Is my husband being unreasonable?

  1. I currently work a med-surg position that is 12 hour days with no weekends. We all know how hard and challenging med-surg is and I have no great love for it. In fact when my required six months is up I'm looking to change to a specialty floor. The problem is all the specialty floors require nights and weekend rotations. My husband also works nights and weekends at times and is not comfortable leaving our kids home alone all night without an adult there. My kids are 18, 14, and 11. My 18 yr old is a very responsible student who does not party, stay out late, date, etc. However, with my husband being a cop he sees the worst and worries more about our kids protecting themselves than anything. I really don't want to be stuck in med-surg forever. Does anyone think it's unreasonable to have my kids home alone all night at their ages? Does anyone have any advice? My kids already stay home alone at times during the day when they're off school and we have to work and they do fine. They also do fine occasionally getting themselves off to school. Am I crazy for considering this? What does everyone else do?
  2. Visit Nurse ABC profile page

    About Nurse ABC

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 438; Likes: 429


  3. by   kakamegamama
    Is there a way you can coordinate schedules so that one of you is always there at night? There is validity in what your husband says. Not that I am implying your kids can't be trusted, because I am not. However, "the people out there" can't as a rule. I know this isn't an easy place to be and a hard decision to make. You asked for advice, and so I will give it----I would listen to my husband, if no other viable solution can be found.

    I wish you the best.....
  4. by   not.done.yet
    Your 18year old will theoretically be leaving home soon and shouldn't be put in a position of feeling guilty when they are ready to go. Would you leave the younger two alone if the oldest was no longer there? If not, you have you answer. I personally wouldn't leave them alone as a matter of everyday life. A weekend away or something, sure. But not as a habit.
  5. by   Nurse ABC
    My 18 yr old will be attending a local college next year so that's not an issue right now but you are right-that's not fair for them to feel tied down and I never thought of it like that. I'm hoping if I could just hang in there once hired I could transfer to a day position in the specialty area within a year but there are no guarantees. We could probably adjust our schedules some of the time but not all the time. The most I would be working would be two days a week which is why I was considering it. I suppose you all are right. I would probably just be worrying all night long anyway. I will try to find an older family member who can help out and if not I will consider another plan of action. Thanks for your honest replies!
  6. by   Meriwhen
    I think not.done.yet sums it up well. Even if your 18 year old is staying home for college, it's an unfair demand on your part to require him/her to serve as unpaid childcare for his/her siblings. In addition, college is more demanding than high school, and they probably won't have the free time that they had earlier, or may wish to spend it differently. Your eldest may resent being forced by you into such a position.

    Unfortunately for you to be successful in this specialty switch, you're going to need your husband's support. And he does have a valid concern regarding leaving the kids alone.

    Are there any family members/friends in the area that your kids could stay with when needed? Or maybe post on Sittercity or another childcare site to look for a sitter. Also ask around at work to find out how your coworkers are handling it.

    Also, you could consider hiring your 18-year old as the sitter and offer to pay him/her for childcare services rendered...but don't rely solely on that--you should have a back-up plan in case your 18-year old has plans that night or just doesn't want to do it every time. But it's an option that you could consider from time to time.

    Best of luck.
  7. by   VANurse2010
    Maybe your husband should check if perhaps his schedule can be bent. You shouldn't automatically have to do all the twisting and turning with the schedule.
  8. by   Nurse ABC
    Vanurse2010-I agree! I gave up my career for 10yrs so I could stay home with my kids which gave him the freedom to make many career choices he has enjoyed that he wouldn't have been able to otherwise. Why am I the one that has to constantly make all the sacrifices? He turned down a M-F business hour job because he didn't like it but it's ok if I don't like my job? If I wait until my youngest is old enough to stay home by himself I'll be in my mid 50's. I'm afraid they'd hire younger people over me and I'm afraid I will have more physical trouble handling it all by then. I'm hoping by then I'll be back on days! He said he wasn't asking any of our family to stay all night and put them out like that and he would not trust a stranger. That leaves my hands tied!
  9. by   tokmom
    First of all, Med/Surg IS a specialty.

    Secondly, I echo the others, I would not leave my kids home at night by themselves, even with a responsible 18 yr old. This comes from a mom with 7 kids, and I understand how difficult it is to be a nurse with 12 hr shifts.

    As for your age, mid 50's is still young. I think it is anyway. Maybe because I'm pushing 50, lol. I have no trouble keeping up on a med/surg floor and your med/surg skills will come in handy down the road when the time comes to leave, if you want.

    In the meantime, embrace your position, your specialty, heck, become certified (yes there is a Med/surg only certification). It can only help you, if you do want to move laterally. (Notice how I said not 'up'?)

    Believe me..btdt. (((hugs)))
  10. by   nurseprnRN
    I disagree. Your husband is wrong. At 11 I was babysitting my younger siblings; at 14 I was babysitting overnight for other people's kids. Those two are old enough to be home alone.

    If he thinks they aren't then have your husband (who sounds like a typical cop-married-to-an accommodating-nurse-control-guy, sorry for the stereotype but there's a reason they develop) teach them how to dial 911 or give them cell phones with your numbers pre-set in them, check them off on how to cook their own dinners, and express his great pride in their being old enough to help contribute to the family so you can do a job you like, since they have successfully demonstrated their ability to manage during daytime hours.

    Good grief. And good luck.
  11. by   gatoraims RN
    I disagree with your husband as well. I think that for the most part you two can work oppostie shifts. There might be a few nights that you both have to work the same night on that night pay your 18 year old to watch the younger children. That way they might be more willing to do it for a little bit of extra cash.

    I think you need to sit down with your husband and raionaly explain to him what you did to us. You are not happy, you want to try something else, expalin to him nicely that you dedicated 18 plus years to being a stay at home mom and you really want to exlpore your opitions. Do you have an alarm for the house? If not would that make him less fearful of leaving the kids at home? Good luck.
  12. by   anotherone
    I don't know. i stayed by myself as a 10 year old.This wasn't a super safe community either. Many 18 year olds are out on their own with thier own children. However, I think if I were a parent I wouldn't let my young children stay home alone. Since you mentioned giving up 10 years of your career to stay at home............. this is one of the reasons I would want to stay single forever, although I am not on the no kids wagon yet. You also mentioned working only 2 days a week, right? Could you look for a part time job in another specialty that would be just days or evenings? This varies hugely, but where I work straight days/evenings is easier to come by then straight nights . Rotating is the most common by far.
  13. by   fuzzywuzzy
    Quote from GrnTea
    At 11 I was babysitting my younger siblings; at 14 I was babysitting overnight for other people's kids.
    Same here. I don't think it's a big deal to let them stay home alone. In fact when I was 11 we had a nosy neighbor that called the cops on everyone for everything, so my mother actually called the police and asked them if she could get in trouble for that and they said no.

    Maybe your husband just doesn't want you taking the job for some other reason?
  14. by   loriangel14
    Mine were home alone at night when they were 11 & 12.
    I agree that maybe your hubby could try to be more flexible. You shouldn't have to do all the accommodating.