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Husband does shift-work

(16 Posts)
MPearl Fri 05-Jun-09 20:01:00

anyone else has a husband/partner that does shift work; I suppose I should not complain too much in this current climate, at least he is in work; but i just wanted to share experiences re lack of routine; his tiredness; lots of weekends spent alone etc... how do you 'manage' this?

JackBauer Fri 05-Jun-09 20:09:12

Dh does 'sort of' shift work. Not overnnights except in an emergency but the office is open 364 days a year 7am until 10pm so he is out a lot of evenings and weekends.
It is nicer to do things as a family as he has days off in the week so we can do things when it is quiet but I hate weekends when he si working as all my mates have 9-5 husbands so go off radar at weekends and I get a bit lonely.
He works split shifts, so some days it is 7-2 or 3 and other days it is 1or 2 until 9 or 10.
From DD's point of view it works really well, he is either here to pick DD1 up from school and spend the rest of the day with her, or he is here (in theory, altho he is a bugger to wake in the morning) to have breakfast and lunch with them adn walk her to school.

I do their routine round me, I am the constant, if DH is here it's a bonus. But it is set that I call him at bedtime if he is working so he can say goodnight. That's non negotiable.

TBH he has done this job for 13 years, and we've been together 14. It's the only job he's ever had, so I wouldn't know any different!

laumiere Fri 05-Jun-09 21:29:00

(Waves) HERE!!!!

DH is a night shift supervisor and works 7 nights on, 3 days off, 7 nights on, 4 days off. We get one weekend a month together. DS1 is 3 with disabilities and DS2 is 3 mo.

I find the 3 days the worst because DH is so exhausted he sleeps most of the day and has to stay up til 3 am both days to keep his sleep patterns. We always make sure we have one night cuddled up on the sofa with a takeaway and occasionally score a night out thanks to friends babysitting, but it is SO HARD on those days when both kids have been a nightmare, he gets up at 3pm and acts like he's doing me a favour by playing with the boys, or makes himself a coffee when I'dying for him to take them off me so I can go to the loo or whatever.

Most of my friends don't have kids so I don't get invited to many social events, which is a bit sad too.

onepieceofcremeegg Fri 05-Jun-09 21:31:51

Not dh but I am the one that works shifts. I do feel sorry for him at times; he works all week, then twice a month comes home on Friday, I then go off on late shift. I then work various shifts/on calls over the weekend, leaving him with the girls.

He never complains to be fair. The house gets neglected to some extent, we never have time for one of us to look after the dds and the other to whizz round changing beds etc.

fruitshootsandheaves Fri 05-Jun-09 21:35:54

My dh has always done shift work
he used to do 2 days (8 til 8) and then 2 nights (8 till 8) and then 4 off

he now does just days 4 on 4 off and a week of nights every 8 weeks. Although its more like 6 on 2 off as he does overtime!

He is rarely here in the evenings. His shift is 1pm till about midnight, much later on Saturday nights.

I am used to it although it would be lovely to have him here regularly in the evenings as it is impossible to do anything like evening classes etc. and if he is not up before the children go to school they don't see him for almost a week sometimes.

benbon Fri 05-Jun-09 22:04:10

my husband also does shift work and its a flipping nightmare. i feel like i never see him, actually i feel like im a single parent 90% of the time. it doesnt help that he also picks up extra shifts without telling me.. for example he left the house at 5.30 am before any of us were up and got home at 8.47pm this evening

he hasnt seen the kids for about 4 days. he could be having an affair and i wouldnt even know its quite sad really isnt it..

JoPie Sat 06-Jun-09 14:49:42

Yep, mine does shift work, but the worst of it is we don;t know what shift he'll be on until the niht before shock. He'll either be on lates on earlys, but lates could mean 2pm-12 mid, or 4pm til 2am, or 11am-8pm, or even a split shift 9am-12 then 4pm-9pm. Earlies could be 5am start, or 7, 10, 12 midday. You get the picture. He works 5 saturdays in 6 and 2 sundays in 5. I can't plan anything, ever.

He recently got offered a transfer to another site that would have meant somewhat more predictable shifts, not much, but some, but he turned it down. sad We're sort of used to it now after 2 years +, but I don't think he knows how much I hate it. And the wages suck too. angry
But its a permanent job, and the chances of losing it are low. Can't complain these days, especially as we are in Ireland and if you think things are bad in the UK.....

ilove Sat 06-Jun-09 14:55:21

We both work shifts. He does 2 days (7am to 7pm) then 2 nights (7pm to 7am) then 4 off. I do variable shifts, not set, either 7am-3pm, 8am to 4pm, 12 noon to 8pm, 4pm to midnight or 5pm to 1am. I work 3 evenings in a local shop too.

We often don't get a day together for 8 weeks +...

mogwai Sat 06-Jun-09 19:23:03

Being maarried to a shift worker is HORRIBLE and I've had it for 13 years now, thinking it was just me feeling like this!

The lack of ability to plan ahead (his shift rota is published every three months and towards the end of that period we don't know what the next shift rota looks like so can't make plans beyond the next week).

Inability to plan meals - cooking for yourself after the kids have gone to bed and then having to cook for him all over again at 9pm after a long day when you've done everything else.

The worst thing is the weekends - especially when they get monday and tuesday off work to "compensate" while you've then actually got to work monday and tuesday. I really, really sympathise - I only got through it by planning my days in short chunks and making sure we were out of the house most of the time.

Oh yes and when they work weekends you don't get any sort of lie-in! My husband can work 4 weekends in a row, which means I'm up at 6.30am for a full month. It doesn start to feel like you're a single parent (though I don;t mean that to play down what it's really like for single parents).

Do you have any family help? My inlaws have been next to useless and I do resent that. They will only ever invite us for a meal on the odd weekend when DH isn't working which means that (a) they don't appear to understand how lonely we are when he's not home and (b) they want to swallow up what little family time we do have.

Fortunately, our days of shift work are about to end as DH has a new job, however, I will never forget how hard it was to combine this with parenthood. Nobody will understand unless they've done this themselves.

MarthaFarquhar Sat 06-Jun-09 19:29:01

DH works shifts. I agree with Mogwai that the worst combination is him working through the weekend, and then off Weds-Fri when I'm in the office, and we've already paid for childcare.

But every cloud has a silver lining. DH is at work tonight, so I get to eat crisps instead of cooking dinner, and MN all evening wink.

JackBauer Sat 06-Jun-09 19:36:02

I agree Martha, and Mogwai actually. I hate that I never get a lie in as he is either of at teh crack of sparrow fart or tired as he is on nights.
I do like having the house to myself for a few hours after the girls are in bed, I can stick the radio on, and either MN or get the sewing machine out, which drives him batty.

I ahve no family nearby, we are in wales and they all live over the border, so I don't get any help except when people come to visit and then he rotas himself off an evening so we can go out.

What pisses me off most is that DH is actually the boss, and writes the frigging rota, but he is such a pushover he does all the crappy fill in shifts no-one else wants to /can do so sometimes he has a week of late finish/early start repeating. He's like death after that.

LemonTea Sat 06-Jun-09 20:01:59

It's a nightmare isn't it.

DP works away, but it's not a fixed schedule. Usually it's about 3 weeks away and maybe 10 days / 2 weeks at home, but can vary a huge amount.

This makes planning anything together virtually impossible and my in laws are no help to me at all. My family live at the other end of the country.

I find it so frustrating as he views his time off as 'free time' and spends it more or less pleasing himself hmm. I know it's hard work and long hours when he's away, but he doesn't appriciate what it's like at home on my own with 2 DC (3 and 1).

TBH, if it wasn't for good friends that help me, I wouldn't put up with it. I feel completely unapriciated and put upon. I do feel like I'm bringing up the children on my own.

Sorry - bit of a rant

mogwai Sat 06-Jun-09 21:37:55

it's good to offload.

I often felt like that when DD was younger and there was nobody to help.

I wondered how I would go on and considered us splitting up because I couldn't take the pressure of supporting his career and looking after our (very demanding, non sleeping, non smiling) child.

It's so hard, isn't it?

laumiere Sat 06-Jun-09 22:35:13

I'm so with you on the lack of lie ins and feeling like a single parent! It's so hard when we only have one to two hours and I want to tell him stuff about our day and he's too tired to listen and gets ratty with the kids.

unknownrebelbang Sat 06-Jun-09 22:43:05

Sympathy. DH has just come off shift after almost 30 years.

Long and odd-hour shifts sometimes too, although he did have a fixed shift pattern, apart from last minute changes (always at the most inopportune times).

Worse for me though, was when he ended up working over at short notice.

And the boys still don't know how to be quiet if need be (although obviously he's not on shifts now).

slummybutyummy Sun 07-Jun-09 20:40:02

It's hard, isn't it? DP works shifts and it's a lot easier now the DCs are older. I did used to feel lonely at weekends but I realise now that I could have seen friends more, I just felt I didn't want to intrude on their family time. How old are your kids?

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