How can my wife and I manage time with our kids when we both work?March 21, 2014
By YOU Program Facilitator
Question: My wife and I have unusual schedules. While she works Monday through Friday, I work Wednesday through Sunday. How can we manage to spend time with the kids together?
Answer: It’s difficult to spend time together as a family when both parents work. It’s even more difficult when each person’s time off doesn’t match up.
Regardless of your children’s ages, there are small things you and your wife can do to ensure you spend time together. It will just take some extra effort.
- Read. If both parents are home on certain nights, read to your younger children together.
- Eat. On days when you’re all home in the morning, eat breakfast together and talk about what each family member has planned for the day.
- Schedule. Manage your family’s schedule just as you manage your child’s schedule. Keep a calendar of events in a central location so you know when everyone is available.
- Activities. On days off, start family activities like game nights, and sharing meals.
- Vacations. Plan a road trip and/or vacation with your family. Spend some extended bonding time together that you will all remember when it’s tough to see each other frequently.
- Celebrate. Try to change shifts with a co-worker every once in a while so the family can celebrate a milestone together.
These small efforts add up. From a family breakfast on Monday morning, reading before bed on Tuesday, family dinner on Wednesday, and game night on Thursday, that’s already four family events for the week.
For more information on finding time and activities to share with your family, see the YOU: Your Child's First Teacher book series. In Through Elementary and Middle School, see pages 42-43, 58-59, and 84-85. In Through High School and Beyond, see pages 36-37.