Alternate Work Schedule. Opinions? — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Alternate Work Schedule. Opinions?

Hello, everyone! I feel like I’m not seeing as much new activity but that may be just me not able to visit as much! (Anyone else having trouble with the new layout?) I’m hoping there are still enough people around to help me debate some pros and cons about a new work schedule. I go back and forth and can never make up my mind!

The proposed schedule will be a 10 hour shift, 4 days working, and 4 days off. So you see it’s not set days every week. Because it’s basically an 8 day schedule, the days I work will rotate every week. This will mean a few weeks of working weekends, and then a few weeks with weekends off. The weekend issue would only really inconvenience time with other family who work regular hours. DH works all weekends and I work some. We already work opposite schedules to avoid child care costs and keep LO home. A lot of friends and family say go for it because it’s like a 4 day vacation every time, but I’m hung up on the fact that on the working days I will be gone for my 10 hour shift, plus 1 hour lunch, and 30 minute commute. That’s a long time to be away from my baby! So, I just wanted to hear from some people who can relate to my situation. How would any of you feel about this work schedule? Any of you already working something like this that thinks it works better?

Re: Alternate Work Schedule. Opinions?

  • What's your baby's daily schedule like?  I wouldn't want something like that because DS is in bed by 6:30 every night, so the only time I would have with him would be the motn wake ups and whatever time we have in the morning before I had to leave for work.  If you think you'd still be able to spend some time with your LO every day, it could be a good opportunity.
  • When I first went back to work, I left two hours early every Wed, Thurs, and Fri, so I could have a little extra time with my LO. More often than not, though, it became running for my stepsons' sports, and errand running, while my LO still was at daycare. I then had to make up those 6 hours on the weekend, and sometimes timing-wise, that was really tough. Additionally, when I set that schedule, it was to get more time with my daughter, but I spent LESS time with her, because I was having to make up those hours on the weekend. (When she was really little, I just brought her in, but as she got older, it became impossible.)
    I'm now back to 8-5, with an hour commute each way. Even though I'm getting only an hour with my LO before she goes down for the night, it's worth it, because I get to have the weekends where I don't dread leaving her again. I can say by about 3 every day, my heart just aches to get back to her. I feel panicky, almost. I'm told that it never goes away.
    I don't think I've helped you, though. Whatever choice you make, it will be the right one for your family.
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  • A friend of mine does 4 on 2 off and she loves it, but her days are shorter (8 hours) and her son is school age. It's nice to have different days off because there are more things to do. 

    I have a coworker who does four 10 hour days and then has 3 days off, and I couldn't do that. The days are too long. But in your case, having an "extra" day off per cycle just might make those long days worth it, especially if your alternative choices are 7 day cycles. Four on four off sounds decent, as long as your SO is on board and willing to pick up the extra slack on the days you work. And as long as you also enjoy long days with LO. Haha. (But seriously.)

    Ultimately it's whatever makes sense for you. If you think this schedule is appealing, go for it. Nothing in life is as permanent as it seems so you could always change your situation again in the future if it's not working out.
    Mamabeagle
  • I agree with pp. It all depends on what works for you. I agree the 4 days off are nice, but I personally wouldn't want to work 4 days in a row. I work 3 - 12 hour shifts a week and never like to work even 2 in a row. My LO is down at 6 every night, so the only time I get to see her on work days are the 30 min in the morning while I'm feeding and getting her ready. So even 2 in a row for me suck bc then I only get 1 hr with her in 48. So do what ever makes the most sense to you! 
  • Thank you everyone! It's not looking too good...haha. I'm thinking the only way to know is to try it. LO already has a late bedtime (9pm) since her dad works 2nd shift and keeps her during the morning, this way he gets some sleep too. So depending on what times I would be scheduled, I may still be able to see her before bed. Everything is just very up in the air and hopefully if it doesn't work out, I'll be able to find a better schedule. Thanks again for  your input!
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