Saturday, January 30, 2010

Resentment of The Night Shift

My boyfriend, Wilhelm, works the night shift at an airline. The means that he sleeps during the daytime. He has Fridays and Saturdays off, but Friday daytime is reserved for catching up on sleep and come Saturday his circadian rhythms are so thrown off that he is sleeping half the day on Saturday as well. We end up hanging out as a family at night time. But during the day I feel like this:

I know he's tired. I get that. But I'm tired too! When he is sleeping through the day (like he is right now) I am up at 7am or earlier and taking care of my son.


Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love spending time with my kid. But sometimes, I need a break! I resent Wil's night shift and what it does to my exhaustion level and my day! He's sleeping and I am busting my ass all day! Meanwhile, most every other couple with children are out having a "family day."

Has anyone had a boyfriend/husband/wife/partner that worked nights? How did you deal with this situation?


  1. YES! The first year of our marriage Yasir worked from midnight-8am, slept for 3 hours, worked his second job from noon to 8pm, slept for 3 hours, and started all over again. We'd keep a "couple's journal" that we wrote in since we'd often go a week or more without seeing each other's faces (I worked and took night classes 5 days a week) so it was hard!!! Granted, we didn't have a kid at that time, it was tough on our relationship and it was hard doing all household responsibilities by myself - but I get that he was SUPER tired from working 16 hrs a day on 6 hours of sleep (or less).

    Is there any way Wil can switch his shift?

  2. Amanda! I love you! That's what I've been telling him! I think he should switch his shift because it would benefit the family more. We could spend more time together and we would all be happier.

    He says he can't. But I think he LIKES the night shift, because he is a night person. Also, I think he might want to apply for different positions within the same company that have more flexibility, even a 9 to 5 based position.

    Tell me more about the couples journal. That sounds incredible and very creative!

  3. Does he get a pay differential for the night shift? Yasir did at his job so that's why he worked overnight, but the extra $1 or $2 per hour isn't worth it in the long run, in my opinion.

    Maybe if you added up the total amount of hours that he saw Ari per week and tell him, "hey you know you only see him for X hours per week?", maybe it would actually surprise him and he'd realize how much the night shift affects the family.

    The couple's journal, I suppose it's corny but we liked it. I bought a small little notebook from Borders and before I'd go to class for the night I'd write him a little note about my day and what I was going to be doing that night in class, and then I'd leave for school and he'd read it when he got home, respond, nap, and go back to work that night. Then I'd come home from school and read what he wrote and so on. I actually just found the journal last month and we were going through it and it was so neat to go back to that first year of our marriage and think back on how HARD it was to never see each other - it made me appreciate our situation now even more and it made me realize that if we made it through that, we can make it through anything.

    Ok that was too long!!! Haha!

  4. I think I am going to try that! It seems he only sees Ari 17 hours/week as opposed to my 54 hours/week of Ari time.

    That's a significant difference. Thanks! I never thought about it like that. I love the idea of a couple's journal! I don't think it's cheesy at all. It's really cool. I will try it.

    I will use it, I hope Wil does!

    Also, your comments are so helpful! Keep them long! I need the insight!

  5. I've done night shift for over 7 years and it's tough! It throws your sleeping, eating, family time, and everything totally off.

    Is there any way he can work a different kind of shift. Like 4, 10 hour nights, or even a 7 on 7 off? I do 7 off 7 on, and even though the 7 on are hard, the 7 off are great for family time, vaction, catching up on housework and shopping, etc. I know not every job is open to the 7 on 7 off, but it's just a thought :)

  6. I really want him to do a different shift. If his job had that work four days and have three days off situation, that might work well.

    I'm so glad you understand! It is so difficult to to anything other than actually work when you have this shift!

  7. You are a great mom!!! I appreciate when you watch him while I sleep.. Ill try to stay awake and not be so LAZY..


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