Night shift mamas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-27-2011, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm considering a job that would entail 3 long night shifts (7am-7pm) a week. My son is 5 months old.


In some ways this seems ideal... a full-time salary with 4 days off/week, no childcare needed (my husband already does a lot of the nighttime parenting, and is a pro at it). But then I wonder if I will be able to handle working for 12 hours then coming home to parent for the day, with very little opportunity to sleep on work days. 


Any night shift mamas out there who have made it work? Words of widsom?

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#2 of 4 Old 04-27-2011, 12:04 PM
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All of my friends that have done this eventually need some sort of daytime care.  It's not fair to you (cause you'll feel like death on the second and third night), and it's not fair to your kids (cause they are going to have a sleepy, not-really-there mama during the day) to not have *some* time for you to sleep, especially on days when you have to return to work that night. 


That said, there are lots of options just from people I've known.  Some did preschool from 9-1.  Some did in-home daycare for the three days, from AM to about 2 or 3pm.   Some kept their babies home with them while they still took 2-3 naps, then transitioned to something else as their baby transitioned to 1 nap/mobility. 

Good luck to you!  I think night shift can be great.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-27-2011, 07:11 PM
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I'll second needing some sort of care. Night shift work can be hard enough on the body, if you don't sleep or get minimal amount of sleep, feeling like death is very accurate. I don't do nights now but every single person I knew that did with small children, all had childcare for the day. Maybe not the entire day but certainly until after lunch. I could never sleep well during the day so I'd come home crash until lunch, get up for a few hours and then take a short nap before going back in, that was never enough sleep but I managed, barely! 

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#4 of 4 Old 04-28-2011, 08:18 AM
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I'm an RN who worked 3 12-hr night shifts a wk FT for 4 yrs (prior to having my 2 smallest children). I started back about a year ago and continued until recently when I took a school nurse job. Working nights was much easier when I only had one child who was in school. When I had small children, it was very challenging. For one thing, you MUST get sleep during the daytime. It means you must rely on some other source of care for at least several hrs of the day. It is impossible to be a good mama and a good worker that night with no sleep.....impossible. Believe me, I tried. Also, pumping while you are away the 3 nights, then being home the other 4 nights reeks havoc on your supply. However, the 4 days off a week are very nice. It is the huge advantage. Definitley, a feasible option, but with definite pros and cons.

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