• mamamandyb

Ships In The Night


Have you ever heard the phrase: "Passing like ships in the night"? Basically, it refers to two people who spend brief amounts of time together, they greet each other in darkness with the flashing of lights and then they sail off into the night in separate directions. Latitude, Longitude, their coordinates never quite matching up.


For the past 5 years, Jeremy and I have worked opposite shifts. This is as much a product of our chosen careers as it is a choice of convenience and necessity. He's an executive chef which means his schedule is mainly night and late-night shifts. I work for a coffee shop company which means my schedule is mainly early mornings. When Harlow was born, we couldn't afford the outrageous costs of daycare. We were also obsessed with her, so we both wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. So we made the decision to move forward into a very delicate logistical balancing act- the working of opposite shifts. As it stands now, we have all of Sunday and two evenings together a week. And that's it, unless by some miracle Jeremy is able to leave the restaurant early some nights. It had its own challenges and rewards, that's for sure.



Pros:

  • Independence from one another

  • We each get consistent quality time alone with Harlow

  • We get to do our own thing

  • We both work the same amount of hours so there is never that weird domestic dynamic that sometimes happens when one partner works more than the other

  • We get to watch our own shows (which seems silly but is actually super important when you think about it)

  • We don't have to constantly be trying to entertain each other

  • We focus really strongly on QUALITY time

  • We don't get annoyed with each other as often as we would if we were around each other all the time

  • Alone time

  • We have time to pursue our own hobbies

  • Our time together is special

  • We appreciate each other more

  • We can spend the money we would have spent on daycare on things that are important to us (at least 2 vacations a year, making birthdays and Christmas extravagant, experiences, nice things for ourselves and our home, etc.)

  • It works for us

Cons:

  • There never seems to be enough time

  • Logistics can be (very) stressful when one of us has a meeting or work event that disrupts our routine.

  • We don't have the traditional daily meal-sharing times as a family

  • We miss each other

  • There are some days where we don't see each other at all

  • We each become starved for attention/affection at times

  • It can feel like we're parenting on our own

  • There is a lot of organizing schedules that go into making this work

  • It's hard




I don't think this will be forever for us. Once Harlow is in school full time, we should be able to have some room to adjust our lives and create a more family-friendly schedule. But for now, as hard as it can be, it works.


If you have a non-traditional work schedule and family dynamic because of it, I see you.

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