When schedules clash…

“I’ll take Saturday off if you take Saturday off.”

That’s what he said to me, after a short discussion on how we don’t have enough time to spend with each other.

But me taking Saturday off is not the same as him taking Saturday off. Saturday is a regular working day for me, and not for him. Saturday is an 8-hour day for me, and if he chooses to work Saturday, it’s usually a 6-hour day.

Me taking Saturday off means missing out on a day of double pay; for him, it just means giving up extra “nice to have” cash.

Here’s a little overview of our usual working schedules and how they mesh:

(His working hours are 6-2, but they often work til 5. 11-hour days, eek!)

At least two weekday nights are usually a write off for me due to other commitments. He’s also usually out late one or two nights himself, often on completely different nights. The only blocks of time we really get together for sure are weekend mornings. And that’s why it bugs me when he works Saturdays.

The job that he nearly got before this job would have seen him working the night shift, and would have actually meant more time together (four mornings a week!) Despite that, and the money, I’m kind of glad he didn’t; it would have been quite disruptive and no doubt terrible for his already irregular eating patterns. Not to mention those four mornings would be a tradeoff for basically no waking hours together on the other three days of the week.

Yeah, it’s a pain not having any regular days off together. It means rushed Sunday morning grocery shopping. It means sometimes coming home to a snoring boyfriend and a kitchen full of rubbish and dishes. It means no spontaneous weekend trips.

But it’s a career move, and it means a difference of up to $10k (or more) over a year. I’m going to make the most of it while I can.

Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there working conflicting/opposing schedules to their other half. How do you manage your time effectively?

10 thoughts on “When schedules clash…

  • Reply Amanda November 10, 2010 at 15:10

    I think you should also recognise that not having time together, and having to rush any time you do spend together isn’t healthy for your relationship either. It isn’t necessarily about those weekend trips away – it’s about the curling up on the couch together watching a movie, or the quick dinner you cook together, or the short evening stroll you might take after dinner. It’s the little things like that that really make a relationship tick along, so if you’re denying that in pursuit of your career and money, you’re doing yourself and your relationship a disservice.

    I generally don’t have mornings with Dylan. I leave for work when he’s still in bed, but we have evenings together, and weekends unless I have other plans (and I generally have more plans than him). Even if we spend our evening on the couch on our respective laptops doing our own thing, it’s still a good three to four hours in each other’s company – and we’ll interrupt to show each other funny clips, pictures, etc. There’s that constant interaction, which I think is important to any relationship.

    • Reply eemusings November 10, 2010 at 15:31

      See, I don’t count those cooking dinners together, vegging out to The Big C on Tuesday nights before bed, or him falling asleep next to me while I read a book and attempt to rub his back. Those are kind of granted. They don’t happen every day for sure, but they’re a regular part of our (shortish) evenings.

  • Reply The Everyday Minimalist November 11, 2010 at 02:26

    Well luckily I get to see BF on weekends, so it isn’t that bad. We rarely work on weekends, we keep normal 9-5 hours during the week.

    So sorry to hear that 🙁

  • Reply LindyMint November 11, 2010 at 09:10

    This is pretty much our life too. My work isn’t too demanding, but my musician husband is on the go at all hours of the day. Every Saturday when we’re figuring out the meal plans for the coming week I start with asking which nights he’ll be home. It’s a moving target and kind of sucks, but like you said, it’s what has to be done at this time in life. It doesn’t mean it will always be this way.

    The important part is making each other a priority. Maybe you can drop one of your commitments one night, or maybe you can do the grocery shopping at another time one week. Every once in a while, my husband chooses say no to a gig because he misses us. It’s all about balance and finding what works in the craziness that life can be.

  • Reply Newlyweds on a Budget November 11, 2010 at 12:51

    well, Eric works about 3 days a week–24 hours each shift. so from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. it BLOWS. and for the past two months, he’s had to work every single Saturday. I work standard 9-6 Mon thru Friday. so we’ve had a lot of “i never get to see you” moments…in fact, tonight is going to be the first evening we get together in FIVE days….
    the only way we’ve dealt with it, is I finally got sick of it, and took a day off work so I could spend time with him (since he just started his job, I have more flexibility with requesting time off) and also, i’ll go visit him for his ‘lunch’ hour at his job…it’s tough, it sucks, it’s not the way i want it to be, but I know it’s for his career…so we’re making the best of it..

  • Reply Sandy L November 11, 2010 at 22:22

    That’s my life as well. Last week my husband was in Europe, this week, I’m in the Carolinas. We do see each other on the weekends, but usually one of us is with the kids while the other is running an errand or doing a project.

    I realize that we don’t do enough as a family and for now, it sort of feels like survival mode….to just chug along and try to get it all done. We have to schedule in fun. Historically on the weekends, we’d have 1 day reserved for fun, and one for work/errands, but I haven’t been that good at scheduling lately. It’s a good reminder to do so.

  • Reply findingserenity2010 November 12, 2010 at 10:02

    It’s hard, but I have to schedule time to spend with B still, so we’ll get the odd day or two together once a week until the big move. And probably will have to make time when we move in together because I’ll be commuting for my work, and possibly taking on a different job! This time of year is especially rough, since his boss is making everyone work weekends, but once Christmas comes around, we’ll be taking a 5-day trip together, and I’ll be done teaching until January 18th.

    I guess my only advice to you is to be patient. And I wouldn’t sacrifice working Saturday’s completely, but maybe just every once in a while, if you could swing it. As for me, B’s been incredibly supportive to me while I was working 4 jobs because we knew it wasn’t for forever. It’s going to be much better eventually.

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