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Voices Project | Split Shift Parenting

“You two must never fight.”

It is a statement I hear a lot when I explain that my husband and I work (for the most part) opposite each other in the summer. Oddly enough, it is not really true.

For two working parents, trying to minimize the time our kids spend without one of us is hard. I work in retail so my hours are all over the place, including weekends. My husband has a set schedule of 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.  I work mostly days, so this allows us for one of us to be with our kids most of the time. This is great financially; we have very little day care/babysitting costs. This is also good for the kids; they get to be at home and hanging with mom or dad. 

Unfortunately, what it doesn’t allow for is time of us. There are phone calls and texts and the occasional “honey-do” list. It is stressful on a relationship when there is no real communication–no face time to talk to each other about decisions that have to be made. I think I tell him something as I am running out the door in the morning, but many things get lost in the shuffle. You would think what little time we have together would be all sunshine and roses. However, when we have taken a day off together we put so much pressure on it that it is hard to enjoy it. It is easy to become strangers quickly.

I try to stay awake at night but I am a sleeper, so it doesn’t work out too often. It is difficult to make friends because we are never together to do things lik go to a friends for dinner or meet people at events. I think the baseball coach thought I was a single mother.

However, we do work hard to make time for us. During the school year we have a bit more freedom. For Christmas I bought him several gift certificates to local restaurants that we had never tried. We were able to go for a quick lunch and just enjoy a new atmosphere. We pick one show a season and TiVO it so we can watch it together, usually on a Sunday night when I get home early.

It is all part of the juggling act–work, family, relationships.  It is one I desperately want to keep from falling.


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[author_info]THE VOICES PROJECT: About the Voice

Michelle Fabec is a working mother who loves being with her family. She says her house isn’t spotless and her kids aren’t perfect, but she loves the daily challenges life brings.

Have your own story to share? Submit it via our Voices Project.

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This post was written by a guest writer for Prime Parents Club. We are not currently taking new guest writers.

1 Comment

  1. Prime Parents' Club

    August 23, 2011 at 7:25 am

    LOVED the honesty of this post. I think so many of us can relate. Thank you reminding us that we need to take time for each other or nothing else works.

    /jackie