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Any WOHP whose OH doesn't do a standard 9-5 job?

(30 Posts)
Thurlow Mon 25-May-15 19:24:09

I've been thinking about this ever since the first debate about starting these boards.

I work M-F 9-5 (with a commute). DP is on a 10 day shift pattern, doing different shifts, rest days often cancelled. This is great for work as it allows us to both work f/t with a manageable amount of childcare. But it's crap for family life and for a personal life.

A lot of the things SAHM's were saying they wanted to discuss completely rang true for us. Not being able to arrange a haircut, trying to get all the housework done with young DC around, that sort of thing. 90% of the time DP and I are solo parenting - for example, it's been me on my own with DD(3) all weekend as he's been out pretty much the whole time.

Sometimes it feels that most other people all have lovely standard hours. They talk about OH's helping out in the evening, or how to split lie ins at the weekend. What's a lie in? grin

So I wondered if there is anyone else out there juggling shift work or opposite hours who fancied a chat as we sit so weirdly between the two boards?

foxinsocks Mon 25-May-15 19:45:00

I think it's very hard in your situation. I am divorced now but ex-dh and me worked opposite hours and I hate to say it but I think it contributed to the breakdown of our relationship. I worked mon to fri and he worked some weekdays plus weekends. We passed like ships in the night, didn't put enough effort into the relationship and slowly but surely things started falling apart.

The dcs didn't suffer from our work patterns - that was never a concern!

mumto3alexa Mon 25-May-15 19:49:25

I work 9 - 5 dh from 5.30/6 until 10/11 onwards 5 nights a week. He organises in day then me in evening. We have sn child and 2 others. Youngest is a baby.

StoryOfMyLife Mon 25-May-15 20:01:43

Yes, we do. I work 4 days but full time hours compressed and husband works 6 days a week evenings and one weekend day.

It is great for childcare, we manage with 2 half days at nursery but it is such a coordinated effort that any slight adjustments throws everything into disarray.

I wish I had a stay at home husband grin

It's hard because like a pp said it means you spend no time together so we do try and make sure to do something fun on the one weekend day we get together. Our house seems to come last in priority, in terms of cleaning and maintenance!

I'm also expecting another child in 3 weeks and not sure how I'm going to manage in the evenings getting the kids to bed. Although I'm now on maternity leave so slightly easier but I'll be going back to work.

PenguinSalute Mon 25-May-15 20:06:42

It is hell. I work 9-5 in an ideal week, but am a social worker so often far more at short notice. DP is a police officer, so 24 hour shift pattern, on a 6 week cycle. Also lots of short notice no choice overtime.

Our childcare needs are so varied (full time one week, one day the next) that we've had to bite the bullet and just pay for full time care to secure a place. Meaning we wasted at least £500 a month on childcare we don't need, until DS got his free hours after easter. Feel like we barely see one another, both constantly feel knackered and put upon, and organising things feels like a huge logistical mission. Grrrr!! Sorry for the rant! And breathe....

Namelesswonder Mon 25-May-15 20:08:39

I work full time 9-5.30 and DH works 9- whenever. Sometimes home about 8 but often 9 or 10pm. Totally feel like a single parent during the week and at weekends he is knackered so if there are any long lies they go to him.

mumto3alexa Mon 25-May-15 20:15:36

My current difficulties with it are; 1) I am in new profession and I love it but very stressful and responsible job 2) our baby is still tiny 3) my dds sns have got to the point I feel like I am semi-insane 90% of time 4) you have to be supermum/dad constantly and it is very wearing in a way sahms or normal wohps wouldn't probably understand.

Tangoandcreditcards Mon 25-May-15 20:15:48

I do. Although DP is a WAHP which makes it a bit easier. His work is sporadic/freelance though, so we have to keep on our toes. He starts work when I get in and often works all weekend too, so I get up at 6 for work every day and at 5/6 both weekend days with ever-awake DS. I long for a lie in.

We've talked about getting PT childcare (DS is 15mo) but every time we get to looking into it something changes; his work drops off a cliff, or a recent house move threw all our research off. Now I'm (just) pregnant so we only have to cope with our "shift" pattern until I hit mat leave in late December, so it almost doesn't seem worth it (albeit that 7 months is a long time and 1st trimester has rendered me quite useless).

We've got it easier than some of you, I know, because at least DP is accessible in a crisis, we'll see how ghings change when there's another DC, but we're hoping DS will go to preschool next Sept and MIL might be able to help out in the week too when work is busy for DP.

But we may come back around to PT nanny. Who knows?

mumto3alexa Mon 25-May-15 20:17:37

I do have lie ins/naps but then I feel I deserve it as I am much busier than practically everyone so that's my excuse! I do also have free time , but I feel at the moment my mind may explode 24/7

Sarahplane Mon 25-May-15 20:18:45

Me and I hate it. I work Monday to Thursday 9.30 til 5 so I can do the morning drop off. DH works most weekends, lots of eveninvs and also weekdays too. He's expected to be available for work 24/7 at no notice and is generally scared to turn down shifts because its likely to affect what he's offered in the future (zero hours contract). We have to pay for childcare for all of the days I work because we never know when he'll be working. Also can never plan anything because he's very rarely off at the weekends and if he is we never know until the last minute.

All of my days off are spent looking after the kids whereas Dh usually ends up with two or more days off with no children and then wonders why I expect him to do more of the housework.

Velociraptor Mon 25-May-15 20:23:15

Yep me, DH and I both work shifts. On days we are working we are like passing ships, as he finishes I start, or vice versa. I find it works pretty well though TBH. It is a constant juggling act to try and get off work on time, so the other one can start.

Thurlow Mon 25-May-15 20:29:27

Hi penguin - same job here. It's a fun one, isn't it?! We've just hit out free hours and it's going to make the world of difference, finally being able to afford f/t nursery rather than juggling CM hours around us. Takes the panic out.

It is hard to make sure you spend time together. YY to spending all your time either working or looking after the kids, there's not much 'me' time left. I felt awful recently when some SAHM's I know were talking about getting a childfree day when DC's start nursery, it's hard not to feel jealous. But I don't really know how happy they are being off work, so they might be jealous of me.

You've got to try and not be resentful, haven't you? Especially if its your OH's job that is non-standard. Resentment is the danger.

esiotrot2015 Mon 25-May-15 20:37:22

Me & dh don't work 9-5 and to be honest it works very well with childcare

dh works Saturday's but gets Thursday's off so I get to work late that day while he picks kids up from school
I work Sunday's so weekends suck really but we do save money on childcare
In return for Sunday's I leave at 2.30 Mon tues we'd & Friday so I can do the school run
Downside is I work 6 days a week but then lots of people do
I get to spend most evenings from 3.30 onwards with the children doing washing homework dinner playing & Sunday's are only 10-4 so we go for breakfast before sometimes or for dinner afterwards to help dh out with feeding

I do hope when they are older though to eventually do mon - fri 9-5 but doubt it'll ever happen !!

OwenMeanysArmadillo Mon 25-May-15 21:12:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsmugoo Tue 26-May-15 13:13:52

My husband runs his own business (which I also work for, 3 days a week). by nature of his job he is literally never not working. He was taking phone calls at the christmas dinner table.

He works in the music industry so weekends and nights are events and festivals etc.. All week he is in the office doing the desk based stuff until 7 at night. He comes home, does bedtime routine with our little one, throws food down his neck then settles in for an evening of phone calls and skypes with colleagues in America. He rarely goes to bed before 3am.

He works so so hard and we don't get very much family time at all but he is making hay while the sun shines and trying to build a future for us. The dream would be a profitable business that makes us money without us even needing to work. One day maybe…

But until then it is me that does all the morning shifts with our son and when he was a baby I did all the night wakings, At weekends we are often on our own and my DH often works away overnight and for longer stretches.

We make it work and my husband is not selfish or lazy for not for doing 50% of the childcare. He would kill for the 2 hours I get with my feet up on the sofa while our toddler naps and I get 6-7 hours solid sleep a night.

littleshorty Tue 26-May-15 17:56:08

I don't know any couples that both work 9 to 5 and have kids to be honest every family is different. I work anywhere between 3 and 13 hours a day 5 days a week but lucky enough to pick my days and cut hours in school holidays. Dh works long hours 9 til 6 7 or 8 including whole weekends. We make sure we have family time and days off together. Shift work would be a lot harder for us. Every family is different and different patterns will work best at different stages in the dcs lives.

Nolim Tue 26-May-15 18:01:28

Both oh and myself work 50 hours per week, plus one hour commute each way. We have discussed with our managers to have some flexibility.

Melfish Tue 26-May-15 18:04:32

DH does shift work, I don't but I have had to change my working hours and basically be the default child carer as my work is more flexible than his (which isn't, at all). As DD has got older it has improved and he can do the odd drop off/pick up, but I feel like I'm asking him a favour by doing this. I never thought I had the old FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) thing but recent events have made me revisit that idea.

TheRainInTheWoods Tue 26-May-15 21:54:00

We fit that description. We just have to plan everything weeks ahead. Including haircuts and eve the online shop!

PenguinSalute Tue 26-May-15 22:59:56

Yes Thurlow the resentment is a killer. I try so hard not to seethe about DP's rest days at home alone, and all the wasted childcare money, but I fail miserably quite often. I know he does a hard job, and is a massive introvert so would quite possibly lose the plot altogether without the few days of peace and quiet but blimey it's hard to have no downtime yourself!

It's a relief to be able to moan here freely though!

mumto3alexa Wed 27-May-15 06:40:02

I feel so much better now I am back at work. When I wrote that message on bank holiday I was feeling moody. I don't know how anyone could do it everyday!

Thurlow Wed 27-May-15 09:32:37

I know he was worse days when he's at work, penguin, as he does a 10 hour shift and has several hours at home with DD as well, whereas I tend to come home, put DD to bed and then have a whole evening to myself (though of course seeing DD less during the week than I want is another issue). So I know we shouldn't feel as resentful as those days they have at home, with that job they deserve it but - yes, I definitely agree, it's so hard not to feel resentful when you never get that opportunity yourself.

Glad you're feeling a bit better, mumto3. You sound like you have an enormous amount on your plate, you're more than allowed to whinge!

Thurlow Wed 27-May-15 09:33:29

Ps - how does anyone else manage a haircut?!

I'm currently sulking as DP's many cancelled rest days means I can't get to the cheap local hairdressers for weeks, so I'll have to pay silly prices by work to get what is essentially a teeny tiny trim...

RJnomore Wed 27-May-15 09:34:04

Me. I'll come back later I'm just getting ready to go out to work.

TheOriginalWinkly Wed 27-May-15 09:38:18

DH and I are both police officers on a 10 day shift pattern, I've gone part time so we're working opposite shifts with no clash at handovers. The total lack of 'me' tie will get me down at some point in the future I know, and trying to squeeze in some family time comes at the expense of sleep <yawn>

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