shift changes killing daddy time

Amanda - posted on 05/17/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I'm a stay at home mom, married to a sheriff deputy who works an hour away from home, 12 hours shifts, that switch from days to nights every two weeks, sure he only works 15 days a month but he is so tired after work and the first day off I feel my son suffering and I feel gulity for asking for help! He is old 5 months old so daddy doesnt do much with him anyways, but always tells him one day they will be going fishing/hunting/shooting together will that one day come to late? I understand my child is young and has plenty of time to hang out with daddy in the future but what about now aren't these important days too? Plus I really don't care for the law enforcement attitude that I think comes with the job and I don't want my son to pick up on it.

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Sarah - posted on 09/26/2009

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I agree that bonding time is still important, even at this age. Fortunately, my husband's department does not do 12 hour or swing shifts but he did have to worked nights FOREVER. Which means the usual issues of he can't wind down some days, sleeping all day but not getting rested, nightmares, and yes...the cop attitude. However, right now, it might just have to be a matter of make the most of the short times you do have. This requires a ton of flexibility and forgiveness on mommy's part and work on daddy's part but it was worth it for my daughter to adore her daddy. For example, say daddy got home and can't fall asleep right away, he can take 15-30 min to rock baby while he watches the tv. This means he's not tuned into you and he'll probably sleep ALL day, get up and go right to work but at least he got to spent a little time bonding. Susanna is 13 months now. She waits for daddy by the front or bedroom door and still has problems being flexible with daddy's schedule but she's learning.

It's hard and if your man isn't willing to work with you it will be even harder. It takes strong women to be married to a cop and make family life work but I know you can do it!

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My husband worked homicide until my son was 2. He was always on call and exhausted. He slept most of the time he was off and had to leave in the middle of events many times. My son used to tell daddy to go away and hubby was truly hurt. He asked why, and I told him they needed to bond and spend time together. Around 2 1/2, when my son was able to communicate they grew much closer. I made them go out together just the two of them and now he adores his daddy. My husband has changed his schedule again and leaves before the kids wake and comes home after the kids are asleep and both kids ask for daddy. I can tell my son really misses his daddy, but the little time they do spend together it's lots of fun.

So your husband should spend time with your new baby, these days are important. Just holding him and talking to him for a little bit. But it's not the end of their relationship if he doesn't, your son will form a bond with daddy. Maybe not as tight of a bond with mommy since you stay at home. My children still want me when they are tired, hungry, or just not feeling well because I am with them 24x7. I think most kids want mommy when they need to be nurtured.

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