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To finally demand DH stops working night shifts?

(84 Posts)
Friesontheside Sat 29-Oct-16 23:39:24

He has done forever. It's a shift pattern of days and nights. 7 in a row. Leaves the house at 4:45 and gets in at 7:45. We have three dc: a 6 month old who has never slept for longer than two hours, a 3 year old who is always tired but very difficult at bedtime and an 8 yr old who is pretty much free range downstairs from 7pm due to prolonged bedtime attempts with the little ones. Too much iPad, not enough homework etc.

I'm on maternity leave ATM so we are dependent on DH's wage. I earn about half what he earns when I work FT. I feel he could find work in his industry that does not involve such long night shifts and I'm sure we could take a hit financially, especially if I went back FT too. I know 'this too shall pass' re: small children not sleeping but I spend hours every night trying to get them into bed, and am then woken constantly by the baby. I'm knackered and can't help hating DH's guts when I'm doing it alone. I think it's taking its toll on our marriage and my mental health.

Going back to work FT, dealing with nights and weekends alone with the DC whilst juggling the work I'd take home (teacher) scares me to death.

In his defence, DH does all he can to help when he gets in, such as taking kids to school/nursery, taking baby so I can sleep for an hour or two if I'm particularly wrecked. He is only getting by on about 5/6 hours sleep himself.

So am I being a selfish princess or do I have the right to tell him things have to change now we have a bigger family?

Tarttlet Sat 29-Oct-16 23:40:41

I don't think you have the right to tell him that things have to change - I think you have the right to raise the subject with him, make your views known, and try and find a compromise.

rumpelstiltskin43 Sat 29-Oct-16 23:41:08

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

GettingitwrongHauntingatnight Sat 29-Oct-16 23:45:26

Selfish princess.

I think if its bit working so somethi g needs to change.

Lilmisskittykat Sat 29-Oct-16 23:46:32

Poor bloke.. By your acknowledgement he's getting hardly any sleep himself and does help with the kids, however you would like him to work 9-5 be sleep deprived like you but unlike you he then has to go and hold down a job...

Defo selfish princess, I hope he doesn't read this

HedgehogHedgehog Sat 29-Oct-16 23:48:08

I dont think you are being a selfish princess but you dont really have the right to dictate to him. I do think you have the right to voice your concerns and be listened to tho. Night shifts are hard. I hate when my DH does them and we only have one child and he only ever does three in a row. Every time by the last one i am furious with him because i find it so difficult.
Unfortunately we need the money.
I think you should sit down togetehr and try and come up with a compromise. Really these 7 nights in a row dont sound like a good long term plan if you want a happy marriage. You will both be permanantly exhausted and hardly see each other. You need to ask him what his long term goals are. Is he going to get a promotion ever where he can work less or more family friendly hours?

VimFuego101 Sat 29-Oct-16 23:49:42

It sounds like you're both shattered. It must be hard.

How tight would things be if he took a daytime job? Night shifts often pay a lot more than doing the same job in the day time, can you really afford for him to change jobs?

SortAllTheThings Sat 29-Oct-16 23:50:58

Wow... MN has really changed

Friesontheside Sat 29-Oct-16 23:52:32

He knows how I feel. I just can't see that he's made an effort to make any changes. As I said before, I can work FT to mop up any loss of earnings incurred from his shorter shifts. I just want him around more.

BubbleGumBubble Sat 29-Oct-16 23:54:07

Exdh worked nights for the 14 years we were married and he still does We have 4 dc including twins.
He did and still does work hard. Nights are part of his industry and it pays well. He is unable to get a day job that will support our family.

You knew the job he did when you both chose to extend your family.

You are being precious.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sat 29-Oct-16 23:54:51

You don't have the right to 'demand' anything!

Friesontheside Sat 29-Oct-16 23:56:19

lilmiss he wouldn't be sleep deprived, he'd be helping get his DC to bed hmm
I BF and cosleep with the baby.

oneoldmare Sun 30-Oct-16 00:01:13

My husband worked nights when mine were little too and it is hard work. I can sympathise, I know how you are feeling.
After about 10 yrs I asked him to try to find day work.
He could never earn the money in the days unless he was doing 12 /13 hour shifts, sometimes 6 days a week.
Be struggled on for 12 months but we ended up more stressed as the money was tight and he was as knackered as he was on nights. He would fall asleep on the sofa straight after tea.
Sometimes I think the grass always looks greener.
He is still on nights now, kids all up, college, work etc so he does get more sleep but every now and again, especially after a nice weekend together he occasionally says he wants days again.
To be honest, I quite like how things are now.
I work early morning until lunch time just as he is getting home. We have lunch together then he goes to bed.
I go out and do my horses and potter in the house doing quiet jobs.
We then have tea together when he gets up then I go to bed as he goes out to work.
It works well for us now. I do enjoy spreading out in bed and no snoring but then I also enjoy the week ends where it feels special when we go to bed together.
I've waffled a bit but I do feel your pain and think you should see if him working days is feasible and take it from there.

DaphneCanDoBetterThanFred Sun 30-Oct-16 00:04:26

All of you calling the op a selfish princess and precious shock Have you no sympathy for someone who is clearly sleep deprived and needing a solution? You're not monkeys in a cage so no need to throw shit. hmm

Op, my Dh worked night shifts from when our Dc were 3 and a few months old. Both were rubbish sleepers, and dh's shifts meant he couldn't do nursery pick ups or drop offs and slept all the time he was home as he had a hideous commute and if he didn't, he wouldn't get enough sleep. I was on my knees for the year or two he did that job and it nearly killed our relationship as the sleep depravation was too much for me and the work exhaustion was too much for him. So I really do have a ton of sympathy for you, you're not being precious, you're exhausted. (Oh, and my dh's job was 6 days on, 6 days off so I had it easier than you i think!)

I'm sure you know that you can't demand he changes job, that's your exhaustion and frustration speaking. What does he say when you talk to him about it? I know it's hard when you're both exhausted but could you scrape out any time to make a plan for a happier future together? Also, is he not shattered from night shifts, they're really not good for his body. Best of luck op flowers

NotMyMoney Sun 30-Oct-16 00:05:25

My DH was out of the house 14hours a day for 4 years I asked him 3 months ago to get another job so he could see his DC everyday and not just if they'd stayed up late. He now has a 9-5 and it's amazing.

MommaGee Sun 30-Oct-16 00:06:00

If you went FT would that not up his loss of earnings for working days AND child care for all the kiddies?
If he's doing 12+ HR days presumably he's only working a few days a week or is he punching 60 odd hours a week?

PinkSwimGoggles Sun 30-Oct-16 00:08:05

it sounds really tough for both of you. but youngest dc should get better with sleep soon and oldest can muck in a bit so not every thing lands on your shoulder.
would getting a sleep consultant help with dc2 and baby be worth a shot?

PickAChew Sun 30-Oct-16 00:13:04

I presume he wanted all these children? He doesn't just get to bugger off ad leave you to deal with all the shitty bits. he needs to be amenable to making adjustments to family life to deal with the current status quo, and currently, your 8yo really needs you both while you deal with the younger ones.

Scrumptiousbears Sun 30-Oct-16 00:21:28

What happens on his rest days?

My OH works days and nights. The day he finishes days and goes into nights I get a lay in whilst he deals with the kids before going back to work. When he has his 4/5 rest days we take it in turns to get some time out or a lay in etc. (I'm also on maternity leave).

SecretRed Sun 30-Oct-16 00:27:59

I sympathise op. Living with a partner who works nights is hard. Especially if you work full time and have 3 kids. My dp works nights and I hate it, it will eventually split our family up but we are trapped by debt and lack of prospects.
You're on your knees at the moment through tiredness which is probably making you desperate, I'd wait and see how you feel when your baby starts to sleep and you are back in a work routine though before you make demands.
To those saying she's a princess, why? I don't get it. This is a support forum. If you disagree say so without name calling.

JoJoSM2 Sun 30-Oct-16 00:33:40

It sound like you're both knackered. Could you get some extra help in to relieve some of the pressure on you? I also like the idea of getting help from a sleep consultant.

MartyrStewart Sun 30-Oct-16 00:40:44

I totally empathize, my DH works nights and while it means we can juggle childcare, the payoff is that we spend zero time as a family.

My DH gets by on 5-6 hours sleep on average, it's a shitty situation all round.

user1471439727 Sun 30-Oct-16 01:37:33

Sounds like a difficult situation for everyone, but I don't think it's sensible to demand he pack his job in. Things should get better soon. You should try and sort out the problems at home first, because they're the real problems. Get the oldest to help with the 3 yo, lose the iPad, put your foot down and get the homework done early and get a bedtime routine sorted etc. Would not cosleeping help?

I have sympathy but its wrong to hate his guts when he works soul destroying shifts, helps with the kids whenever he can, gets by on 5/6 hours sleep a night and his wage is getting the family by. Don't count on being able to take a hit financially. He can help with the new routine when he's on day shift.


He's going out to work night shifts 7 nights a week to provide for his children and pulling his weight at home when he can. Hardly "buggering off".

BillSykesDog Sun 30-Oct-16 02:29:39

I know where you're coming from and I sympathise. But really do you think that you will both feel better if you're both up all night? Can he easily swap shifts?

I understand your frustration. But I don't think the grass is always greener.

BastardBernie Sun 30-Oct-16 03:09:20

Selfish princess shock since when has this become the thing to say?! What a truly horrible reply, I hope this is not the start of snotty, unhelpful and quite unkind replies throughout the site.
I think you are okay to ask OP, but you cannot force the issue or bully him into it. I'm quite surprised that this type of shift is being chosen by your partner though, especially with such a young family.
Good luck, annoying thing to say but things do always work out in the end smile

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