When my husband got his new job, boy were we thrilled. God had blessed our life SO much by giving him the job. My husband’s pay more than doubled, he now would have insurance, and it meant we could finally start planning the next stages of our life. Well, a week or so later when we found out my husband would be working 2nd shift, my heart sank. I loved our life of dinners together every night, staying up late on Friday’s, and seeing my husband from 3:30 until bedtime. We had grown accustomed to first shift living and the change had me devastated. My friend who had been doing it for years and my husband both assured me that it wasn’t the end of the world and that we would adjust. I felt bitter towards the shift change but knew this job was what was best for our family. I began to focus on the positives and get creative with our new schedule. My husband got to train 8 weeks on First Shift and we cherished it, but by the time Second Shift came around, I was ready to make the best of it and had some plans set up for our new life. When we first got the news, I searched for articles about 2nd shift living and shockingly didn’t find much help. Thankfully I was creative and I had my friend to go to for advice. So for the other women out there who are in a similar boat, here’s some tips to get you through it. I am lucky enough to be able to stay home and work on my writing, so your lifestyle may be a bit different, but I know you can benefit from these ideas no matter what kind of lifestyle you have set up. It’s all about making it work and doing what you have to do. These things work well for me and my husband:
Try and get on similar Sleep Schedules: I know for some with Kids in school, this one can be tough. But when you can do this, I highly suggest it. I get up with my husband everyday and we still go to bed together shortly after he gets home. Some people like to stay up all night and then sleep until it’s time for their husband to leave. Which ever way works best for you guys, follow that plan. My husband is tired when he comes home from work, so we like to head that way when he gets home, and then we set an alarm to get up a few hours before he has to head to work. So we spend an hour or so together after he gets home, and then some time before he goes to work and then I do my normal routine after he has left. At first it may be hard to make yourself wake up when you know you don’t have to rush off some where and the hours are there for you to keep sleeping, but it’s so important to make time for your marriage. So set that alarm and force yourself out of bed when it goes off. You’ll wake up shortly after and you’ll be happy about the time you get to spend together. Trust me, I hate the days that we over sleep and I barely get to see him. It gets easier as your body adjusts to waking up at a new time.
Make Dinner for Lunch: I have always found great pleasure in cooking a nice dinner for my husband every night. When second shift came around, I thought our dinner days were over since he wouldn’t be home during dinner time. Wrong! I could still cook and I could still have dinner with him. Our dinner would just be at noon instead of 6 o’clock. I do try and stick to simple but delicious homecooked meals during the week that are quicker to cook because you don’t want to spend all of your with your hubby in the kitchen. I have really been liking slow cooker meals and any time I can prep ahead, I do. Then on the weekends I make my more elaborate dinners that take more time.
Make the most of your time: Do as many household chores and errands that you can when your husband isn’t home. It’s important to make the most of your time together. By getting everything done when he is at work, you can spend the time he is at home, cuddled up to him, not worrying about having to spend a couple of hours at the Grocery Store. Make every second with your husband count. Make the most of it. Don’t dwell on work or how much 2nd shift sucks, make your time together as pleasant as you can. Enjoy it. That way when he has to return to work on Monday or later in the day, you can say that you enjoyed time with your husband that day. When he’s home and you have the time to spend with him, enjoy it being together. Keep things that keep you apart (like errands and girl time) for the time he is going to be apart from you anyways.
Midnight Date Night: My husband and I used to go out every Friday night and then spent the weekend in, being lazy. When my husband went to 2nd shift, our date nights seemed to be over with. By the time he got off, surely everything had to be closed. So we had to schedule our dates for the weekend days. Which meant if something else was going on, we would just have to forfeit our special 1 on 1 time together. Wrong again. Believe it or not, there are some restaurants in almost every city in the world that stay open late. In our town we have Applebees and a local eatery. So on some Friday’s we meet up when he gets off work and have ourselves a little midnight date night to kick off the weekend. I still get dressed up and he takes nice clothes to change into after work. You don’t just have to go out either, you can always cook a nice romantic meal or sit out some chocolate covered strawberries with some wine and have it right at home.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Anytime I give marriage advice, Communication is always something I advise. No matter the situation. So of course it wouldn’t be any different here. Communication is key and one- if not the most- important things in a marriage. Always communicate with your husband. Talk to him about his day, about yours, any feelings you may have and vice versa. Me and my husband talk about everything. Serious things, normal things, silly things. I think it is one reason why our marriage is so strong. I praise communication. It can and will get you through anything. The more you talk, the more you connect, the more you learn. When my husband has a break, we talk all the way through it. If I think of something I want to tell him, like something funny on TV or something that may have happened, I just text it to him. Even if he can’t reply back right away, it let’s him know I think about him, and I still get to share moments of my afternoon with him.
I hope these 5 tips helped you in some way. I know they certainly turned a less than perfect situation into a decent one for us. Of course I would much rather him be on first shift, but I have learned to make 2nd shift work and found ways to enjoy it. Marriage is about adjusting when different things in life come up. No matter what happens in life, our spouses will always be there, no matter what. So hang in there, I know it sucks now but you will adjust and you will get through it. And remember, 2nd shift doesn’t have to last forever 😉
How do you and your spouse handle changes? Do you have any more advice for 2nd shift wives? Share in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
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