Working night shift?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2007
Working night shift?
10
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 10:37pm

Going back to work? Night shift


I have a question for anyone who would like to share! I have been looking for a part time job. Today I had an interview and I would love the job working in a residential care home but the problem is the hours are 11pm -7am. My children are ages 17, 14, 10 and 2. my dh leaves for work around 6 am and I am not worried at all about the older kids getting themselves up in the morning. my 2 yr old sleeps through the night and doesn't usually get up in the morning until about 8:30 or 9. Even if he did I am sure that 17 yr old could handle him for an hour or so. I would be home before any of the kids get on the bus in the am but I don't know that I could get used to being awake all night and then waiting until dh gets home at 3:30 to sleep with a 2 yr old.


Has anyone else worked this shift with young kids and if so how did you get used to it or how did you manage? I am not sure I will take it but trying to work out the details. I have family in the area but the ones who don't work aren't willing to help me out a few days a week.


Just thought I would ask what worked for others and see if I could get any suggestions.

Lori


wife to Tony


mom to 4 great guys!

Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 11:22pm

Hello,


When I went back to work when dd was 3 months old, I worked nights. I actually worked 16 hr shifts (still do) from 3p to 7a. When I got home in the morning, I really needed to sleep. Dh was home until 2:30 so I was able to go to bed right away. This is jmo, but i think it would be really difficult to work those hours and then stay up until late in the afternoon. Then again, if you have family in the area that are willing to help and you're only working part time, it wouldn't be as bad as full time. It's definitely an adjustment, but in my situation,

                Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2007
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 11:31pm

I work night shift, but I've never done it with young kids (although I have, from time to time, pulled some day-time care shifts for people who needed daycare coverage when a little one was getting over being sick (couldn't yet return to daycare but not in the throes of the worst of it, y'know?)

It *can* be done. It is NOT easy.

the first rule that MUST be enforced (and that means if you have to get a cell phone the number to which only your dh or the kids' school has, do it), unless someone is bleeding from a major artery or the house is on fire, YOU DO NOT GET DISTURBED DURING YOUR SLEEP. This is right up there in the "Thou Shalt Nots" as spitting on baby Jesus. There is no such thing as "one quick question" or "i just need this one thing" (even if it's your dh and he's trying to get it out of the closet). 3:30pm with an 11pm start work time does NOT give you even close to 8 hours and day sleep is harder to come by than night sleep so the sleep you get must be protected, respected....revered. It will take a long time to become used to sleeping during the day. I, personally, took about 6 months. A friend of mine is currently adjusting to 3rd shift and she's finally getting there about 4 and half months in.

To the extent possible, also, you should try to keep to the day-sleeping schedule as much and as often as possible, even in the weekends and I KNOW that's ungodly difficult, but at least during your adjustment phase, any reverting back to night sleep just prolongs the issues with daytime sleeping. Also sleeping (no matter when) at ANY time is always easier if your body is used to the idea that this is what you do then--even for night sleepers, sleep experts recommend keeping a bedtime and wake time that's fairly constant, even on weekends because it helps prevent insomnia. So for a daytime sleeper, there are lots of advantages at first to make a strict 7 day/week schedule of sleeping--once you find you can sleep deeply and the sound of a mouse sheddinig two counties over doesn't wake you, you can start fudging your sleep schedules on your weekends and days off.

Now...given yourr family etc., I KNOW that realistically that's not going to be possible, especially with 3 school-aged kids and the holidays coming up. Do your best. And DON'T kick yourself when real life doesn't cooperate. Remember? You're doing your best.

so, just dealing with your sleep issues, you NEED your dh and kids on board with this, and then those relatives who aren't workinig and not helping out with childcare?? Yeah, they need to know they may NOT call you during your sleep time and that if they do, expect to get the answering machine (or whichever alternative human in your home answers the phone but they will NOT be handing the phone to you--again, your sleep MUST be protected, respected and revered. (it's not "special" just precious and rare :)

Because of all of this? You need to pare your life down to the bare essentials...Your dh, your kids, your work/adjusting to sleep. Again, this is temporary, but it's also going to be about 6 months to a year before you feel REALLY comfortable with your schedule...and you may have friends and extended family who figure if you're home, you're available. Uh, no. You're dealing with a MAJOR upheaval (new job, completely different sleep pattern than you're used to) You simply don't have it in you to take on anything else than dh, kids and job/sleep. (Well, you might have it in you, but you should at least give the schedule a month before deciding that because I'm here to tell you, sleep always loses. And when sleep loses, EVERYONE loses.

And it's going to seem unspeakably hard at first. You're going to truly believe it will never get better. That's normal. It *does* get better for most people, but it's a REALLY long adjustment and lots of people don't make it. And if they don't, it's NOT a failure. If you don't it's not a failure---you tried. (Again, remember the 'doing your best' up above? Yeah, that.) But people DO make it and there are LOTS of advantages to it.

Grocery shopping on dayshift (like SAHMs and retirees). Believe me, THAT is nice! So is Christmas shopping during the week when there's parking at the mall. Mondays that don't start until bedtime :) Okay, Fridays on night shifts suck :) It's not all roses, but it's not all bad, either. And if you're home/awake with your little one til 3:30pm you can still get lots of things done (doctors' appts, workmen at the house as needed) and not need to take any leave for it. The sleep part is the worst of it and the biggest issue for people as to whether they can make it or not, which is why I emphasize it.

good luck!

P.S. I've been working 3rd shift on different variations (sometimes starting as early at 10pm and sometimes at late as 11:30 and going 8 to 8.5 hours from there) since 1997.

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"Armour.com also has some wonderful tips for emergency preparedness, which include laying in a big supply of canned meat products. When the end comes, you can ponder whether you've been eating the Four Horses of the Apocalypse."--Moon.Pie.Zappa


Click on the Virginia Rescue Center and search for Roxey, VA5165

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"BTW, I hate Lifetime. Their movies will suck you in and all of a sudden you've watched 3 in a row, used every tissue in t

Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 8:08am

My partner is working 12 hour overnights now (7pm-7am) and she basically comes home, eats and sleeps until 4pm and then gets up showers, commutes and does it all over again. I do not seeher, I barely even get to speak to her and by her fourth day of her shift she's a bear. I know she's making a ton of money doing this and she needs it right now but man... honestly..it is REALLy hard on the relationship.

"If gay Americans are not allowed to get married and have all the benefits that American citizens are entitled to by the Bill of Rights, they should get one hell of a tax break. That is my opinion,"

- Jeane "Dear Abby" Phillips, in an interview with Lisa Leff.

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2007
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 8:16am

A lot of solid advice has already been given to you. I just want to add that you also need to consider the noise of your neighborhood. Noises

Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 8:33am

My partner was home trying to sleep yesterday -- and there were workers painting her condo complex LITERALYY outside her bedroom window talking, taking out screens etc... she was a mess.

"If gay Americans are not allowed to get married and have all the benefits that American citizens are entitled to by the Bill of Rights, they should get one hell of a tax break. That is my opinion,"

- Jeane "Dear Abby" Phillips, in an interview with Lisa Leff.

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 9:38am

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 10:29am

Lori- I work part-time night shift as well, 7pm to 7am sat/sun night.

Emily, mom to:

Lucas, 10-2-06

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2007
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 10:40am

Thanks everyone for the advice. I think after reading the posts and mostly my dh's input. I am going to ask if they will consider letting me work just weeks on nights and not the two days a week at nights. I think one day I could handle being awake most of the day but not 3. I apparently, don't do numerous days of sleeplessness well! Lol (dh's attemp at saying I am a grouch without sleep!)


ANyway, I do appreciate everyones input, I hadn't thought of some things that you ladies mentioned! And hopefully they will want me every weekend, if not I will keep searching!

Lori


wife to Tony


mom to 4 great guys!

Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 10:44am

Dh did the noc shift (llpm-7am) when he first started with the group home. But Dylan was in Kindergarten by that time. Dh would come home just as Dylan was getting up in the mornings. Dh would have breakfast, shower, walk the dogs and go to bed. I'd take Dylan to school (he had the afternoon class, 10:45 to 2:10) and go to work (11am to 5/7pm, depending on how much I had to do and fittings). Either dh or one of the girls would pick Dylan up from school, feed him dinner, get him ready for bed. Dh went back to bed when Dylan did. Dh never did get used to it. It was very hard for him to sleep during the day, even in a darken room. As soon as a position as a day driver/care giver opened up, he took it and then got his bus license. He still will go the occasional noc shift if his schedule permits and then need someone to fill in.

Our then across the street neighbor did the noc shift. She was the one who got dh involved with the group home. She came home from work, got their 3 boys (at that time the boys were 1st grade (twins) and 4th grade) to school and then went to bed. Sleep until they came home from school. And took another nap in the evenings before going to work.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2007
Sat, 11-10-2007 - 7:04pm
Earplugs. They're not comfy to sleep in, but you can actually SLEEP. Talk to me about the year they replaced all the roofs in our development.... ack!!

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"Armour.com also has some wonderful tips for emergency preparedness, which include laying in a big supply of canned meat products. When the end comes, you can ponder whether you've been eating the Four Horses of the Apocalypse."--Moon.Pie.Zappa


Click on the Virginia Rescue Center and search for Roxey, VA5165

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"BTW, I hate Lifetime. Their movies will suck you in and all of a sudden you've watched 3 in a row, used every tissue in t