Some of the first posts on this blog were about parenting and shift work, how hard it was with a baby and then two young children to manage family life around Dave’s shifts. But it wasn’t something I was unprepared for, he had always worked shifts, it was pretty much the only thing that wasn’t perfect when I met him – he ticked every other box – and I knew that if I wanted him in my life I had to accept the shifts and so I did that very early on. Shifts have always been part of our life together and, in all honesty, I thought that would always be life for us.
But, thirteen years after I first met my husband he has agreed to a new job role within the same company. One that will see him working pretty typical hours – Monday to Friday – and it will give us weekends and evenings together, something we have never consistently had.
But, it will be so strange, and maybe even quite hard for all of us to adapt to that change. I know that working nine to five is the ideal for family life. It means we will have a proper seven day routine that we have never had but it will take some getting used to.
At the moment we have a good balance of Dave and I sharing the school drop offs and pick ups. We both get lay ins and we get some mornings together, some afternoons together and sometimes whole days together. No two days are the same and no two weeks are the same but it’s life – and it’s what we are used to.
I know I will find it hard having Dave at home every night and all weekend when I am used to him not being there for four evenings/nights out of ten. I’ll find it hard doing pretty much all of the school runs and all of the swimming lessons. The children might find it hard him not dropping them off or picking them up as much.
But, we will all love having every weekend as a family. Every single weekend together to do as we please. Just the thought of that, all that time together, makes me so incredibly happy that whatever happens during the week will be fine – we’ll all get used to it and we really will start to live for the weekends.
You see, a year ago I was in a job where I worked every Saturday and often Dave would be working the weekends too. It felt like we never saw each other and I gave up my day job to get a better balance. The balance has been great, but we still didn’t get that much time together because of the children’s school hours – we lived for the school holidays.
But, Dave’s shifts allowed me to go back to work after maternity leave. If he’d been in a Monday to Friday job at that point childcare would have been unaffordable. But, because he was working shifts we didn’t need as much childcare when I returned to work after having LP and then when I went back after having Little Man I could work part time with Dave’s lovely parents looking after the children when Dave and I both happened to be working. We could plan my working hours and the days we needed childcare months in advance and it worked. It worked really well for as long as it did and it gave me the chance to build this blog and to fulfil my dream – of being able to work from home around the children.
And now, I am still living that dream but Dave gets to do something that will change our dynamic once again and I am sure it will change it for the better. How amazing will it be for the children to grow up having both parents around every weekend? Knowing that we can, finally, commit to clubs and activities on a weekend? And being able to have lazy mornings, cooked breakfasts and maybe even pancakes on a Sunday morning – the kind of family routine we have always longed for but never felt possible.
Life for us is changing massively and although it may be hard whilst we get used to it I am going to embrace it and make it the positive I know it can be. I cannot wait to have a new kind of normal, one that so many other people enjoy and I know the children will love it too. Roll on the weekends!
14 thoughts on “A Massive Change for Us as a Family”
We had similar to deal with. When Andy first started his job, he finished at half eight every night and worked every Saturday. Then it changed to every other Saturday. Then it went to one week finishing at 6. Then when we had Freddie he requested a shift change so he finishes no later than 6. Now he works 10-6 Monday to Friday and no weekends. Means he can do school drop off every day with us and we have weekends as a family.
Oh how fabulous – you’ll be falling over each other at first but you’ll love it! I’m so happy that you can have more time together as a couple and a family 🙂 x x
That’s great news. My ex worked shifts for years and when he changed to a 9-5 job we both struggled for some time to get used to not having the ‘me’ time we’d both been used to, but with kids in the equation I can imagine just how wonderful time spent together will be. Enjoy.
Oh wow! What a change for you! I’m sure you’ll settle in nicely in no time x
Ah that’s fab news Donna! The hardest thing for me was working in the evenings with him there, it’s so much harder! Hopefully you’ll get most of your work done during the day now though, as the children are in school so it sounds like great timing. I hope you all enjoy your new routine.
We’ve went through a kind of similar change recently. Steve has always worked 12 hour shifts and just switched to an 8 hour day. It means he gets less days off (boooo) but we do get 3/5 weekends together now and he’s here for most evenings now too.
Oh that’s fantastic!!
Exciting times ahead! The dynamic will change and lie ins will have to be at weekends, but you’ll soon get used to the new routine and you’ll have evenings together ?
Fab news! I can imagine how shift work is really difficult to manage with a family but then you do get those moments during the day too. I am sure you will fall in to your new routine no time, and you will find different benefits with the new schedules:) good luck with adjustment!
Oh that is wonderful. You are going to get used to that pretty quickly.
I’d say I would go mad if I had the kids every weekend on my own. haha Mainly because I am working five days a week eight hours a day.
Donna you have described exactly what our life is like – hubby on shifts, me working 4 days & often looking like the single parent having to take a sibling to birthday parties as they always fell on a weekend when he would be working! Like you said having that time in the evenings is nice, you can have eyes down on the laptop and not be tutted at, but the weekends are hard. Enjoy your new found time together & make a tonne of pancakes!
I know this has been on the cards for a while and I’m so pleased that its finally here for you all. Yes, it will take time to adjust, but you will and your new normal will be amazing. x
Weekends together are so nice to have. It’s such a big change to your dynamic but hopefully won’t take too long to get used to x
I have had the same experience, Eddy used to work shifts ever since I met him until Eva was 2 and I did find it so hard to adjust. If I am honest I still miss the shift work a little (that time by yourself and being together in the week when noone else is around) but it has definitely given us lots of positives too and I am sure would be an adjustment had we ever to go back to it now. It’s an exciting change and I hope it gives you those sunday morning pancakes! x