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To expect dp to at least try to change his working hours so I can work?

(44 Posts)
ricecrispies16 Sun 05-Feb-17 07:33:20

I'm on mat leave but would like to go back to work. Seen a job I'd love to apply for, full time, 3 long days a week. There's another job that I'd like but is only part time, 5 half days a week. Obviously the full time one pays better so I'd like to go for that one but my partner works varied hours, early shifts, late shifts and his working days change every week. I told him about the job and asked that if I got this job and I knew which days I'd be working if he could approach his boss at work and ask to not be put down to work on X day and Y day. He said probably not.

It's just kind of annoyed me because I want to work full time to earn as much as I can but if he can't do that then I'm limited to part time while he works full time. Doesn't seem fair.

fiorentina Sun 05-Feb-17 07:37:37

Has he always worked a shift pattern like he does now? If so it's hard now to ask him to change but I would still hope he'd ask. Otherwise it sounds like 9-5 hours with childcare Is more of an option for you to juggle this?! But some days he might be home to look after DCs?

intheknickersoftime Sun 05-Feb-17 07:38:34

He probably knows the answer will be no. I know my DP could never have had that agreed to. I ended up being a sahp for many years. Does he share his money with you?

badhotfanny Sun 05-Feb-17 07:39:36


Shift work doesn't work like that. If he asks, others will ask and expect it too. That's the nature of shift work, I'm afraid.

Do you have any childcare options? My teaching colleague has a DH who does a four days on, four off shift pattern. They have found a childminder who will accommodate this. It can be possible. I hope you find a solution!

Megatherium Sun 05-Feb-17 07:39:54

He presumably has a fair idea how that sort of request is going to be received - he probably wouldn't be the first one to try. Issues of fairness don't really come into it if he knows the request has no chance of being granted and might put him in a bad light with his employer.

Hassled Sun 05-Feb-17 07:39:57

I can see why you're upset, but in fairness your DP only said "probably not". He didn't say no. Is he prepared to at least ask the question? If his employers say no then they say no - not his fault. How long are the long days - there may be a solution childcare-wise.

HermioneJeanGranger Sun 05-Feb-17 07:40:22

He should ask, but don't be hopeful that it'll happen.

I work five days in seven, and I can't ask for regular set days off.

WallisFrizz Sun 05-Feb-17 07:43:45

I agree with you OP, I think he should approach his employer to ask them to a consider a flexible working agreement to allow you to work.

It is probably worth knowing whether they would consider it though before you apply for the full time role.

What childcare options do you have? Will your dc go to nursery and you and dp both do pick ups and drop offs or would it be expected to all fall on you?

waterrat Sun 05-Feb-17 07:45:22

It's tough when one partner doesn't have flexibility I husband is often away working overnights etc. So my childcsre is arranged so that it covers my work and I mainly do the pick ups and drop offs.

If you want to work please go for it and find the childcsre you need. Apply for the job and perhaps you could ask to do 3 days over 4 shorter days for example?

Yes your husband should ask but you also shouldn't let the need for wrap around childcare etc put you off applying. I work 9 to 5 with an hour of travel each way abd my kids are with a childminder 8 til 6 three days a week and have been since very young.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sun 05-Feb-17 07:45:28

YABU. He may be able to get a certain amount of flexible working built in but shift work is generally not all that easy to fit around individual's schedules.

He could at least ask, and by law I think his employer must at least consider it, but they can refuse if they have good reasons.

I think you need to go in to this remembering that you knew what your partner's shift work entailed, and that childcare will not be the easiest thing to sort. You and your partner either need to choose to put your DC in to full time childcare or for the 5 mornings a week. Split the cost down the middle obviously and go from there. If you want to work full time then you both will need to pay for full time childcare.

ricecrispies16 Sun 05-Feb-17 07:47:19

He does share with me yes.

It's difficult because he could be off for two of the days I'd need him one week but working all 3 the next. The long days would be (I imagine) very varied. It's for the NHS so could be days/nights/early/late. What appeals to me though is that it's only 3 days a week for a decent wage and then I get a full 4 days with my family.

Summerisdone Sun 05-Feb-17 07:47:32

YANBU he is now a parent so regardless if he has always had to work varied shift patterns he should still attempt to change his hours now to accommodate looking after his child. It is also likely his boss will consider it if he actually spoke to him, work places are having to try and work around fathers as much as mothers now because it is becoming more and more the norm that it's not just the mother who is expected to adjust working hours around children.

I'm not naive to think all work places are as accommodating as they can be for working parents, but certainly most of them are; I know this from personal experience of having only worked in places with varying shift patterns and I've seen all of these places willing to rota shifts around both mothers and fathers whenever possible.

Velvian Sun 05-Feb-17 07:48:57

Do you have any family nearby that would be able to pick up from nursery or childminder if you or dp couldnt get there in time? If you took the 3 long days, would it be the same days each week?
My dh works in a very male dominated industry & is regularly "tested" to prove his commitment to the job comes before his family imo. If he asked something like this it would probably have the opposite effect.

user1484226561 Sun 05-Feb-17 07:52:35

but are YOU able to specify which days you will be working? If not, then are you expecting him to negotiate with his employer every single week? It sounds impractical to me, two of you doing unsynchronised shift work. When you are a parent, you do often end up taking the lower paid option, I'm afraid. That's how parenting works.

intheknickersoftime Sun 05-Feb-17 07:56:07

I work a similar shift pattern doing NHS admin and it is great for all of the reasons you say. Apply for it. You will sort out other childcare options.

AyeAmarok Sun 05-Feb-17 07:56:59

It depends. There are some jobs where you just will not ever be able to have set shifts on set days. If he's in one of those jobs then YABU.

ceeveebee Sun 05-Feb-17 07:57:38

And this is why the gender pay gap will never close. Funny how the father's jobs are always so inflexible and there is no way a father can ask his employer for any changes whatsoever to his working pattern, it is always the mother who has make adjustments. And most of the answers above show how ingrained this attitude is.

OP,of course he should ask, parenting is his responsibility too

user1484226561 Sun 05-Feb-17 07:59:31

Funny how the father's jobs are always so inflexible and there is no way a father can ask his employer for any changes whatsoever to his working pattern, it is always the mother who has make adjustments

It doesn't have to be that way round, it is the decision of individual couples.

ChestnutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 05-Feb-17 08:00:49

Good God, the 1950s have exploded all over this thread.

Bringing up children is a joint effort. Why should the woman be expected to take the complete hit to her career? If you split up he would have to ask for flexible working to look after the kids.

He is entitled to request flexible working in writing and his employer will need to give good business reasons if they are unable to meet the request. There may be some compromise possible too.

With regards to your options, the NHS is generally family friendly so I would organise an informal visit to discuss the long day patterns. Will you use a nursery some of the time? If so check out the opening hours as working 12 hour days you will most likely need one of you to be around.

BrieAndChilli Sun 05-Feb-17 08:03:23

I think most hospitals 24 hour childcare don't they so can cover childcare requirements for staff that work various hours??

intheknickersoftime Sun 05-Feb-17 08:05:11

Ceeveebee, I take you're point but this isn't about us all being handmaidens to the patriarchy and more about the inflexibility of working patterns. I went back full time to my job when my DD was four months old and my DP looked after her full time and had a part time job at Tesco. When I was expecting my DS I stopped full time work and he went back. Employers, particularly in male dominated industries (my DP is a sparky) would laugh in your face if you asked for flexible working. The job has to be finished. That's that.

Lostwithinthehills Sun 05-Feb-17 08:11:06

Someone further up mentioned a flexible working pattern and I think that would be a sensible option for your dh to explore with his employer. Is your husband frontline staff in the NHS? A doctor, nurse or paramedic? I'm sure some people in those roles do work part time so theoretically it must be possible for your husband to vary his shift pattern, but, of course, the NHS will have to find someonee else to cover the elements of the shift pattern that your husband would not be working and that might be tricky. Also if your husband has his days off on, say a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so you can work it's unlikely you will get to spend many weekends together as a family. I work opposite shifts to my dh and we only get to spend weekends together as a family if one of us takes leave.

Marilynsbigsister Sun 05-Feb-17 08:13:28

I don't know about the rights and wrongs of him being able to demand fixed days but what I DO know is that you should make sure he is your DH and not your 'DP' if you are going to be earning less/depending upon him financially in any way.

Get thee down to the registry office and get yourself some legal protection in the shape of a marriage certificate. You don't need a big fancy wedding right now, it cost £215 mid week. (Have a blessing later on when you have the money - if you want a wedding/dress etc) Get that sorted and you at least have some protection if anything were ever to go wrong.

(If you have a fundamental objection to marriage, you can get a lawyers agreement drawn up but it costs a lot more and doesn't come close to giving you the same rights as marriage but better than nothing.)

ninjapants Sun 05-Feb-17 08:15:45

YABU to think you're limited to part time work.
I work full time, my shifts and the days I work change every week, similarly to your DP. Until a few months ago my DH worked shifts too, but a completely different pattern to mine. My work accommodated a later start/earlier finish for me when our shifts clashed. His work wouldn't even consider it because he's a man. We had a childminder who was flexible enough to cover changing patterns, occasional evenings and some weekends.
Now DH works mon-fri during the day so it's a lot easier and I don't feel like I'm inconveniencing my colleagues by starting late/finishing early (my work didn't cover me not being there for the full shift) We still have to have a flexible childminder because the days we need change, and we of course we pay more than we would for set days.

I understand why your DP doesn't want to ask, while my work accommodate flexible working requests they can't cover the gaps so the person concerned feels like they're a burden to their colleagues. My DH's former boss basically told him that flexible working wasn't possible (it was with a bit of creative thinking) and his wife should be changing her shifts to accommodate childcare shock

Consider your childcare options and go for whatever job you want. Your DP isn't holding you back so don't be unfair to him. Good luck!

Writerwannabe83 Sun 05-Feb-17 08:24:43


I work full time, three long days in the NHS to enable to have four days at home with DS which is a lovely balance. I don't do nights though so do 3x12.5 hour shifts. One thing the NHS is good for is Family Friendly Flexible Working Requests as quite a lot of the women I work with have them in place to enable them to work around childcare arrangements.

My nursery can only gave DS two days a week so my ward has honoured that at least one of my shifts is on either a Saturday or Sunday so he's only in childcare for two days between Mon-Fri.

There is a nursery which is attached to the hospital to accommodate the staffs children but they will only accept children on a set day basis - they won't allow for shift patterns. It's absolutely ludicrous.

The only fienside to my flexible working is that at most we only get 1 day a week as a family, be it the Saturday or Sunday that I'm not working. However, some weekends I work both days so that's all our family days eaten up.

The other month I worked 4 Saturdays and 3 of the Sundays so there was hardly any family time.

I'm lucky that DH has a standard Mom-Fri 9-5 job as he does all the nursery drop offs and pick ups so we never have to worry about childcare.

I imagine things would be very hard if both parents were shift workers.

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