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Family Forum discuss Husband and wife working different shifts in the The Christian Walk forums; My husband is in the second week of his new job. He learned today that in two weeks, his work schedule will be 3:30 PM ...

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    Kim G's Avatar
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    Husband and wife working different shifts

    My husband is in the second week of his new job. He learned today that in two weeks, his work schedule will be 3:30 PM to midnight. He gets Sunday and Wednesday off. I work from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. I get Saturday and Sunday off. This means that we pretty much won't be seeing each other throughout the week.

    We only have one car, and at the moment we can't figure out how to make the shift change work unless I stay up until midnight to pick him up from work, which means less than 7 hours of sleep for pregnant me (i.e. NOT gonna happen).

    Another possibility would be for me to stop working and just get used to his schedule and a smaller paycheck. But wee were hoping to save up a little money until the baby gets here, when I'll stop working for good, Lord willing.

    Have any of you been in this situation before? Do you have any advice? How do you work out meals, car rides, etc.? Should I stop working?


    (Oh, and pray that they decide to change his shift hours. That is a possibility in the future.)
    Kim G
    Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church
    Greenville, SC

    Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
    Psalm 86:11

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    NateLanning's Avatar
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    My wife used to work 7PM-7AM while I worked 8AM-6PM with both of us usually having weekends off. We did this for 2 years to make extra money for a house down-payment. It was absolutely awful for us. I'm sure there are couples out there who can make a situation like yours work, but from our experience it was a huge detriment to our marriage.

    Praying for you.

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    Been there, done that.

    We made Lord's Day off top priority and were willing to suffer for it. At one point, I prayed and bid every single possible shift with Sundays off with the commitment that if it became impossible to not have Sunday off, I would have to find another job.

    Somehow, we hung on with a 4:30pm-1:00am shift with Sat/Sun off and my wife worked two days about 3:00p-11:30pm 2x week. It was amazing I got Sunday off at all, and somehow, my wife often got extended on her shift to the time I picked her up in our one car. GOD IS FAITHFUL!

    A few biblical parameters:

    1) God is going to provide for you, by faith, to the life He has called you to
    2) You are not going to violate the fourth commandment in order to do that
    3) If circumstances totally are blocked, be flexible and try something else in faith
    4) Live on less than you make, and give God regular offerings (tithes) DO NOT PRESUME ON GOD TO LIVE IN DEBT

    Opinion, based on observation:

    Don't become overly dependent on the wife's income. Husband should set some guidelines on this from the get-go.
    Scott
    PCA
    North Carolina


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    May not help much, but my wife and I had to borrow money from her dad to buy a second car, just a cheap little Escort (2 thousand bucks) but there really wasn't another way around it.

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    Kim G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott1 View Post
    Don't become overly dependent on the wife's income. Husband should set some guidelines on this from the get-go.
    This is part of the problem. My husband was in school for the last two years, so we have lived exclusively on my paycheck since we've been married. Now that he has a job, we're planning to live exclusively on his paycheck and save my entire paycheck (after tithes/offerings). Since he makes $3 less an hour, we're just not sure what that will leave us to live on.

    Thank you for your other advice as well!
    Kim G
    Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church
    Greenville, SC

    Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
    Psalm 86:11

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    I/we did it on several occasions. Not by choice, but by seniority bumps due to layoffs. I actually left a rather well paying position in aerospace electronics because it put me on rotating shifts which we both hated. It does add stress and inconvenience into the marriage. After almost 25 years of marriage we now work the same jobs for the same company so we have coordinated time off. The question you both have to answer is if the amount of money you could potentially save up is worth the present sacrifice.

    A second vehicle would eliminate commuter problems, but would the added expense be worth keeping the job for a few months? Have you sat down and created a budget comparing both scenarios? As for meals, we often cook up large quantities and freeze portioned meals for quick lunches and dinners. This could work for any time/meal conflict. I'ts also nice when we both get a case of the lazies and don't want to cook that day.
    Rich Koster
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    I'll be praying for you guys!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim G View Post
    Have any of you been in this situation before? Do you have any advice? How do you work out meals, car rides, etc.? Should I stop working?
    I've never been in any situation like that, and pray I never do. My advice is to quit your job. Having entirely different schedules is not worth the extra income. Besides, you'll have to start living without your income sooner or later.

    If I were you (since you asked for advice) I would quit my job and stay at home. I'd get a low-paying job that I could do online, from home. For example, my wife works for tutor.com. It was fairly easy to get accepted, and the process was pretty quick. Seeing how we have two young children my wife doesn't have much time to tutor, but she will try to knock out an hour or two some evenings after the kids are in bed.

    I'm sure there are other online opportunities like that. The great thing about tutoring is that nights are when they need the most tutors. You can set up your hours beforehand or just hop online and "float". Also, if you're able to get started before the birth, it's something you can hold onto and then ease back into once your child is on a schedule.

    -----Added 4/13/2009 at 05:54:25 EST-----

    Just to add one more thing... The months that you and your husband have before the birth are very special. Spend as much time together as you can, because it is valuable. When that baby comes, you (as a couple) want to be at your very best. The stress of opposing work schedules is not the best way to anticipate a child.
    Daniel
    Madrid, Spain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim G View Post
    We only have one car, and at the moment we can't figure out how to make the shift change work unless I stay up until midnight to pick him up from work, which means less than 7 hours of sleep for pregnant me (i.e. NOT gonna happen).
    You all need to get a bit creative in your thinking. You come home from work, sleep about 3 hours, get up, fix dinner, pick him up, eat together, you go back to sleep for another 6 or so hours. You are getting more sleep than before.

    It's rough, but it's only for a few months, and doable if you both want to. And you might find you are getting better rest with a split schedule. (Let's face it - you are going to be keeping a different split sleeping schedule after the baby arrives.)
    Edward
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    ok here's my thoughts.... I would save and then look on craigslist or pray and go to a auto auction and get a super cheap $500 car. that takes care of that problem, then I would have him get up with you before work and that's when ya'll spend time together then he can always go back to sleep for a few hours. I would make meals and get a really good crock pot and make food when you're off that he can just pop in the oven and or reheat when he comes home.... You should have one of your off days the cooking and the grocery shopping day and the other day off should be the deep cleaning of the house day and laundry. and then I would go to Hallmark, they have these little tiny blank cards with envelopes and a little double sided sticky on the back of the evevelope. ans write love notes back and forth. write a quick steamy note and stick it somewhere he'll find when you're not there... or write on the outside do not open untill10pm or whatever. one day slip some "underthings" in his car before he heads to work so he happens to find it.... you get the point. make it sexy, make it loving, make it funny. just make it happen.
    Like Nate said and what 'm going through now... it's HARD on a marriage IF you let it be... you can spice it up, you can make it like Daniel said the most special time of your marriage... something that you'll look back on in 20 years and say "remember that time we worked opossite shifts and I was missing you so much that I ......" you fill in the blank. You have to get creative but you can make this fun and exciting .... you can't have all work and no fun THIS just might be what you need to bring all super close right before the baby comes.
    Jessica Auner
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    (a Reformed Baptist church)

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    I glad to see your husband got a job. I remember there being concern about his employment. God has his plan in all of this.
    Aaron Josh Wright
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    Mindaboo's Avatar
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    Have you considered tutoring somwhere? As a homeschool mom I know that lots of other moms would rather pay someone to do some of their work. If you know a foriegn language that is a huge asset. Most of the moms I know put their kids in some form of tutoring when they get to higher levels. And they would probably be willing to be flexible with schedules and would totally get the baby thing. Sometimes you just need to think outside the box.

    I will be praying for you and your husband as you make this difficult choice.
    Mindy
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    he beholds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim G View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott1 View Post
    Don't become overly dependent on the wife's income. Husband should set some guidelines on this from the get-go.
    This is part of the problem. My husband was in school for the last two years, so we have lived exclusively on my paycheck since we've been married. Now that he has a job, we're planning to live exclusively on his paycheck and save my entire paycheck (after tithes/offerings). Since he makes $3 less an hour, we're just not sure what that will leave us to live on.

    Thank you for your other advice as well!
    This is a little bit like what happened with us. I taught at a Christian school while my husband got his Masters. We thought we'd wait a while to have kids, so we planned on being able to afford to both teach at Christian schools (we'd make together less that what one would make alone at a public school, but knew we could work it). However, we got pregnant and our son was born in June, at the end of my school year and right after my husband graduated--thus having us "switch places," except we could not afford to live on one Xian school teacher's salary.

    We never had the different shifts, dilemma, but we did have the low income dilemma. Thinking just with my head, I would probably try to tough it out for a little bit until a little before the baby came. However, in reality, I doubt either of us could handle not seeing eachother, so we'd make do on the smaller paycheck earlier than expected.

    Is there any possible way that you could convince your job to let you work from home in the evenings?
    J.L.



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    Kim G's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the advice and prayers. Josh found out today that he actually starts second shift on Thursday. For now, I'm going to take my lunch break at 3 to get him to work (my lunch hour is completely flexible), then when I go home at 5, I'll try to sleep for 5 hours or so. Then I'll make supper, pick up hubby at midnight, and we'll both go to bed together after we eat. Lord willing, we will both get more than enough sleep this way, and we'll be able to see each other a little more too.

    That is our short-term solution. He talked to his boss today and was told that he is high on the list of people that want first shift, and that it is possible he will receive first shift within a couple of weeks. Until then, we will work things out.

    Once again, thanks for all the advice re: food, transportation, etc. I have a number of ideas to help make this work now.

    God is good!
    Kim G
    Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church
    Greenville, SC

    Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
    Psalm 86:11

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    I'll be praying for you all that the schedule gets resolved sooner rather than later.
    Edward
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