Career Choices Affecting Kids....

Updated on November 14, 2012
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
26 answers

Husband quit a job that was depressing him (seriously I almost put him in the damn hospital after two mental breakdowns of some sort), and has been unemployed for over a month. He has great qualifications in his field and it has never been hard for him to find jobs with his resume. There is a company that is interested in him, and he is VERY interested in working there. It's a great career step for him. Everyone in my husband's business is recommending that if he gets the offer, to TAKE IT. It's a reputable company in the industry around here, the pay and benefits will be good, but most importantly, it will be great experience for my husband. That said, the one caveat is that if he takes the job (should they offer it, and it sounds like they will), it will be second shift (roughly 3pm to 11pm). They told him that once a position opens in 1st shift, he could move, but who knows how long it would be.

This is a problem for several reasons. One, we are having a baby in 2 1/2 weeks (December 1). I work full time. The thought of working all day, and then having to deal with our day-to-day with two daughters (8 and 5) and a newborn, all by myself, all week long, makes me incredibly nervous. When my husband worked his last job, he was out of town for weeks at a time (traveled about 50% of the time), and my five-year-old daughter was greatly affected by that. She would cry herself to sleep, she would have potty accidents, and she was just overall noticeably down. My 8-year-old didn't like it at all, but she wasn't as noticeably affected by it as my five-year-old.

So is it "worth it" to make a choice that would benefit my husband's career, while placing a huge burden on our family? I can't see turning this job down if it's offered, but I also can't see surviving the next months or years or however long it will be before he can switch to first shift, only seeing him on weekends, and feeling like a single mother all week long. I'm so torn.

Anybody have any perspective/advice for me?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks ladies. :) It helps to know that others have had to suffer through changes like this, and some come out liking it better. I should note that this is not my husband's ONLY job prospect, it's just the one that would be the most beneficial for his career in the long run. The thought of being by myself with newborn boy in the evenings is very stressful, especially because I have a history of post-partum depression, and the first months after my 2nd daughter was born was pure HELL. I can't imagine going through that again, by myself.

I do have a wonderful babysitter (Bethyskids, she's on here), who will help tremendously, and you ladies to vent with, should I get over stressed, as well as a mother who I'm sure will be willing to help out. If they offer him the job, he'll probably take it, and we'll do what we have to do to get through it. Thanks for helping me to look at it more positively.

Ina G., I get what you were trying to say, it's just that it wasn't helpful at all, ya know?

Featured Answers


answers from Albany on

I actually know a number of families where one works am and the other works pm. I guess they like it since there's much less daycare involved.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband worked second shift for years and we just made the most of the time we had together when we were all home. If he was travailing before this will be better. If he needs it to pay the bills it would be crazy to pass it up. And then like you said when a position comes open on the other shift he can change.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Perspective - he can always quit. Maybe he gets moved to 1st shift in a month - you never know. He can always keep his options open even if he accepts the job. But at least you have income in the meantime.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

99% of how kids react is dependent on how the adults react. If its miserable for the adults, and the kids know it, its miserable for them.

We were a military family... My dad was gone 6months a year at a minimum. We moved every 1-2 years.

I had an amaaaaaazing childhood, with an incredibly close deep relationship with my father.

It's all because of my mum.

My mum made it an adventure, instead of a hardship. She made it so dad being gone wasn't something to be sad about.

It sounds like dad was miserable in his last job, as were you = the kids are going to be miserable as well.

Shift work? It can either be an awesome thing, or a miserable thing... TOTALLY depends on you and dad, how the kids deal with it.


Homework: Instead of seeing it as a "huge burden" try to see how it might be an AWESOME opportunity.

- you get alone time/bonding time with the kids 5 nights a week. That can be a HUGE gift.
- Dad can EITHER choose to sleep from apx 6am-2pm or 1am-9am. Either provides different benefits for
- Dad will be coming home in PERFECT time to handle some nightfeedings letting you sleep a solid 5- 8 hours EVERY NIGHT AND perfect timing to handle breakfast & early daycare if he goes to sleep at 6am.
- If he's getting up at 9am, you might just nix morning daycare all together, having him drop them off after lunch before going to work.

SO. Many. Options.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

That shift is a win win with a newborn! No day care, you can probably find someone part time to bridge the difference with the start time and the end time.

Just remind the girls dad will be there all day when they are off school to play with them. Maybe he can get up and make them breakfast before school. Heck why don't you find out if you can start earlier in the day since he will be there to send them off to school and that way you can get off early enough to pass the baton before he heads off to work.

There is always an upside and it is also an income.

Oh and no, pass the baton was not a play on words. :p

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Here is the deal: you have made the decision to add another child to your family full well knowing how much work it is. It is unfortunate that you have to work full time and that your DH may work a crappy shift, but a career move will undoubtedly benefit your family for years to come.

So put on your big girl pants and make a plan.
Do you have friends that can help when the baby comes? Do you have funds to hire a sitter or a cleaning lady every now and then to take some of the stress of being responsible for the house off your hands?
Your kids will take it in stride if YOU take it in stride. If you get all freaked out by this then so will they.
Make plans for your DH to spend extra time with them on the weekends and maybe in the mornings before school.

I often read "I feel like a single mom" fro women whose husbands work a bunch. I call BS. You have two incomes to support your family, you are together on the weekends and you don't have to worry about child support or custody. You are not nor will you be a single mom. No doubt is will be difficult, but honestly your difficulties will be mild compared to the struggle that many single moms face every day.

I am not saying all of this to be rude, but I really think it is all in your attitude. If you make a plan and work hard to make this a success it will be. If you prefer to feel sorry for yourself and go into it moping and expecting it to go wrong then it will.
I think you can do it and I think it can be a good experience for your entire family, if you decide to make it one.
Good luck.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would much rather adjust to this schedule than deal with a spouse gone for "weeks at a time". He will be in the house every day - in the mornings and on the weekends. I would think your girls would like that.

And, he could be able to move to a different shift in a short time.

Personally, if I had someone home in the morning so I didn't have to get the kids to daycare before work, that would be great.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I have several friends who have deliberately chosen this kind of schedule to reduce or eliminate daycare costs. To me, this sounds like an awesome time for him to try this! He can be at home with you newborn for most of the day and you'll only need childcare for a few hours in the afternoon between when he leaves and when you get home. He won't be there at night, but he will be there in the morning - he can get your girls up, have breakfast with them, get them off to school. Then have a few hours of 1:1 time with you newborn before heading off to work.

My dad's cousin and her husband did this for many years - he worked 6-2, she worked 3-11 and her dad helped out for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Another family I know did this when their twins were born - she worked days, he worked 4-12 and her mom covered from 3-6:30. Another family hired a sitter to be there from about 2-6 and cared for the baby as well as did after-school care for the older kids.

You won't be on your own, and your girls won't be missing him like when he was out of town. He'll just have the early part of the day and you'll have the later part.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

As others have said, this could be a really good thing!
You will save on daycare costs which I would imagine is HUGE.
I would suggest, however, getting a cleaning person to come in once a week, or at least twice a month, to help ease the burden of housework (this may be sexist of me, but I can't imagine the hubby's going to be on top of the housework during the day, at least not as much as YOU would be ;-)
And OUCH not sure why Ina G was so harsh, I think you're concerns are very valid :-(
Good luck, I REALLY hope he takes the job, because after all, who knows when the next offer may come along!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would really sit down and consider your resources. Part of what my cousin and her husband do is he takes the breakfast shift with the toddler. That way he gets some quality time, Mom gets to sleep in, and then their big meal together is breakfast. When my grandmother worked 2nd shift, she took a nap in the afternoon and was getting ready for work when we showed up after school. Our grandfather would watch us in the afternoon til our parents came. This is something where I would consider it and hopefully it will be a temporary measure. It will be a great experience after a bad one and has good benefits.

I would ask him to take on some of the morning duties, even if he takes a nap later in the day, so he and the kids get some time and you don't have to do it all ALL day long. Maybe make a routine of the kids calling him at night to say good nite or if he's on dinner break at their bedtime, he could take a book to work to read to them over speaker phone. He can also make it a point to do the school functions that always seem to be mid-morning that you might not always be able to get to. If he is able to take the kids to school at a later time, then you and he might also save on kid-care costs. No before school care needed.

Since you will also have a newborn, consider things like asking for playdates for both older kids at the same time (out of the house) so you can get some down time with just the baby and/or DH.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

He will be home - he can still help. He can possibly do the morning stuff with your daughters - getting ready for school, etc. And depending when school gets out, may be able to pick one or both up to get them to daycare or whatever. He can help with home care in the morning/afternoon (wash, dishes, etc. And when he is on his meal break at work, he can skype the girls to say goodnight. It's not going to be as bad as being away.

My hubby is in NYC for 6 weeks at a time, home for 2. We skype every night at bedime (me and our 5 year old). It helps a lot. And the weekends will always be yours. You'll just have to work around them so he gets enough sleep then.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You can't decide it is too hard before you even try.

Give it a shot. Your two kiddos are older. You might be surprised at the difference that can make. The fact of the matter is, he needs to have a job, and you don't KNOW how long before he could move to 1st shift. It COULD be months or years... it could also be less than 6 months, right? You don't know. And honestly, having those weekends is a whole lot different than being gone for weeks at a time. Your kids can count on every Saturday and Sunday. That is also a lot different than a flexible never knowing when situation...

With the additional income (you have only the one right now)... maybe you could hire a part-time nanny or maid to help you out a day or two a week. Giving you the weekends to actually spend time together as a family, instead of playing catch up the chores the entire weekend.

How much can it hurt to TRY it?
A bird in the hand, and all that...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

It sounds like a step up from here assuming he gets the job. He can take it and look for more reasonable work during his off hours. If the pay will be wonderful, than perhaps you can reduce your hours to part time.

My husband worked this shift also.. it's amazing how much time he had during the day, it was pretty nice! You just have to move the schedule around some and get used to it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

If it means getting him back to work, and it sounds like it's imperative that he gets back to work ASAP, then I think he should take the job. You'll manage and so will the children because you have to.

I think I've mentioned before that for my entire marriage, my husband has worked a full time day job and a part time night job. Until we had my second daughter I worked full time. After being home for ten years, I'm back part time. My husband just started a new job after having been laid off since March and he's cut back on the night hours because there's a lot of studying and VERY early mornings involved with this new job but once his regular hours kick in he'll be back to the part time night hours.

It's just how we have to do it. At first it was because he enjoyed it. Then when the babies came it was because he had to. You do what it takes

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It's not all bad if he's the type who will really make an effort to offset the fact he's not there after work. ie: He can see the girls every morning, get them ready and take them to school. Lots of dads don't do that and then are only home a bit in the evenings so your daughters will have that morning time instead. He can then either take the baby to daycare for you and/or make dinner so all you have to do is warm it up later. Even if he also does a bit of laundry and cleans up etc, he should still have plenty of time to nap if he's tired. So unless you know it's for years, doesn't sound that bad and could be good. If you know him though and he's not going to dive into helping mornings and helping with the cooking and cleaning some, then I wouldn't do it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Take it and try it. If it's too hard, he can quit or you can decide what to do at that point. Go into it as a positive situation and figure it out from there.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My husband works 1-11 but with the commute he is gone from noon til almost 12. The only time it has affected my kids is when he misses their sports games but they get over it (they are almost 6 and almost 8) He had a chance to go to a day shift 5am-3pm but he hates waking up at 3 to go to work and having to be in bed so early so he went for the 1-11 again for this coming year. it works well for us because he gets the kids ready in the morning and I am able to get off in time to get them from school. Its totally different having him traveling and not seeing them for long periods of time. Its really not a bad shift. The only thing I have problems with is cooking dinner :) I find it hard to get motivated to cook when he isnt there but i do it so he has left overs for work.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

He NEEDS the job.
He also likes this company/job etc.
He SHOULD take it.
This is a GOOD opportunity for him.
For the family.
It will be income.
And as you said, it is a good career step for him.
You NEED to look, long term.
He will have a job, if they offer it to him.
He should take it.
If not... it could take MONTHS AND MONTHS, for him to find another job that is as good or better.
So keep that in mind.
Meanwhile you are having a baby. And you all need the income etc.
This is survival.
He will have a good job, if they offer it to him.
You all will make due.
He will be home, until his shift at 3:00-11:00pm.

To me, this is a no brainer.
If this job is offered to him, and he does not take it... then what?
It may take a LONG LONG LONG time, for him to find another job. Much less one that is a good opportunity with a good company. And with good benefits etc.

Sure, you being home alone with the kids, will not be easy.
But you can do it.
I have done that.
My friends have done that too.
After you come home from work, you will only be with your kids, until they go to bed. So that is not long.
And, you can always have relatives or friends come and help you.

I have a friend, who's Husband works TONS of hours a day. Until late at night. THEN he also, has to travel a lot for work. Out of the country. He is not home often. They have 3 young children. They are a close family and they have a nice marriage. Because, they talk about it and with their kids. AND... the Husband, since he is hardly home due to work, he got his Wife a part-time Nanny, to help her at night, 3 times a week.
He did that FOR his Wife, as a Husband, to help her. And when he is home... he is fully participating in the home and with the children.

Do not... prevent your Husband from taking this job, because you are "afraid" of being home alone with the kids.
You all, talk with your children, explain things in simple comforting ways, and then you will be a "team" about it.
Your Hubby can write special notes for the 5 year old, let her sleep with his t-shirt or something. HE can tell her "I love you..." and that Daddy is going to work but thinks of her etc.
It is comforting the child, so that they don't get anxiety and upset-ness from it and your Husband being at work.
AND he will NOT be out of town for weeks at a time, with this job.
He will be home, if he gets this job.
It is just the timing of his shift, that you don't particularly like.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

So what is your other option? He stay home while you work and support the family? Is that really an option?

If that is not an option then you and the kids will have to adjust. There are a lot of people who work that off shift. He could take the kids to school, have lunch with them before going to work. You may have to work at it but it is doable. You won't be a single mother, it not like he won't be home or at home during the morning hours. I think you are about ready to deliver and stressing.

In the end, what is good for your husband's career is good for the family. I'm old fashion like that. My husband traveled about 85% of the time when we had our youngest. I was surprised there was any time to get preggers! I had a 4 year old and a new born and a full time job. The day I went back to work, hubby went out of town for three weeks. Did it suck, yep. But I did what I had to do. The kids adjusted and so will y'all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

As far as the new baby goes - it will likely be good. He can sleep when he gets home and still be able to take care of the baby most of the day (until he needs to leave for work). You might be able to get a part time nanny to just cover a couple hours in the afternoon. As far as the older kids go - how much sleep does DH need? If he gets home at 11:30 and is in bed by midnight - no different for the morning routine than if he worked days. He can get the kids up, make breakfast and get them off to school. You will have time with them when you get home from work.

I know several women who switched to working second shift so the kids would have more time at home. Of course - the parents see each other less and the kids more.

ETA: I am not sure why someone thinks your husband couldn't do some cleaning (for example 1/2 of it), cook meals or would need to be 'asked' to 'help' with the morning routine. Um - these are his kids and his family too. Also - I don't understand the suggestion for you to give up your job, stay home and home school. You already have a job. If that were the best option for your family - wouldn't the person who didn't have the job be the one to stay home and home school?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I have a suggestion I'm sure no one else would even think of making, (and most will probably disagree with, LOL) but you can take it or leave it. :) Can you afford to stay home for a while and perhaps try homeschooling for a short time? My husband used to work the exact same hours, but for our family it worked fine because I was at home full time and we homeschool our kids so we all got to see Daddy all day and we got lots of family time and then it was only a few hours after he left before bedtime. I know those would be two huge changes for your family, but it would be something to at least discuss with your husband if he did get the job. Then if his shifts changed, you could always reevaluate and go from there. It would certainly mean making cuts, (maybe even major ones) but you might find it to be well worth it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My hsband works the 3-11pm shift. It works well for us, but I don't work full time or have a baby. Working opposite shifts is very practical, as you will be able to save on day care costs, and there is always someone home in case you have a sick kid. I actually enjoy my time alone with the kids during the week. When my husband first took this shift we wanted him to move to a day shift when one opened up, but we like this arrangement so much that he's turned down a day shift more than once now. Kids are resilient, they will adjust to the new schedule quite easily. They can eat breakfast with daddy instead of supper. Also, a five and eight year old will be able to help you with the baby.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

with an entire extra income and better pay you can hire a nanny until his shifts change?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Try it and see. You don't know how it will work until you try it!

Also, would he be able to watch baby for most of the day? That would be a great opportunity to bond with the baby. And he could get the kids off to school every day and hopefully aleviate some stress on you in the mornings. If its a great company, try not to run through all the "possible" problems before they come to fruition.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Sounds like the stress that you are under with him NOT working is really way worse than him working this shift.

It would be hard, no doubt, but your first two are older and more self sufficient and can help out more. You CAN do this and you will be so much less stressed if he is bringing in money.



answers from Dallas on

You have to make sacrafice for your family the benifits will far out weigh all the bad. Yes it will be a challenge and with the economy as it is and jobs being scarce he must take the job if it's a great fit. Ask for lots of help from family and friends

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions