Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Changes in my life

This post is a bit more on my personal life and things that are changing in it which ultimately affect my challenge. Some of you know that I am separated. I have been since Nov 2009, but we have been working hard on things and it has gotten a lot better.

One of the big problems has been his work. He works 12 hour shifts, usually leaving about 5am and getting home 6:30pm or leaving 5pm and getting home around 6:30am. With only 24 hours a day, 8 for sleeping, him spending 12 at work, 1.5 commuting, 1 to get ready, that leaves 1.5hours a day. Once you take out dinner and the fact he is so wasted from work he usually wants more than 8 hours sleep it actually leaves NO time in the day for playing with our daughters or time for us to go on a date or even talk.

Now, his roster was supposed to be 7 days a fortnight, which is not so bad. Except it alternated between day and night shift, alternating days each week, with week 1 being 2 days on, 2 days off, 3 nights on, week 2 being 2 days off, 2 days on, 3 days off. Then the following fortnight it would swap, where the nights were the fortnight before are now days and the days now night. Every night shift results in the day before and after the shift in him sleeping. PLUS he is never just doing the 7 shifts it is usually 10 – 12 shifts. As you can imagine on the rare day he is not working, he is so exhausted.

He is in a bit of a tricky situation in that the contract his work had for a certain site finished and he has had to become a “floater” between sites. So at the moment he has no permanent position anywhere and just has to say yes to every shift otherwise he will get no shifts. Sounds like fun hey?

He has no qualifications, doesn’t feel comfortable in an office setting and doesn’t want to get any qualifications. He worries so much about being able to provide for the family that he has been working himself to an early grave.

After much discussion about many things, more than just work, we have come to some decisions. We will be getting back together, but we will be switching roles. I love my daughters, but it will be better for me to go to work (don’t shoot me, I know I said work is not for me, and it’s not, but hear me out) and him stay at home.

You see, I have a higher earning capacity and enjoy working. I am also able to get employment that does not disrupt our family life so much. You see, our family is the most important thing to us and his work makes family life impossible. So by working for a small time, until I have investments and such so that I won’t need to work is the only thing we can think of to fix this situation. In the few years of our daughters lives, even before the separation it has not been uncommon for him not to see them for days because of work. He leaves when they are asleep and sometimes they are asleep when he gets home.

He will be doing some casual work here and there, but he won’t be working like he is now. He will be doing something he loves.

The differences between me working and him working are huge. I will have set hours, not get called in at 2pm to go to work at 6pm for 12 hours, not have 12 hour shifts, 10 – 12 days a fortnight. I will have more flex time, more bonuses/perks in my job than his.

Me working will mean we can both take better care of ourselves health wise, we’ll have more time together as a family, time to work on our marriage and actually see each other. It will be a massive improvement for our lives.

There are some down sides, like it means less time for me with my daughters, but I will be ensuring the time is more quality time. I will still be cooking dinner, but he will be doing other house work so it won’t be like I have 2 jobs. He is more of a perfectionist with the cleaning than me and does do a really good job. He has had to do everything for himself since we separated and has no problems with this. It will also mean less time to work online.

Whilst it will sort of change the dynamics of the challenge on one hand, on the other it won’t. Yes I will be working, but I will not be using my wage as part of my challenge. My wage will be going to support the family, exciting things like food, petrol, housing, bills, you know the exciting things. Lol.

My aim is still to do it myself, using investments, online things, hairdressing, whatever I can myself to earn extra income. I still aim to complete it by 2015, without using a working wage to do it.

Plus, hopefully I won’t actually be working for that long, because I really am not an employee. We’ll, see. I am job hunting now. Hopefully I will get something soon, but I also hoping some of the things I have been working on will come to fruition soon, so employment will not be a long term thing for me.


  1. My partner and I got to a point like that too. Really the only other option was to swap roles and him stay at home, but his work decided to accommodate the hours he needed so that he could stay there. I'm still looking for work though.

  2. I'm glad I am not the only one. We tried getting them to accomodate better hours and his previous boss was trying, but the new boss doesn't care and has now put him on all the worst hours for us! GRRRR.

    Good luck job hunting! It's oh so much fun! lol.

  3. It took us a few years to get there, DP originally took pay cuts just to get the hours better hours but they never gave them to him. I wanted to swap so I would be at work but DP wouldn't agree until it was too late and no-one will give me a job. If his work hadn't changed his hours, we would both be on centrelink payments and looking for work. I couldn't have gone on the way things were.

  4. I'm glad to hear that you've both decided apon a plan of action. We all have to do what's right for our families at the time.
    Best of luck. I'm sure you'll have a job in no time.

  5. Argh! I was supposed to add, YES job hunting does totally suck. It's even harder in a country town, and when you have 3 kids, and haven't worked for 4 years...errgh lol Everyone thinks I'm useless. So I started a blog so i can pay them out.

    Hopefully we will both become millionaires and stomp on those people who made our lives difficult lol

  6. I wish you all the best. Family is the most important thing. :)

  7. As parents we do what is best for our children and our families. Your plan sounds like the best solution to the problem at the moment. Go for it. Good luck with the job hunting.

  8. Good luck! Before I seperated with my partner I was working crazy long hours and by the time we made changes it was too late, so hopefully it all goes better for you ;o)

  9. I think more and more families are switching roles. We don't have kids, but I work and my BF doesnt because of health concerns. It works for us, but other people somehow are less understanding and still think tat the man MUST be the breadwinner even though I have 2 degrees and double the earning potential that he does.

  10. Thanks Katiegirl, it is nice to have made a decision.
    MMB, it is hard, I had an interview this week and they were like, so since 2008 you’ve pretty much done nothing? Uh, no I had 2 kids! It can be so frustrating. Luckily for that job I have got through to the 2nd interview stage, so hopefully. It must be so hard for you in a country town. But we will be millionaires! Lol.
    Thanks Dee.
    It is true Alicia, we need to do what’s best for them; they are the most important thing.
    Anonymous 1 – Sorry to hear that it was too late for you. It almost was for us, but since we made this decision (made it weeks ago, but for many reasons couldn’t actually act on it yet) everything has been so much better.
    Anonymous - There are more families switching roles. I do think in this day and age people should let go of the traditional role expectations. We expected a lot of disapproval from my family, because we were going to switch roles once before, but surprisingly they have been very supportive this time. Glad it works for you. We saw something on TV about SAHD’s when we were at my parents, before even telling anyone and my husband got quite excited. So they are out there. I personally know a few and it works really well for them.

    Thanks so much everyone for the support. Hopefully I get a job soon! It won’t be in the hair/beauty industry, I just don’t want that anymore.

  11. It sounds like you have made the best decision for your family and that is the most important thing. It can't have been an easy decision to make for either of you. Its something we have thought of but we also live in a country town and my profession would mean a commute of 1 1/2 hrs every day to get a decent wage in the city. Our plan instead is to find another selfemployment opportunity that we can do together instead. Good luck with the job search.

  12. That's a great solution to a tricky problem. Am happy that you're family can be together again.

  13. Kylie,

    Life can change from moment to moment and good on you both for looking at different options and what is best for your family.

    I wish you well with it all and your goals :O)

    Millie xx

  14. What a great decision - with lots of thought behind it. Perhaps hubby can do some training while he's at home???

    I know you'll miss your time with your girls, but it will DEFINITELY make you have more QUALITY time with them when you do see them, which will still be morning, night, weekends, holidays! Much, much less disruption, and you'll be able to plan things as a family.

  15. It sounds like all the changes are very positive & you want what is best for your family. Good luck with it all!! xo

  16. Thanks everyone.

    Overamillion- That would be hard, but you are doing so well with everything.

    Thanks Holly, it has been such a relief this decision

    So true Millie, it does change and we have to do what is best at the time. Thanks.

    Katy, he might do some training, not sure right now. And I agree, it will be more Quality time.

    Thanks Emma, it is.


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