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Can your flexible schedule ruin your marriage?

Categories: Relationships & Marriage, Your life


Mir wrote recently about taking on too many projects and having to work nights and weekends to get them done. This after she resolved to spend more time with her new husband and get her working hours under control. And while I made no such public proclamation to my husband, I can relate. I’ve been working until very late at night and on weekends for months now and my husband has been amazingly patient. (The other night he made dinner - I know, I know, he MADE dinner!!! - and called for me upstairs where I was working in the office. I said that I was coming in just a minute and an hour later we were warming up the now-cold dinner in the microwave.)

I’ve been telling myself that this is a phase - launching a new company, moving to a new city - and things will settle down. But that’s a lie. What I do for a living requires a tremendous amount of work and I am committed to making it happen. I’ve worked hard for as long as I can remember and the only difference now is that I work late at night because I take time during the day to be with my daughter. I know I am lucky to have the opportunity to work on a flexible schedule, but it has led to little sleep and very little time doing anything but work at night and many hours on weekends. My husband and I try to watch our favorite show at least a few times a week and a movie with takeout on weekends, but it’s not rare for me to do this while holding my laptop on my lap. We recently went away on vacation and I realized how little time we’d been spending together without our daughter there (we are all glued to each other on weekends and I love that time, but it’s family time, not my time with my husband.)

We talk often here about juggling work and kids, but I think we should talk more about juggling work, kids and our relationships. I think it’s really easy to take them for granted and I also know that is a huge mistake.

I’d love to hear what you think about this topic. Do you carve out special time to spend with your partner or spouse? (And if you do, how the heck do you manage that!?!) Do you feel that your relationship is not a priority since having kids and juggling work?

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4 comments so far...

  • I think this would be a great forum topic for the new “Advanced Jugglers” group here on the site - theoretically, we’ve been doing this for years and may have some insight on this. (Also, I’m pitching for more members :-D.)

    But you are entirely correct about it being a mistake to take our relationships - friends as well as partners/spouses - for granted as we juggle work and kids, and I think that applies whether we work flexible or more fixed schedules. My now-ex-husband and I made work and family time more important than couple time…and that’s probably one of the reasons we’re now-exes. My current husband and I make it much more of a priority - granted, since we only have the kids part-time, it’s easier to find the time in the first place (although we need to work our own “me” time into that space too). It’s unfortunate to learn these things the hard way, but I am glad to have a second chance at it.

    Florinda  |  September 12th, 2007 at 9:47 am

  • It’s advanced juggling, all right. When my second child was born, my husband and I did what we called “Split shift” parenting. I worked part time mornings, and he worked afternoon and evening shifts. Some days I pulled in the driveway and left the car running for him to get in and go. It was tough; we’re both glad it only lasted a year.

    Daisy  |  September 12th, 2007 at 2:31 pm

  • Nataly, thanks for stopping by my site to let me know that you had posted on the very same topic from the wife’s perspective.

    I’ve found that I need to devote special time where my wife and I can have time without the kids. We’ve been trying to do a regular date night, as we hadn’t been on a “date” in quite a long time. Once we had kids we seemed to lose most of our time doing things just the two of us. While it is okay to have a good deal of “family” time, we also need “couple” time.

    Derek  |  September 13th, 2007 at 4:17 pm

  • I just dont’ see how this can work. This is the type of arrangement that causes families to fall apart or just the mom to fall apart. Why not hire a nanny so that you can work during the day and be with your family 100% at night and on weekends? You will get a good nights sleep and spend time with both your daughter and your husband. If you can’t afford a nanny, find an academy that takes infants. Still pricey, but cheaper than a nanny. I really do not beleive that you can keep up thisup and have a solid family. It is more detrimental to work in this manner than to have someone else watch your child while you work and sleep during normal hours.

    Oceans Mom  |  May 6th, 2008 at 1:06 pm