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single parenting, shift work, and child care?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,


I am currently making the transition to single parenthood and am having serious anxiety about what to do regarding this issue.  I just finished university for nursing and am entering the workforce where shift work is the norm.  When my ex-partner moves out in the next few weeks, I am terrified about how to balance the demands of evening/night shifts and weekends with the needs of my 5 year old son.  For the near future I am continuing to live with my mom, so I do have some family support, but what do I do when I'm ready to be out on my own, or if my career takes me to a different area from where my family lives?  I have dreams of moving to the remote northern areas of Canada to practice one day but without a partner, I'm not sure whether that will work or not without family support.  And as of right now, my ex is inbetween careers and if his new job possibility works out, he'll be living hours away and won't be much support.  I am not close to his family at all (emotionally) and they live 8 hours away so they aren't a source of assistance, although I know they would love to be a bigger part of my son's life.


Maybe I'm worrying too much about the far future right now and should focus on the near future, but I need to have a plan for the next 2 years while I get on my feet financially and career wise.  Am I crazy to need to figure stuff like this out now or is it normal to have a bit of a panic attack when becoming single is more real/definite?



post #2 of 8

WEll.... I just take it a day at a time... one foot in front of the other... do the next right thing- make the next right choice. It gets us by.  I find that when I am in a pinch someone steps up to help us.


It is normal to want to plan- women like to feel secure... but it's ok really to just take this time and relax- be happy you have a good paying career and a mom to help you!!!

I would say- once you are on your own you will be able to afford help to come in a few hours a day if you need to sleep- not sure if you homeschool or not?  If not I would assume your child would be at school while you slept during day and you would find a night child care provider. Who knows in the next two years you could be married again.... or find a new best friend or a neighbor etc.... you will be ok. Just breathe.


post #3 of 8

This is one of the issues that is making me hesitate about going back into nursing. One of your options is to focus on finding an outpatient surgery job rather than the normal shift work. There are such jobs out there but they are hard to come by from my understanding. if shift work is your only option then I would think about getting a college student or someone to live with you in exchange for babysitting when you are working odd shifts. In England au pairs were a lot cheaper to hire than they are here, but that might be an option.


As to your thinking of the future, I think thats a good idea, but don't get too wrapped up in it, it is not something you have all that much control over. You can make general plans and set goals, but don't invest too much energy in worrying about it!

post #4 of 8


I'm a nurse.  And yes, finding childcare for 12-hr shifts is very difficult.  I've been looking for an 8-5 M-F job for a few months but they are difficult to find.  Your best bet would be to get specialized training as quick as possible--such as surgery.  I did not and now I'm kinda stuck.  


It would be difficult for me to move away from my family/ex at this time due to childcare.  

post #5 of 8

I would love to sit for a nurse.... maybe I should run an ad. I would run an ad in the paper and look for someone... single moms need income a lot and I would love to have the extra income that sitting for a child would bring.

post #6 of 8

I'm a nurse who currently works evenings, and also a single parent from the beginning.  I found a great AP'ing SAHM who has taken my little guy in as one of her family.  I love it that he has "siblings" to play with since he's my only one.  


I had some stressful times when I transitioned from having a good friend watching him to needing to find a stranger.  I was completely out of the child are loop, so has no idea what to expect.  I found my sitter through Care.com, not sure if they're in Canada, but you probably have something similar.  I had some great choices for moms who had similar ideals, flexible schedules, were willing to take odd hours, and charged affordable prices.


I know it can be daunting, but there are plenty of people out there who would be happy to take in a kiddo and make some extra money.  Good luck!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of your responses and ideas.  I really appreciate it.  I've come to the conclusion that my need to plan is not going to help me right now and that I need to take it one step at a time.  Being a planner will help me, but not right now when I need to simply focus on the first step of my ex moving out this week.

post #8 of 8

I am a waitress, and I also found my sitter on care.com.  But if I was a nurse and could afford to pay for childcare, I would first put up a flyer at La Leche League meetings, or attend a mtg and ask.  Sometimes the leaders will send out an email for such jobs.  Start asking ahead of when you need, and ask of like minded people. 

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