was in Iraq and it was horrible. I spoke with him once per week. Basically he has missed DD's entire life. I just look toward the future and can't wait until we are together again in June. Then we should have a good year where we are living together before he gets deployed again. Its a crazy life.<br><br>
I get pretty upset when the SAHMs around here complain about being single moms because their farmer husbands are in the fields from sun-up to sun-down during planting and harvest. Yeah, he shares the bed with you, and you get to feed him supper, or bring his lunch to the field.<br><br>
I don't even consider myself a temporary single mom, because we make parenting decisions together and I tell him all about what goes on with DD.<br><br>
Sorry so long, BTDT! The evenings are hard without DH. I get out a couple times a day, and that helps. Plus DD is a really good natured baby!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2005</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8019757"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DH has been gone for the last 18 months. When he is here, he works 12+ hours/day. I honestly don't know how I do it. For 12 months he was in Iraq and it was horrible. I spoke with him once per week. Basically he has missed DD's entire life. I just look toward the future and can't wait until we are together again in June. Then we should have a good year where we are living together before he gets deployed again. Its a crazy life.<br><br>
I get pretty upset when the SAHMs around here complain about being single moms because their farmer husbands are in the fields from sun-up to sun-down during planting and harvest. Yeah, he shares the bed with you, and you get to feed him supper, or bring his lunch to the field.<br><br>
I don't even consider myself a temporary single mom, because we make parenting decisions together and I tell him all about what goes on with DD.<br><br>
Sorry so long, BTDT! The evenings are hard without DH. I get out a couple times a day, and that helps. Plus DD is a really good natured baby!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> you are tough!
 

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My DH works long hours as well and has a one way hour commute every day. I've been doing it this way for five years now with my son and now our newborn daughter. It sucks. I'm not gonna lie. This may sound horrible but it is not beneath me to call DH at work to vent and bitch a little bit when I'm stressed out.<br><br>
I tell you what though, the best coping mechanism for me is to stay busy. In fact, I've noticed with the new baby that I hardly have time anymore to watch the clock or feel bored like I did with my son a lot. Our biggest problem is getting daddy time for the little ones.<br><br>
I really think a lot of SAHM's are in this position these days. People work longer and harder for less pay than they did in previous generations and the only way many one income families can stay afloat financially is to have one person working long hours or several jobs. I'm sure that is one reason why a lot of families opt out of SAHMing altogether. I don't mean to go on a tangent but until we have more family friendly workplaces and better wages I don't think it will get any better.
 

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I'm in the same boat. My DH works in TV production and hours are long and unpredictable. When he is home his phone is ringing and he is getting text messages. UGH!<br><br>
We're planning to TTC this summer and I've thought many times about how things are now and what they will likely be like then.<br><br>
I wish we lived closer. I'd love to chat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. You could always PM me if you'd like.
 

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My husband leaves for work around 5:45am and gets home at 4PM, then he leaves again for either school or side work between 5:30PM and 6PM and gets home around 10PM, Monday through Friday. On the weekends he usually works about 8 hours each day but the time is much more flexible. It's hard to not have help. I never have time to myself and I need some, bad. Good luck to you. I'm sure it will be hard, but it'll work itself out. You sound like you have a good attitude about the whole situation and are being very realistic.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"> my dh is gone 4-5 days a week on a project. On the one hand, of course it sucks not having him here. otoh, he's gone and I have no expectations of him helping w/ kids or housework and I don't get pissed that he's not home in time for dinner. I find the days where he's working til 7 or 8 to be SO much harder actually.
 

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<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">My SO works 16+ hours each day, six days a week but he loves his job and loves us so I stay pretty upbeat! Since I write-at-home and am completing college I needed some time to write and study... I tried to chat with my SO and create a schedule but realized that would be setting myself up to be let down so instead I researched and there are options, here are some I found...<br><br>
1) Hire a mother's helper it helps if the helper is old enough to also be a babysitter should you need to leave your dc alone with her.<br><br>
2) Join an established babysitting co-op. (Starting one is like a second job so joining an established one is the way to go.)<br><br>
3) Gym childcare seems to save many moms and is very inexpensive. Many moms just need some alone time --- working out is a very productive thing to do with that time and many dcs love the gym childcare.<br><br>
4) Find ONE other mom and trade sitting for one another.<br><br>
5) Hire a part-time nanny.<br><br>
I was debating between option #1 & #2 but decided on the Mother's Helper because I found a young woman that my dd just adores. I am planning on having her come 8-10 hours a week (about 4-5 hours, 2 days a week).</span>
 

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Lately my dh business has required him to be there for more then twelve hours a day and it is killing me. Not only because I miss him, but also, I dont get my down time any longer. It is all me all day, then all me all night because he has to get us so early. Not that he doesnt want to help out.
 
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