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<p>Does anyone share working and child care between parents, like each parent working maybe 30-35 hours a week, where you work different hours?</p>
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<p>I am wondering if this might be an option for us, but I don't want to make our lives so hectic that it's not worth it.  For example, if I worked from morning until lunch, and then DH went to work and got home at 9 pm.</p>
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<p>We would not eat dinner together during the week, we would really only have all-together family time on the weekends, and DH would miss evening activities like watching soccer practices.  But, we'd both be off on the weekends, when soccer games are.  And we wouldn't have to pay for child care.  And DH would get to spend more time with the kids, which would be great for them.  We homeschool so they could do lots of fun things together in the mornings.</p>
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<p>But we'd be that expression, two ships passing in the night.  I'd probably want to go to bed early if I am getting up early, etc.  </p>
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<p>What do you think?  Is it worth it?</p>
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<p>We are doing this right now- out of necessity, not choice. Neither of us earns enough to cover all the household expenses, and neither of our incomes would cover daycare for two kids.</p>
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<p>The kids seem to be doing OK with it. They get that sometimes dad is there, sometimes mom is there, and they seem to thrive on being with a parent all the time. So that part is good.</p>
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<p>However, it is very hard on us. Our communication isn't very good (long story, a million other threads in other forums), so seeing one another less reduces tension, but also makes it harder to come up with a longer term solution for our issues. Negotiating things like who does what around the house while home with the kids has been tough. I think even in marriages that communicate better this would still require a lot of attention and discussion so one person isn't left with an unfair burden. Also sorting out 'free time' for pursuing hobbies and seeing other friends can be difficult since each parent already has so little non-work, non-childcare time.</p>
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<p>I'd be interested to hear how strong marriages manage this arrangement.</p>
 

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<p>We did that for a while when our kids were really young -- dh works from home and he'd do the child care from 9-4, then I'd be on from then on. He'd work weekends too. It was hard on our marriage because we could never talk and hard on us because neither of us had any down time. We put ds in part time daycare at 2 1/2, and dd in part time daycare at 18 months because of it. It cost us a bundle, but it was worth it. They were in part time daycare up through kindergarten, then full time in K.</p>
 

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<p>We did this before kids out of necessity and are considering doing it again soon, but as others have indicated, it's not a kind solution for the long term. Hand-offs and dual systems require really, really strong communication, and it's just hard to get things together. And every weekend is a transition to being all together. It's precisely that lack of alone time that freaks me out. I've been working part time when kids are in school in order to be present for them, and I keep hours that typically give me a couple hours alone over the course of a week.</p>
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<p>We'd have less of a time disparity, most likely. Could probably all have breakfast together...but still, it's a big change. If we do make the switch, I'm sure I'll be here looking for strategies.</p>
 

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<p>DP and I are fortunate enough to be able to do this.  I work full time as a county Mental Health Case Manager and DP works ~20 hours a week at UPS loading trucks.  She works from about 4am to 8am and then I go to work.  She is the primary parent during the day and I am the primary parent at night.  UPS is nice because our insurance for the family is FREE and is better than the insurance that I would have to pay for at my job.  UPS offers me insurance as I have proven that I am her domestic partner.  Just this benefit alone is worth $10 -$15,000 a year so what ever she doesn't make in salary is made up in benefits.  The schedule is brutal at times.  Right now she needs to work more do to the shipping increase which is hard on the sleep schedule but it is really only one month a year and we have learned to make it work.  IF you can make it work it is great, but it is not always easy!</p>
 

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<p>We have done that schedule as well, with either both of us working as servers in restaurants, or for a while my husband worked at UPS as well, except he did the twilight shift which is about 10:30pm-2am.  We did occasionally work the same shifts, but only when MIL/FIL wanted to babysit.  I think the schedule is great, as long as both partners are on the same page as far as keeping the housework equally divided too, etc.  Aside from random busy weeks here and there I never really felt like we never saw each other, or had trouble transitioning to being all together.</p>
 

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<p>We've done this, part or full time, for most of the time we've been parents, other than a few months here and there when I was able to sahm. He works days, usually 30-35 hrs per week, and I have worked nights, evenings, or weekends. Honestly I hate the arrangement right now, but that's because I'm working PT nights (6p-6a) and every 3rd weekend. Some evenings, he gets home right at 5 pm, and I leave for work 15 minutes later, then the next am, I get home at 7:30 am and he leaves right after. Yuck. I'm cutting my hours back next month, due to the yuckiness of it. (Part of the yuck factor lately is the fact that his work has been requiring 60-80 hrs some weeks, which obviously makes it rougher since we've has to scramble for last minute child care).</p>
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<p>HOWEVER: Last year, when I was doing mostly evenings and very few weekends, it was kind of a nice arrangement. I did like the fact that DH became a very confident father due to managing the kids by himself so often. And he definitely became more helpful with housework, since it didn't magically get done while he was at at work anymore. :) Typically, when we go to events with other families with kids, he is the only dad in our circle who doesn't assume that his wife will watch the kids the whole time while he socializes. I really like that he takes an equal part on the domestic front, and I think his egalitarian attitude is partially due to the shifts we work (the other couples at these events work the same shifts, or have a sahm).</p>
 

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<p>Thanks!  I was hoping that, like the last few posts, it would be a good thing.  Right now, DH works full-time and I work part-time.  Because my schedule is very flexible, I can kind of fit it in whenever, so MIL watches the kids some, or I will work during the evenings or weekends when DH is home.  I can also work when I am home with the kids.  My work requires me to do some out of the home and some at home.</p>
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<p>I have an opportunity to work more hours, and make substantially more money per hour.  But we homeschool, and I don't want to give that up, and I don't want to be asking MIL to watch them all the time, because I feel bad asking her to do that.  So, I was kind of thinking this might be a good solution, if DH could work a little bit less, and I would work a little bit more.  I could potentially go full-time and make more money, and he could be a SAHD, but, like a PP mentioned, he works for a large corporation with totally amazing benefits, like health insurance for all of us, matching 401K, etc.  His job is also incredibly stable, and he does not want to quit.  I wouldn't want him to quit, it really wouldn't be a smart move for our family.  But if he cuts back and works part-time, I think he would still keep his benefits and seniority.  I think he'd still have to work 30 hours a week or something like that.  Then he would have the option of returning to full-time work later down the road.</p>
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<p>Thanks for sharing.  I would welcome any other thoughts!</p>
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<p>Another option if DH just keeps his hours as they are now, and if I decided to take the job, we could continue to use MIL for some child care, and get a college student for additional child care.  The thing about that is that I really do want us to be able to spend time with the kids and continue to homeschool, and the first option would give DH more time with them, being the parent in charge.</p>
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<p>We sort of do this. We have reduced childcare to a 4-6 hours a day by staggering when we work. It's cheaper, and has allowed us to keep ds at home instead of daycare. It is exhausting, though, and I don't think we can keep it up.</p>
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<p>We do have family support, but no one home during the day, and we have had awful situations when a sitter calls in sick, when I am sick, or what have you. We are 'on' 24-7.  I schedule all dr's appts etc, during my work day because I can't do them outside of work. There is no real 'time off' since one of us has to be caring for the kiddo. Perhaps that's parenting though. We've been doing this since ds was born, and slowly have increased the hours of child care, and how much we pay the sitter over the past year. I don't know how it would compare to daycare.</p>
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<p>The other issue with splitting shifts is that it hurts both of our careers. We both are seen as being 'mommy tracked' instead of only one of us. I think if dh kept is 8-5 job, it would be less of an issue, instead of having to log off every day early. This way, niehter of us is getting ahead in our careers, which hurts the family.</p>
 

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<p>DH and I have done some version of this for most of our marriage.  And honestly, I have never found it to be as big a deal as so many make it out to be.  Of course, we also have almost always worked jobs where at least partial weekends were required.  So days off were usually opposite too, which meant that we still got time together.  A typical example:  DH maybe had Sundays and Tuesdays off, working 1pm to 10pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays.  I maybe had Fridays and Saturdays off, working 7am to 3pm, Sunday thru Thurs.  That means that Sunday and Tuesdays we had the evenings together, and Fridays and Saturdays, the mornings.  Not to mention things like holidays, planned days off etc.  We never felt like two ships passing in the night. </p>
 

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<p>My DH works full time during the day and is on call 7 days every month. I work 24 hours a week in the evening. Before DS we both worked full time and after crunching the numbers found that I would barely be bringing any money home to have DS in day care for a few hours every day. So far things have worked well. The only thing we try to keep up is that once a month or so each of us gets an entire afternoon/evening off. Generally I meet with a few of my good friends for shopping or dinner or drinks. It's important for my sanity to have a few hours work/childcare free. My husband is a gamer so he tends to take his evenings off to meet with his gamer buddies or out to movies that I have no interest in. We also try to get in a date night once a month where my mom takes DS overnight or at least for a few hours.</p>
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<p>For us it works out well but I suppose it probably has a lot to do with personalities and what type of job you have. I have tons of flexibility where I work and my DH has awesome vacation/personal time available so we can work around most changes in schedules, etc rather easily. Also it's nice that we both have weekends off. It gives us time to spend all together and working on our own hobbies. We love being able to have a parent available at all times during this stage. I think until the kids are in school we will continue our current schedules and I'll look into moving to the day shift once that happens.</p>
 

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<p>We've always done this.  It wasn't always easy, but it was important to us that we not have day care, and financially it would have been very difficult to pay for day care, anyway.  I worked weekends and/or nights, dh worked during the week, days.</p>
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<p>It was just like any other decision we made.  We decided it was the best for our circumstances, and we did it.  Our marriage didn't suffer, we don't grow apart.  I think it helped create a great bond between dh and the kids early on, because he always has been as much of a primary parent as I have.  Even when the girls were little and I was breastfeeding, I still pumped and worked.</p>
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<p>Now the kids are in junior high and high school and we've decided that this schedule STILL works best for us.  I work nights, he works days.  I'm always home during the day, in the event there is an appointment or someone is ill and stays home.  I recently felt like maybe my daytime sleeping was stressful for the kids, and talked to the family about going to days (I work three 12 hour night shifts a week).  OMG, there was a complete freak-out.  Maybe because it's just what they've always known, but the girls were both really against me moving to a day shift position.  They both still feel a strong sense of security from the idea that I am home for them during the day, even when I'm asleep.  Maybe I'll move to days after they both graduate from high school...</p>
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<p>DH and I have a great, strong, loving marriage.  No one in our family understands, my MIL used to constantly fret about the fact that we work opposite schedules, my parents would worry, too...but time has shown that between dh and I, we have the happiest, strongest marriage of everyone in the family.  Everyone else is currently divorcing, in therapy, or unhappy. Maybe both dh and I need alone time, and so this schedule has helped us have that as well as time together and financial security.  I don't know.  For whatever reason, it's worked great for us, for the last 15 years and counting!</p>
 

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<p>we did this until ds turned 3, and we are currently doing the same thing, hopefully until dd turns 3 as well.</p>
<p>Right now I work full time during the day; dh works 12h shifts on weekends and one evening a week. So we have the evenings together.</p>
<p>The good part is that dh gets to spend time with dd going to playgroups and swimming lessons etc., he's at home to welcome ds when he gets home from school. The disadvantage is that he's missing ds's hockey practice and concerts on week-ends, and I'm by myself with both kids (dh leaves before they get up and gets home when they are in bed).</p>
<p>It's very, very exhausting for both of us, but it's worth it. I couldn't do it for a long time though. We have no family nearby to help us, so at one point we are going to put dd in daycare. Also, as one PP mentioned, it really hurt our careers; right now dh is staying in an underpaid job because of the flexible schedule. He's currently looking for a job; if he finds something suitable, I'll have to take an evening job and give up my dream career.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks everyone, this is all very good to hear.  My DH is not certain whether or not this is something he could even do, but if it were possible, I think I'd like to try it.  We would both be off all weekend together, so that would actually be a great bonus.  Really, the only difference would be that he would be getting home at 9 pm during the week.  Right now, he sometimes gets off as early as 5:30, but usually it is more like 6:30 or 7 before he gets home.</p>
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<p>What do others with older kids think about him missing weeknight activities for the kids?  Like, he wouldn't be able to go watch a soccer practice ever.  But he would still make it to all the games, because those are on weekends.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>momofmine</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285561/both-parents-working-and-sharing-child-care#post_16119711"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thanks everyone, this is all very good to hear.  My DH is not certain whether or not this is something he could even do, but if it were possible, I think I'd like to try it.  We would both be off all weekend together, so that would actually be a great bonus.  Really, the only difference would be that he would be getting home at 9 pm during the week.  Right now, he sometimes gets off as early as 5:30, but usually it is more like 6:30 or 7 before he gets home.</p>
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<p>What do others with older kids think about him missing weeknight activities for the kids?  Like, he wouldn't be able to go watch a soccer practice ever.  But he would still make it to all the games, because those are on weekends.</p>
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<p>My dd1 is almost 15 now, she never cared WHO came to a game, as long as SOMEONE did-that could even be her grandma or aunt if DH or I couldn't make it.  She never cared if anyone was at practice, and as soon as I felt she was old enough to be dropped off at practice, that's what I did.<br><br>
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<p>Thanks for sharing.  And DH would be off on weekends, and always able to go to games.  I can't really think of anything else that happens on weeknights that he would miss, besides sports practices.  I sometimes have to teach a class on a weekday evening, but those could be the times we ask my MIL to watch them.   </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tarielena</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285561/both-parents-working-and-sharing-child-care#post_16117818"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We have done that schedule as well, with either both of us working as servers in restaurants, or for a while my husband worked at UPS as well, except he did the twilight shift which is about 10:30pm-2am.  We did occasionally work the same shifts, but only when MIL/FIL wanted to babysit.  I think the schedule is great, as long as both partners are on the same page as far as keeping the housework equally divided too, etc.  Aside from random busy weeks here and there I never really felt like we never saw each other, or had trouble transitioning to being all together.</p>
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I wish our branch had the twilight shift <span><img alt="greensad.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/greensad.gif" width="15"></span>  That would make things a little easier.</p>
 
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