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2nd Child on the way. Wife doesn't want daycare.

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First off, my apologies because this may be quite lengthy.


Starting in 2010, I started a job working second shift. I never really cared for it all that much, but at the time and even now, it was better than third. I couldn't imagine being up all night long and trying to sleep during the day.


I worked this shift for six long years. Waking up early just to wait to go to work. It wasn't as bad when I was only had a girlfriend (who is now an ex) and rented and didn't have a lawn to mow, a hot water tank to fix, a room to remodel....and NO KIDS. It didn't matter if I went in and worked 11 till 11 or 3pm till 3am. I didn't have to find childcare, I didn't have to wake up early with a child.


That all changed in September of 2014 when my first son was born with who is now my wife. It was very nice not having to pay for daycare and family members would watch him during the times when our shifts overlapped. She worked 9 to 5 while I worked 3 to 11. Basic things like mowing the lawn, changing the oil in the cars, getting vehicles inspected, shoveling snow became very very difficult once my son was no longer sleeping all day long. By the time he was mobile and taking only one afternoon nap, I might as well forget about this projects until the weekend. This always caused disagreements because weekend time was the only family time we had and she didn't want me spending it shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, spending time with friends, etc.


In October of last year, a day shift job was offered to me. We lined up childcare arrangements. Part time daycare with family members watching in the interim.


Finally, a normal life. She worked 9 to 5 and I worked 7 to 3. I woke up in the morning and went right to work. I had dinners at home. It was no longer a big deal to take care of the lawn, fix the vehicles, etc since I was home every night of the week. Parenting was easier as there were two of us home now. She became pregnant with our second late last september.


Fast forward to February and her mom's cancer diagnosis. That wrecked our childcare arrangement. She refused full time daycare, but thankfully her sister stepped up and took her mom's place. I was in the HR office readying myself to go back to second shift. I was devastated. I waited 6 years for day shift. Who knew when another job would become available. It would've been another 5 to 7 years. I was resentful of my wife for not taking my feelings into consideration. I couldn't fathom going back to that shift. Scrambling for childcare when I had to go in at 11 am or not sleeping when I was there until 3am. Turnover there has been awful. I've worked ungodly overtime the past 2 years.


If only I would've known what was coming I would've saved all that money.


My wife mulled quitting her job and being a stay at home mom, but I panicked at the loss of a second income. She hated her job, but couldn't find anything in her field that had a salary worth accepting. It even got so bad she went part time for her mental health. Luckily, she landed a job in her field and is making great money. She LOVES her new job.


With all the backstory out of the way, here's the problems.

1. My wifes sister is taking a new job on a new shift.

2.She is still willing to watch my son and the little one when he comes but reduced hours that means more daycare.

3.My wife refuses more daycare and flat out refuses to put an infant in there.

4. Now that she loves her job she doesn't want to be a stay at home mom, nor make the sacrifices needed for a reduced income.

5. I don't want to be on a back-shift again.


Now there will be 2 kids to parent all day alone while she has 2 kids all night alone. We would be back into scrambling for childcare when the 11a-11p overtime is in effect and I would be back to no sleep when the 3p-3a overtime is in effect. While she would have many sleepless nights as well.


The lawn will still need mowed, the snow will still need cleared. Projects will still need completed. My oldest is pushing 3 and will be out of daycare very soon. Going back to an off-shift is a HUGE decision. The people on first shift are tenured. They show up to work. They don't want to start over somewhere with no vacation, no insurance, no seniority and a HUGE cut in pay.


My dad also works day shift where I work and he is 7 years from retirement. A lot of his coworkers are 7 to 10 years from retiring. There's many people there who worked an off shift for 10 to 15 years before they were able to get a day shift. Seven years from now and my sons will be 10 and seven. That's a lot of missed little league games, halloweens, and QUALITY TIME WITH BOTH PARENTS home.



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Can't you stay on the day shift?


Exactly! If you think it's going to cause problems for your family life then put your foot down. Tell her you're not missing out on your children growing up and feeling like you can't complete your duties as a husband (mowing lawn etc). Could you hire a nanny to look after the children until you return home from work?

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Since it is her non negotiable, ask her to provide solutions that does not involve you changing from your day shift. Tell her you can not do it - it makes you miserable, you want time together as a family, and you'd be chronically sleep deprived. All that, plus the strain on your relationship would negatively impact the kids.


I personally think it's reasonable for the kids to have care during the early day and family time from after three every day. But it's not my family. Open back up the discussion about priorities and where you want to go as a family. Why does she feel so strongly about the children not being in care?


I honestly believe, if this was so important to her, why did she not plan and save in advance to make sure she could provide that? It's not right to lay it all on you to accomadate her non negotiables. Is one of you taking parental leave? Splitting it?

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