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XP: Working Opposite shifts

IAmSherlockedIAmSherlocked
100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
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edited August 2014 in 9 to 5
I don't normally post on here, but I was hoping I could do a little bit of venting and maybe get some suggestions on how those of you with spouses who work opposite shifts make it work. This is long so there are cliff notes at the bottom if anyone is interested. :)

DH works for a large company and he works the night/swing shift from 4pm-1:30am Monday-Friday, so he leaves for work at about 3pm and gets home around 2:30 in the morning. Originally we moved halfway across the country for this new job and he worked days, but then they went through a few rounds of layoffs and moved people around to different departments/shifts so as to keep as many people as possible. He's been working nights for almost 2 years now (it was supposed to be just a temporary thing), and I feel like I'm going crazy. He's put his name on the list to be transferred back to day shift because technically he has seniority over some people on that shift so he is supposed to be given priority, but each time he's asked about it they say if he does get put back on days it probably won't be until sometime next summer. His schedule makes it hard to do much of anything together...he goes to bed around 6am and wakes up around 1pm-2pm, at which point I make breakfast (well lunch for me) and we share a meal together. That's about the only time DH and I see each other any more. I've given up trying to get him to do anything on the weekends because he sleeps in later and then claims he had a hard week at work and he just wants to stay home, while I've been in the house all week and want nothing more than to get out and do something. So on the weekends I usually go shopping (and spend money I probably shouldn't, lol) or just drive down to the park to get myself out of the house.

Meanwhile I work from home for a company that requires me to work 8-5 M-F (although in reality I'm on call/working until about 7pm because that is when their office closes since they're in a different time zone). Lately I've been finding myself getting really lonely and bored. It's hard to make friends working from home, and the only people I really know around here are wives of DH's coworkers (who really only seem to want to hang out when our husband's are around). I'm just so sick of being home alone all the time--it's gotten to the point that I've started looking for possible job opportunities so that at least I'd be in an office with other people but the only things I've found pay about half of what I'm making by working from home and would be at least an hour commute. I've tried going to the gym to meet people or trying to meet some of the people that live in our neighborhood but no luck (I had befriended a neighbor at the apartment complex we lived at when we first moved here, but she has since moved to another state).

I guess I'm just wondering what those of you who work opposite shifts do to spend time with each other? Any tips for not getting lonely while you're eating dinner alone or cleaning up from dinner by yourself again for the millionth time or how to make friends after you've moved to a new place? I seriously need some human interaction--I'm afraid I'm becoming a crazy cat lady by staying at home and talking to my pets all day! :)

Thanks for any tips and for letting me vent!

 Cliff notes: DH works nights, and I work at home during the daytime. We rarely see each other because of our schedules, and since I work from home I've been having a hard time meeting new people around here so I usually just end up staying at home alone. Just wondering if anyone has any tips or suggestions on how to make this whole opposite shift thing work out. 

Re: XP: Working Opposite shifts

  • My H also works overnight shift.  He gets home around 8:30-9am and sleeps until 1pm.  I go to work during the day, but I live in a new area and don't know anyone.  I work from 7-5 M-F and get home around 6pm if I can swing a non-packed train.  If I were in your shoes, I would consider joining a club of some sort.  I think it's more difficult because people don't realize the level of intimacy you lose by simply not sleeping next to your husband at night. (We've been living together for nearly 3 years now.)  Mine has been working overnights for probably a year and a half now, and I'm so sick of it.  We constantly discuss that he needs to get a day job because I hate that he works overnight.

    So, here's my advice, find a hobby that you like.  If you enjoy going out and playing with your dog, go to a dog park or look for a meetup group online that socializes their dogs together.  If you enjoy reading, join a book club.  If you enjoy running, they have clubs for that too.  Think of something you enjoy, and find a club for it in your area.  If they don't have one, make one!

    We'll be alright.  Just remember to spend what time you can with your husband.  Every other weekend, have a picnic when he wakes up, or make a deal that you'll have a date lunch once a week.  A date will make you feel closer.
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  • Well, I know exactly what you feel. I'm doing the graveyard shift in a Hotel and I moved to a new country around a year ago. Me and my wife we have been married for a here as well, you basically moved to her country, got married and start living together. About 4/5 months ago I got this job in the same place she works. 

    But I feel the same way as you, that I'm becoming increasingly non-social because It's very hard to make friends at work and I don't really have much of a social life since I sleep most of the day.

    What I can say is that you try and enjoy the time when your husband get's home at night by doing something and try to get him to compromise about having some light fun at weekends. You need to understand that day-time sleep is nothing compared to night sleep and it's really hard on the day's off to actually do something. But with love and commitment you can do it!

    About socializing try club's or sports, I am not the best person to suggest anything since I've been here for almost a year now and made no friends what so ever. 

  • I'm no longer in this situation because my DH found a new job but I definitely know what you're going through. What we did to make up for the missing time spent together was schedule dates on the weekend. It was usually about one Saturday or Sunday per month. Hope this helps!
  • This sounds so much like my hubby and I!  We moved 1200 miles last year for my hubby's job & we are on completely opposite shifts.  I'm 9-5 (M-F) & he's 4pm-2am (Monday-Thursday).  I don't see him during the week except for maybe a 5 minute convo when he's half asleep & I kiss him goodbye.  I don't get to fall asleep with him, but I do get to sleep next to him for a few hours & wake up to his face.  Friday's he'll have lunch with me & the weekends are all about us (we both wake up fairly early & looooove doing pretty much anything and everything on the weekends).

    I eat dinner alone every night.  I'm in a really bad habit of eating and watching TV or my DVR, to entertain myself.  Mostly, I enjoy the time to really un-wind after work and have "me" time.  It does get lonely from time to time -- especially since my closest friends and family are so far away.  I will do the occasional happy hour with a few gals from work, but that's about it.  My hubby and I have made some mutual acquaintances here, but it seems the older you get, the harder it is to make "new" friends!

    I would absolutely recommend looking into volunteering to get out of the house and just be around people.  Get involved with something.  Or, find a club to join that does something you enjoy.  
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  • I am having to deal with the same thing. I used to work two part time jobs but was able to kind of sort of adapt my schedule to his. He works from anywhere from 10am to noon to about ten or eleven pm at night. I just started a full time 8-5 job which is helping us drastically financially. However, I wake up while he is still in bed, and go to sleep before he gets home. The only time I see him is if he is off work, and we can hang out until I go to bed, or if he can make it to my lunch at work. He almost never has any weekends off. Luckily, he will be on vacation next week so we can have dinner together all week.

    I have had a hard time adjusting to not seeing him much. I do not have any girl friends to hang out with either so it is making me feel kind of lonely. Since starting my new job we have been keeping a notebook out on our counter to write notes back in forth. Its out anytime the other is sleeping communication book and we have found that it really allows us to share a lot more with each other we would have other wise missed.
  • edited March 2016
    Hubs and I work opposite shifts, and we have for over ten years. It has saved us loads on childcare costs, and we have both been home with our kids since day one. I have learned  to feel comfortable doing a lot of things on my own, and my quiet evenings alone after the kids are in bed is my complete ME-time. I've learned to make the most of the weekends when we are home together, and we take vacations as a family and occasionally as just a couple. It's quality over quantity all the way here.
    ETA: Our social life is the thing that went out the window. We have a few close friends we see here and there, as well as our family nearby, so any "social" time is with them these days. We don't get out much..


  • Ugh, I'm so sorry, I know exactly how you feel! Husband works in the restaurant industry and I'm in healthcare. We have had opposite schedules for several years and likely will forever :( and it's exactly why we are getting a dog. 

    I find that actually scheduling stuff for me to do outside of the house when he isn't here is helpful that way I'm forced to get out and socialize w/ or w/o him. Otherwise I'm a super introvert and will just sit in my PJs sad and lonely. lol I've taken free classes at Michaels, done some volunteer work, etc. 

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