Posted in Working Parents

Wife works 5 out of 7 nights a week and I’m alone with the kids. Looking for advice

I’m a dad of three amazing children (11, 6, & 5) and also work full time. My wife was a SAHM for 10+ yrs.. now went back to work 6 months ago.. challenge is that I only get one night off (or two if lucky) without kids.. To add to that, I now also have the kids every weekend while wifey works -Fri, Sat., Sun day & night every weekend (while there are financial gains with the change, as supporting family financially for over last 10+ yrs was no cake walk too), the downside of being alone with kids every weekend day/night & most nights of week alone takes some getting used to say the least..while the good side is definitely having the extra time with the kids & that’s rewarding, I’m nonetheless realizing the only way to keep my sanity in future is to connect with like minded parents in similar situations and by welcoming new ideas & trying new fun weekend activities Positive side is I’m keeping busy with kids on weekends and trying to mix things up: between zoo & children museum and other fun activities, but always looking for other ideas and/or parents who may be in a similar situation + have any recommendations, etc

  • Elle
    Feb 03

    From a family where both parents have big careers... I guess I don't understand your question?

  • Anonymously
    Feb 03

    I think what he’s saying is he needs a break for himself maybe? Lol I would ask close family that you can trust to watch the kiddies for a few hours then you know...spend time with the kiddies after.. Take them to family functions where there will be other kids around or if you have friends of your own that u like to hangout with who have kids you can have a lil play date plus you’ll be hangin out with the guys. That’s helps for me and my other half.

  • Michelle
    Feb 03

    Kids are tough whether you're male, female, mom, or dad. Whoever stays with them, as mich as you love them, can be equally a challenge in patience, energy, and excitement at times. I totally understand. There are apps that help to give ideas of different activities, like Kinedu. Not sure how old the age range goes. Sometimes just the venting alone helps. Which is why this platform can be so great. So that others offer SUPPORT. Hang in there. As someone who was deep in a full timee career, and suddenly shifted into a SAHM, I can relate to the transition being a real adjustment. I think mentally, once you "surrender" to your new normal and move forward without trying to cling to your old routine (which is hard), it may get easier. Long enough to adapt anyway.

  • Stacey
    Feb 03

    Definitely try to keep busy, preferably with other parents to so you get some interaction. My husband and I used to have this schedule too but I would be home at afternoon/night while he worked. I go to work very early in the mornings so it would make for a very long day and lonely night! I now have just one evening like this but it is still hard! I try to get the kids to play on their own for at least 1/2 hour when i first get home so i can unwind. Try to ask your wife to have the kids all ready before she leaves so you can head out quickly without too much hassle. I like to be out until about dinner time so when you get home with the kids they are usually tired and quiet...make dinner, baths and bedtime. Then you get to enjoy some quiet time to yourself at night (I ended up loving this part after a while!)

  • Anne
    Feb 07

    Setting up a schedule helps a lot. Tuesday taco night. Friday order pizza and watch a movie. Saturday cleaning day. Sunday bake cookies. Etc. Sticking to a routine makes managing the kids easier and allows you to better build in some time for yourself. (Movie night is really “I get to sit on be couch for two hours night”) It’s tough with two working parents. You can do it! Good luck!

  • Danny
    Feb 09

    Thanks (Michelle, Stacey, & Anne) & rest of you for the awesome replies! I appreciate the useful info and encouraging thoughts and will try to reply to each note once time permits, hopefully sooner than by next Christmas/Hanukkah with all on plate etc.. Can tell by the fact that I’m writing this at 3:30am + a week after originally posted (fell asleep on the couch right after bedtime) as wifey was working, (brought kids to chuckie cheeses..pre-story later..) and now can’t fall back asleep.. clearly can tell I can use any advice & creative ideas I can get lol

  • Anonymous
    Feb 11

    Your greatest asset to ask for advice is ur wife. Since she was SAHM; did you ask her how she did it. I would take her ideas and try to work with them until you get used to the new schedule.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 14

    Cheering for you! it's a joyful and exhausting endeavor. You're doing great. Outings, outings, outings! This has helped our family tremendously, as it prevents cabin fever and let's you take a mental break while the kiddos are preoccupied with other stimuli/kids. Things like park outings, library story times, Michael's art classes, Home Depot kids workshops are all low cost or free things to keep everyone busy until meal or bed time. Your local library might even have free passes to museums, too. And like other parents wrote, also having a plan or routine in place helps, too. Breakfast at 7:30, Snack around 10, quiet hour at 2 PM (read a book, or no-noise toys, etc). I also use Pinterest to get ideas, too but if each child has an interest or hobby, you could make each day or week all about that and adapt it to each age. One likes whales? You could get a whole bunch of books about whales from the library and take turns reading the pages, or act out the story together, visit an aquarium that has a whale, learn whale sounds and quiz each other on them, watch a documentary, and/or do a whale craft. Holidays like Valentine's day can also have tons of activities/crafts to do through a google search. Family friendly activities may be on your town or county calendar, as well. Also involve them in household chores to kill two birds in one stone. Folding laundry? One's got socks, another, towels, etc. My little one loves cooking, and will add spices, retrieve ingredients for me, and mix stuff together. So I get lunch done and she's learning a life skill at the same time. She also eats with more gusto when she's helped prepare something, so go figure. Again, you're doing great, and connecting with others serves as a resource. Good luck!

  • Mama
    Feb 14

    See if there are any homeschooling groups you could connect with. Social for you and the kids.