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Working Parents Struggling with a full time career and responsibilities of children, schedules, and homelife? This is the forum for you!

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Old 06-02-2003, 06:36 PM
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How do you deal with a husband who works the night shift?

I teach full time and am off this summer for a few weeks. I have a ten month old baby and an active four year old. My husband goes to work at 4 PM and comes home at 1:30 AM. He is usually wound up and ends up going to bed between 2:30-3:00 AM. He does not get up in the mornings until 10-11:00 AM. My two little ones are up at 6:30 (go to bed at 8:30). My baby still wakes up during the night for a feeding around one (she is on some solids and formula). So, I am a tired mom!!
My question is how do other people work out sharing responsibilities and child care with the spouse who works nights? My husband and I are both grouchy with each other as to who gets time to get things done. He used to have three days a week to himself whereas I had none! So, now I feel I am owed some "me time" to get stuff done even around the house. Any suggestions?!
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Old 06-02-2003, 07:22 PM
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I'm not sure it ever gets easier, just tolerable after ahwile.
I've been living your life for years now, only my husbands schedule seemed to change depending on what his boss thought was "right" for his dept. HA the worker bees usually know how to run things better, what will work or not etc. (but thats for another thread

Until my first dd was 2, my dh worked nights, then watched her while I was at work. MIL came to help out so he could nap during the day which helped.
He ditched that dead end job, now has a career but as I said still did the night thing. Recently it was every 3 mos. on a rotating schedule which REALLY screwed us up.

Here are some things that have worked for me. If the baby gets up to eat or whatever during his "down time", I call it Bonding Time with Dad. Can you pretend not to hear the baby cry so he has to get up and take care of him/her? That worked to a certain extent for me, I still woke up-but I still didn't have to be totally conscious and awake taking care of a baby. This way he too can see what you go through all the time.

If you can ever get out of the house even to grocery shop - alone - first call a friend and meet for coffee, go to a library (ahhh peace and quiet) or whatever just to get some "me" time.

I'm sure there is more stuff, I'll post more as I remember.
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Old 06-07-2003, 01:08 PM
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Unless your husband gets a day job it looks like it's your ball to carry.......can he help on his the days that he is off???

Sit and talk to him.. look at your schedules and see where y'all overlap ......maybe you can grab a few hours for yourself then.....

I don't know your situation, but sometimes you can get a out of town college student to help out.....in exchange for room and board... that might work for you....
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Old 06-07-2003, 04:28 PM
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With a two and a half year old and a 9 month old ~ I feel your fatigue. My husband also works nights, and with his schedule (12 hours) we get about 2 hours of together time a day. I have really tried (although sometimes forget) to look at it as a "gift and blessing" to have so much one on one time with my children. One day I will wish I could go back. I do need breaks sometimes though....... talk to your husband about scheduling some daddy help time. If you schedule it together it might help to alleviate some of the stress. Also, with summer, there is bound to be some young girls who would be interested in being a mommy's helper for a few dollars. You'd be home, so if there was an emergency you could help, but it would help to have someone there to get the drinks, and occupy the kids. Most of all, just remember to give yourself a break. If you were meant to be able to do everything you'd have gotten an added 10- hours to each day.
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Old 06-07-2003, 08:07 PM
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Do you have any friends nearby that can take your kids for a couple hours so you can get a nap in? You could trade, take her kids another day so she can have some free time also.
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:39 AM
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The first thing I think you should do is get your 10 month old off the middle of the night feeding. When the baby cries let him cry for 5 minutes, check on him but don't pick him up, tell him night night and leave. Then wait 10 minutes and if he's still crying do the same thing and increase the waiting time in 5 minute increments. I did this with both of my kids and it worked within the first 2 nights. The first night took an hour and a half but it's worth losing that sleep for a night or two so you can get a full night's sleep. Babies over 6 months do not need to be fed in the middle of the night.

Then you need to sit down with your husband and work out a responsibility schedule. Maybe after he gets up and eats in the morning you could run an errand or two while he stays with the kids or he could take the kids to the park while you work around the house. You need some "me" time without the kids.

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2003, 04:03 AM
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Great post

My DH also works nights. His schedule is S-M-T from 3 in the afternoon until 6 am. He comes home and goes to bed. I feel bad sometimes, because the kids get up right after he goes to bed. And let me tell you, their not very quiet in the morning. My challenge is trying to keep them from yelling all morning so that he can actually get some sleep. I have 2 DS, 2 & 3 yrs old.
I have been living this schedule since we where married and had gotten used to it. Until kids! LOL

I nursed both boys, so my dh didn't have to worry about getting up in the middle of the night for their feedings. Good for him not for me. I know what you mean about being tired. My youngest was up all the time. Feeding 2-4 times a night before I figured out that he wasn't getting enough to eat. He refused to bottle feed and cereal didn't work either. Had tried it all and finally broke. Made my dh get up and deal with the situation. Told him that our little bundle of joy would have to get over it sooner or later. Ok don't get me wrong, I wasn't depriving my son of anything. He was over a year old at this time. So this was all out of habit for him and the habit needed to be broken. It was hard for about 3 days then peace.

I am still trying to get my DH to take his fair share of the responsibilities. It's nice that he's here with the kids when I work. My schedule works around his. I have the W-T-F and Sun. hours. All that I ask is the the kids are fed supper, bathed, put to bed and that the dishes are done before I get home from work. I hate to walk in and see that a cyclone hit my kitchen. Well, it never seems to get done.

I know I strayed off track, but this subject gets me going. LOL I think it's very important that you take time for yourself. It's hard and sometimes the guilt floods in, but that will subside. I have the hardest time leaving the house, because my youngest cries so hard, but he's fine 2 minutes after I'm gone. My dh doen't understand why I take off on a Sat. morning and return in the late afternoon. I always explain, that even though he's home 4 our of the 7 days a week. The kids are still all over me and I need to seperate for awhile. He's still trying to get used to it.

I hope this helps. I know that I went around the subject and a bit long winded. LOL Good luck and GET OUT BY YOURSELF FOR A WHILE - ENJOY!!!!
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Old 06-09-2003, 04:21 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for all your input. I told hubby that he has until 12:30 in the afternoon (Mon thru Sat) to sleep, do what he wants, etc. I figure if he gets to bed at 2:30-3:00AM and gets up 10:30AM that gives him sleep and two hours to do things on his to do list or a hobby. Or he can choose to sleep and not get anything done...also his choice. But from 12:30-3:30 PM I am "off duty" and that is my time to do what I need to do, rest some and relax. It has made a big difference for me. The kids get to be around both of us during the day, just at different times. On Saturday evenings and Sundays we have lots of family time.
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:27 AM
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Way to goooo! I hope it works out nicely for you. More ladies NEED to take time for themselves.... when they say to me, I can't! there isn't enough help or time! this is my response that you really need to mull over.

If you died tomorrow, (God Forbid), what would happen to the kids, the house, the cooking, the laundry? Who would tend to household chores? Who would shop? Who would take kids to doctor's appointments, lessons, school, etc etc etc......???

Now.. taking all that into consideration, ( a live in Nanny would be about 300 a week...)... a few hours for yourself doesn't seem all that much, right? You can also say.....to your hubby, "when you come home, you put in....8 hrs..... and get paid for it...and you say you worked.. if you put in 12 hours, you get overtime. I, on the other hand, work 12-16 hours and am always on call.

You get 2-3-4 whatever, weeks vacation..... I don't ....maybe I should get a weekend every 6months..

they all have to be shown the reality of WHAT YOU DO.....and WHAT you are WORTH in dollars and cents...because that is what they understand for the most part.....

There are always exceptions, some men do understand and chip in help etc..... those are not the ones that need a realitycheck.. *chuckle*
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"A hundred years from now, it will not matter the sort of house I lived in, what my bank account was, or the car I drove....but the world may be different because I was important in the life of the animals and the creatures on this earth."
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Old 06-10-2003, 06:37 PM
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I thought you all would enjoy this!!

I've been a Mom for 21 years-all boys-ages 21--13 and 4 and I'M the one who works the 7p-7a shift!! My DH works 3 part times jobs--2 as a police officer-rotates thro all shifts and the other is as a firefighter where he works 4 24 hrs shifts a month. Thank God for my FIL without him--we couldn't do what we do!!

I COMPLETELY agree that you HAVE to have some "me" time--even if it's only 10-15 minutes at a time several times a day until the kidlets get a bit older. If you don't take care of yourself--you can't take care of anyone else.....

To all the Moms and Moms-to-be.....check this out....sssooo true!!!



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