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If your partner does shifts...

(29 Posts)
Louise1970 Fri 15-Jul-05 13:28:21

How can anyone stick to a routine living with a shift worker. Can anyone else let me know what they did.

jampots Fri 15-Jul-05 13:28:58

yes I do everything and he doesnt

Louise1970 Fri 15-Jul-05 13:35:36

How do you keep a normal routine, like baths, eating, sleeping etc for them. Do you find they do not really go to your partner as well. I find that i am cooking 3 meals for each of us 3 times a day.

emmatmg Fri 15-Jul-05 13:43:29

I have a routine with the kids and if Dh is here he likes to think he just fits in but in reality he just gets in the way.

9 times out of 10 we always have dinner later and they always go to bed later when he's here.

Flossam Fri 15-Jul-05 13:46:54

Ha! Wait untill both of you have to work shifts!! Thats what we are trying to do with DS - we both do 12/12.5 hr shifts so are lucky in that respect. Any kind of household routine has vanished in the past couple of weeks. My house is dirty! But we do manage to keep roughly to the same routine with DS. Somehow or another DP seems to have convinced DS to stay in bed till later in the mornings!

Seriously though, when I was off I did find he was in the way - enjoy my and Ds's little world. Now I have to share it and go back to work and I am enjoying that too.

GillLevey Fri 15-Jul-05 15:54:36

DH works shifts - 12 hour days, 12 hour nights, weekends. I was lucky that he had 7 weeks off after DD was born. When he went back to work he stopped helping me with everything and found that he lost his bond. She started only settling for me. This made him want to spend more time with her on his days off (although he gets fed up very quickly if the smiles don't last).

He still only helps out when I ask him to but I do feel taken for granted sometimes. I can't wait to go back to work to get a break. Plus, he'll be looking after her on his weekday days off. I'm hoping this will make him realise that it's hard work looking after a baby.

I wanted to start putting her to bed in her cot for day time naps but she would wake him up when she cried when he's on nights. The only routine I've managed to establish is feeding at the same time every day and going to bed straight after her last feed at 9pm. She sleeps when she wants during the day.

Louise1970 Sat 16-Jul-05 08:59:17

Glad to hear its not just me that can not stick to a good routine. Couldn't put my ds1 to bed in cot during the day as he woke my partner. DD2 i can and she is a much better sleeper during the day anyway. The feeds is really hard for both of them, me and my partner, it drives me mad. My dp only does things when i ask him to, because he can not remember any routine. It drives me mad because the diciplining is getting realy bad. My dp does not want to dicipline because he hardly sees them and also he says no when they should be given some slack and does not say no when they are being naughty. I can not work as my dp is always working. Even over time. I can not woork as no one will employ someone who has to constantly change the days she works. Child care too expensive too. Do not want to let other people bring up my children. So really i suppose i had built a rod..

hercules Sat 16-Jul-05 09:07:20

We manage although I realise our lives are far from ideal. Dh is currently falling asleep in a chair and we've got up.
Housework gets fitted in when ever either of us has the energy.
We dont eat meals together as our dinner is his breakfast and is at slightly different times.

I find the worst thing is that on DHs days off his body is still out of synch so it's hard for him to maintain enerygy levels to do stuff during the day with us.

That said it saves us over a 1000 pounds each month in childcare costs.
Come Sept we are getting a cleaner to help for a couple of hours a week.

Nemo1977 Sat 16-Jul-05 09:08:01

AS others have said i have a routine with ds and will have with db then dh fits in around it when he is home so he will take over a certain thing to give me a break but also to spend time with ds.

moondog Sat 16-Jul-05 09:13:04

Hercules,that's a lot of money saved! (Must be tough though.)

potty1 Sat 16-Jul-05 09:17:59

Louise - we never had a routine either.

My dh works 9 hour days and 15 hour nights on a rolling 8 day rota so no two weeks are ever the same. Paid childcare was impossible when they were little. Also dh finished his night shift at nine and I had to be at work at nine so we had a nightmare case of 'swing door parenting' until all three were in school. My house was a tip and the children became very sociable because they were often with various friends and neighbours for short periods when the shifts overlapped . And I must add here that without my wonderful mum taking up the slack I wouldn't still be sane ( maybe I'm not!! )

zaphod Sat 16-Jul-05 09:31:35

Up until recently my dh worked nights (since I've known him). He looked after the children during the day while I worked mornings, and had dinner ready which we would all eat before he left for work.

When he started working days, it was like being in hell. I had to get 5 kids up and dressed and out, 3 to school and 2 to the childminder. I would get home to the breakfast dishes, supervising homework and making dinner. I eventually cut my days back to 3, and am now taking all the parental leave due to me.

I find that dh doesn't do half the stuff he used to when he had the house to himself in the mornings. Ah, the good old days.

It was very hard to keep to a routine with the smaller children during term time when I had to bring and collect the older ones to and from music and beavers and friends houses. I just had to hope that they wouldn't fall asleep in the car, because if they did they wouldn't go to bed for hours.

hercules Sat 16-Jul-05 09:39:34

Actually it's more than that. Childcare for two would be about 1100 and dh's travel used to be 150. So, 1250 saved by dh changing jobs!

lilaclotus Sat 16-Jul-05 09:40:13

my dp works nights. he works either from 7-3 or 10-6. it works really well. we do rarely eat tea together. dp doesn't really fancy potatoes & veg for breakfast. dd and i have what we like and dp makes his own meal later in the evening. only problem is having to be quite quiet in the house while he's asleep, which is difficult with a young child.

Louise1970 Sat 16-Jul-05 17:08:59

Thanks again everyone. Hercules - I see you about alot. Never known any thing about you though. How many kids, sexes, age. Good to here from you. I too am saving about 1,200 a month not working. I would not even or maybe just about cover that gettting a full time job and putting them in childcare (which i will not do).
So why do so many work full time if it is so expensive. Mind you you can not put a prioe on your child being looked after, though. I know people who just can not cope being at home. They do there job and have no money left after fees at the end of the month, if they do have any left they spend it on going out wiyjout the children WHY HAVE KIDS THEN....
It sounds as though a lot of you get support from friends and family. Which i do not have as the freinds have there own kids (2 or more). No family close by or that drive.
I have just found a pre school nursey that takes kids from 2years, but only 2 days and 3 hours and i think they do lunch too. i am having feeding problems (arn't we all)My ds1 goes in January. 2 years without a break - can't wait.

hercules Sat 16-Jul-05 19:55:18

I do work hence why dh does nights so we dont pay any childcare.

TwoIfBySea Sat 16-Jul-05 20:04:28

Louise my DH works shifts though luckily not night shifts (unless his bitch of a manager gets her way!)

The way I worked it was to have two different routines, one for when he is home in the morning and one for when he is home in the evening. With dst I had to get into a routine or else I'd have gone spare! I do get really annoyed when he has to change shifts as I plan the week ahead so I know what I am doing autopilot if I have to.

And with DH working shifts I too became a SAHM, we would have had a horrible lifestyle and no more money with me out working. I like being a SAHM as at least dst know mummy is always there for them. Good luck getting the nursery place, it does mean less stress for you during the day!

PeachyClair Sat 16-Jul-05 20:15:12

It's hard isn't it?

Dh does 4 on / 4 off nights. We are supposed to have a strict routine as ds1 has Aspergers which can be partly managed by a routine, but I don't know how! I have my routines, but when Dh is here they all fall aprt- he likes to stay up late, eat Dinner later, etc etc

Drives me around bend at times tbh, wish he would fit in with us but it ahs to be other way round!


PeachyClair Sat 16-Jul-05 20:23:46

Get your point about the working too- DH gets underpaid, I am a student but would love a p/t job as most of dh's money goes on travelling to work and we are often literally skint. But I cannot work as it'd have to be an evening job, and dh never here in the evenings (leaves at 7.30). Would do a morning job- even cleaning- but no, dh doesn't get back until 8. I worked afternoons for a bit, but we nearly ended up in divorce courts as never saw each other bar a 7 minute handover.

Yet i cannot get help with my student childcare unless I work. We are £47 over the limit for a few thousands worth of grant, and they will not take all the kids into account (they only count two- we do have to feed ds3 too!), neither will they count commuting bills (DS pays £300 per month in petrol / bridge tolls- he can't car share or get public transport due to......



All the advice people suggest i should take a job and claim WFTC childcare.

How precisely am I to do that, fgs?

juicychops Sat 16-Jul-05 20:58:38

I hate my dps shift work. It feels like he is never at home. me and sp have a routine so i stick to that. If dp is here then he has to just fit into it. I dont eat dinner until ds is in bed so if dp is here i cook for both of us. if he isn't i eat alone. I do all cooking and most cleaning. ds is being very clingy to me lately where he doesnt see dp much

juicychops Sat 16-Jul-05 21:01:07

GillLevey, everything you have said is exactly the same as my situation. It just feels weird reading something that is exactly how i feel!

Posey Sat 16-Jul-05 21:14:10

Dh has worked shifts for 5 or 6 years and I actually prefer it. Before he was working crazy long hours and barely saw dd except at weekends and then was completely knackered. Now he starts work at 4pm and finishes around 2am, only working 4 days a week. He usually gets in bed by 3am and sleeps til 10 ish. He leaves for work around 3.45 so sees dd only briefly, but see loads of ds who's not at school yet. He's also far less tired so on his days off spends good quality time with dd.
Both children are very good at keeping quiet when he's asleep, ds will even check with me if we come in from shopping if its okay to shout out hello as we come in the door (he's 2 1/2).
I must say though that all routine is down to me and dh just fits in around us. Meal times aren't a problem as we all eat a sandwich lunch then tea is all together or dh has his at work.
I know it wouldn't suit everyone, my mum said she'd hate it. But I worked shifts before kids when dh did normal hours. I don't know how people combine 2 lots of shifts though, what a lot of juggling that would take.

Louise1970 Sat 16-Jul-05 22:13:02

Posey , i'll swop you
Looks as though i will have to wait until they all go to school before i can have a normal person then..
Goo Goo Gaa Gaa..

spidermama Sat 16-Jul-05 22:37:32

Hi Louise.

It's the bain of my life this is.

Dh is freelance and I never know from one week to the next what, if anything, he'll be doing and where. We can't book anything ahead of time and the kids don't know who's taking them to school from one day to the next.
He has even been called home from family holidays.

It also means that our income fluctuates wildly from nothing to loads and back again. (Nothing at the moment. Grrrr!)

I think it's not ideal for the kids, (we have 4)but it's not the end of the world either. I try to be as chilled as possible about being flexible.

tallulah Sun 17-Jul-05 10:33:11

My DH works permanent nights (4 out of 7 but no fixed nights). When our kids were tiny I worked afternoons. He would come in at 7.30am, sleep till 12.30pm then get up and take me to work. He would have the children in the afternoons then come to get me at 5pm. We'd have dinner together then he'd leave for work again at 7.30am.

When they were a little bit older I went to Uni & changed my working hours to fit in. We had a couple of evenings that I finished at 7pm & we passed on the stairs as I came in & he went out.

FIL picked up the slack where we had midday playgroup pickups- couldn't have done it without him.

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