Dealing with Non Typical Daily Schedules

This month I am writing about organizing. Aside from sharing about the organizing and cleaning projects I have going on this month I thought I would share about organizing the day. I am writing this mostly for those who have husbands who work non typical work shifts and schedules.

The typical schedule to me is something like 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday. In reality I have never known this schedule! LOL.. it sounds really nice however. If you live on one of those schedules than life, I would think, would not be the challenge it is when you don’t. But, I really can’t say for sure because I don’t have any experience with this.

My hubby is an aircraft mechanic and works for a regional airline. Aircraft maintenance (and the airline business in general) is a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year type thing. There are 3 shifts: days, swing, and graveyard. He works the graveyard shift (all night). He likes this shift because it is the only one that works a 4 day work week. He also works over the weekend. His shift starts on Thursday night and he works thru Sunday night. His weekend is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now how does a housewife with children deal with this type of schedule? I adapt our life to his schedule. I have come to realize that “normal” is just a state of mind.. LOL.. And our days can look a bit different than the typical day. This is made much easier by the fact we homeschool. We don’t have anyone else’s schedule to work around.

My children like the real weekend off from school. So they have their school days Monday thru Friday. Tobin has also always helped out with the homeschooling so he likes that he can be around during the week when they are doing school and help out (when he is not dealing with other projects, which lately has been the case). My hubby can tend to be a night owl and stay up late on his weekends (Mon thru Wed) and the kids will typically stay up late to spend time with him in the evenings. So our weekday schedule looks something like this..

9:am – up, breakfast
10:am – chores
11:am – start school
3:pm – school done
4:pm – clean up after school, finish up any chores and pick up clutter from the day
5:pm – start dinner
6:pm to 7:pm – eat

8:pm till 11:pm or midnight – family time, bed time

-- And this can vary at any time for any reason.. LOL..

If we go out and do anything during hubby’s weekend, the kids just catch up on school over the actual weekend or in the evenings. I catch up on extra household jobs and projects during the real weekend so I am available to do whatever hubby wants to do over his days off.

It’s really not so hard to adjust to a non typical schedule if you are flexible! In the last 24 years hubby has never had the real weekend off (at times he has had one day of the actual weekend incorporated into his weekend) and for all but maybe 3 to 3 ½ years total he has worked graveyard (1 ½ years he worked days and the rest was periodic times of swing shift). He leaves the house at about 7:pm and gets home about 7:am (10 hour shift plus commuting). I actually find that today I really don’t mind this schedule. When he was on the day shift for that year and half I was driven about crazy with the whole alarm clock thingy.. something we don’t deal with on graveyard! LOL..

Years ago I would get stressed by the fact that our schedule was “off”. It was only “off” because I was comparing it to other people’s schedules. When I stopped doing this and just rolled with what we had I found it so much easier to adapt and get things done and eventually got to the point I am today that I don’t even think about it, it is just ‘normal’ to me.

This month I am just refining my daily schedule a bit. When the holidays came my kids started staying up later (teens, you know? :), and getting up later. So this month we (mostly I should say “they” ) are working on getting up earlier and getting going a little quicker. They seemed to have adapted elaborate morning routines that included a lot of lounging around.. LOL.. so with moms “help” they are now getting back to our “normal” schedule and we are getting more accomplished with our days! :)


  1. You know, I never recall thinking it was weird how different our schedule was, lol. It was more like how weird everyone else's schedule was!

  2. I hear you about unusual schedules! We've always been different from what the general population views as "normal." My husband is a night dispatcher, and I homeschool our younger son. Our older son is working and planning for some further schooling. So it's definitely a juggling act! But it works for us. I was glad to read what you said about stopping comparing yourself to the rest of the world. Best wishes!

  3. My husband is a fire fighter, so I can relate. He works every other day with three and five days off peppered throughout the year. Our families still cannot remember that he works holidays and spends the night at the station every other night. I often forget which day of the week it is! ;)

    Homeschooling really suits us...he can spend every other day with the children. They'd hardly see him at all if they were in regular school.

    Alexandra :)

  4. I've had all sorts of schedules...mostly when I was working it was a very early shift...and I'd have to leave the house while it was still dark and I'd be sleepy by 7 p.m. I think "normal" varies from family to family :) :) :) Although I will have to say that I love getting all chores/errands done the first part of the day, so I have the rest of the time to relax :) :) That's the only thing I really try to plan at this point :) :) I'm glad you have a "schedule" that works for your family :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  5. I was just laughting with my daughter that our typical daily schedlue is NOT typical, hubby works is a spray contractor and his business is weather related, so if it is windy, or rainy he is home, so our "planned" day suddenly changes. Some days I can cope with this most days I have learned to not stress and just go with the flow, what gets done gets done.

  6. My husband is a truck driver. His schedule is different every week. We never know if he'll be home on the week-end or during week days, so I also learned to adjust. Homeschool helps a lot as we can always take days off and spend time with daddy on week days. I loved this post :)

  7. Hi Crystal!
    I have to laugh about the normal schedule thing because we have an unusual schedule too! My husband is in the military and gone for years at a time and when he is home he works from before the sunrises (Physical training) and is gone until later in the evening. I am going to take my kids out of public school when we move back stateside and homeschool. I figure this way when he is about to deploy the kids can spend as much time with him as work allows. My middle child is also having difficulties with him being gone and it is a fight to get her to go to school she is really clingy. I am hoping that she will feel more secure and realize that I am not going anywhere if I homeschool.
    Sarah Lownsbery

  8. Another one to chime in about 'unusual' being usual. My husband is an EMT. When he started work he was on the second shift (they only have two in his county). After becoming a paramedic he switched to day shift. However, the schedule pretty much stayed the same 7 12 hours days with the second 12 hours each day on call. Then every other week off. I haven't had a holiday with my husband in years, most family events see him working as well. After 16 years I'm used to it but no one else can seem to figure it all out, lol.

  9. We've also always had a different schedule than the "norm". My husband has also had various work schedules and the last 4 1/2 years of going back to school. Ive learned to be very flexible with change. Like you said Homeschooling helps alot with this flexibility. We are also night owls and I cant imagine having to stick to "traditional hours" !

  10. Ladies!! Thanks so much for sharing your non typical lives! It is great to read how you have rolled with it all and life still goes on!! We are not alone in our "different" lifestyles.. love it!! :)

  11. This is so funny, because although you posted it Sunday, I didn't get it read until just now. I posted this morning about our schedule and why it is different than so many others. Ha, I just think it is funny! Have a blessed day.

  12. I too have just gotten a chance to read this. My husband is a realtor and does much of his office work from home. He can be called out to show property at a moments notice. He is in and out throughout the day. Of course he is often out of the house during evening and weekends when those with a typical schedule can see property. We have just learned to adapt our day to whatever is going on, knowing that things can and do change often. Homeschooling has made this so much easier.


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