Need advice on working, questions about possibly working 3rd shift, fulltime - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-02-2004, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,
We have 5 kids at home, ages 7-16. Due to several reasons, none of them debt, we are really, really struggling financially. So badly that by the weeks end, we are really struggling to feed the kids properly. Most months, we are late on rent, paying very high late fees, we are really in bad shape.
My husband is a blue collar worker, he is a very hard & dedicated worker & he has been working himself to death lately, but is very, very frustrated that it is still not enough.
So....obviously I need to get a fulltime job. I am actually a doula, but in our area, doula's are not in high demand. I am slowly working through childbirth ed. training, but we need relief ASAP, I can't wait for these things to pick up.
Our major dilemma is childcare. We have no support system, we have no one to provide childcare & could we afford it if we could? I was homeschooling my girls, but they went to public school in January (I'm still recovering from being "forced" to put them there). They went to school so I could look for work. I've not been able to find anything yet, weird because I've never had a problem finding a job before.
The problem with childcare is this....we have 5 children attending 3 different schools with 3 different begin & end times. The youngest two leave before the older kids and they get home approx. an hour before the older kids.
If I work days, unless I can start at 9am, there is no one responsible enough to b here to get the kids up and off to school properly. Then, unless I can leave work everyday right at 2pm, there would be no one home when the younger kids got home. What do I do about vacation days at school, snow days, dr appts, ect....??
My husband's boss will not allow him to alter his work hours at all, we asked.
He also works a job where taking days off is very frowned upon.
So those are the problems with 1st shift.

I will do everything possible to avoid working second shift. If I did, I would really never see my children. I would leave before they got home and wouldn't be home until long after they've been asleep. Also, 3 of my kids are gone every other weekend for visitation at their father's home. We have my very rebellious "problem" 16yo stepson living with us and I'm not comfortable leaving my husband home with all of the kids everyday/evening with our situation being what it is at home. We both need to be there as much as possible in the evenings and on weekends. Plus, if I worked 2nd shift, there would still be no one home to take care of the younger kids, as my husband doesn't get home until the job is finished and its anywhere from 4pm-8pm.

That leaves me considering 3rd shift......I am a night owl, and think possibly I'd be able to adjust to being up all night, especially if busy. But, then again, I wouldn't arrive home in time to get the kids up and off to school, my husband has to leave the house by 6am. The kids leave for school between 7:40am and 8:05am.
I'm thinking that this may be our best option...perhaps we can find someone who would care for the younger kids between 6am and getting them on the school bus?
It would be yucky to not curl up and sleep with my husband most nights, but if I don't do something, we won't have a home to sleep in!

Anyhow, I'm looking for solutions....anyone have any advice?
I'd love to hear from any mama's who have or are currently working 3rd shift. The job I'm interested in is in Labor & Delivery at a hospital.
Could I learn to like 3rd shift? How hard is it physically? What do I do with my kids during the day during breaks, snow days, ect?

Would love to hear from you!
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:14 PM
 
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My dear friend has two young girls and works night shift from 6 pm to 2:30 am, four nights a week. She gets very little sleep (mostly b/c she drives herself waaay too hard with housecleaning, making everything from scratch, etc). Her husband works a normal day shift. So they don't require care.

The plus side is she's making very good money (she answers phones at an insurance agency) and she really likes her job. And she gets to spend daytime with her children, and get them to schools, playdates, etc.

The down side is she doesn't see her DH much, and she is very very tired. I actually worry about her. She gets about 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night on worknights, but...she doesn't give herself any slack so some of it is her own doing.

I do think, however, that you might have trouble finding childcare for such a strange hour (starting at 6 am). If you could work a shift that doesn't end so late, maybe more like my friend's hours, then I think you could make it work, though you will be tired!

Good luck to you, sounds like a very tough situation with all you have on your plate right now.

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Old 06-06-2004, 12:17 AM
 
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Hi Stephanie.

I'm really sorry you're dealing with this. This is a little off the wall, but have you looked into getting special services and possibly SSI if he is classified as disabled (including psych disabilities) for the stepson? You might be able to get some support there, financial or othewise.

Anyway, I haven't worked 3rd shift while parenting, but I did it for a while while I was between jobs about 10 years ago as a temp/relief staff. I am also thinking of retraining as a nurse when my kids are in school, and doing 3rd shift 3 nights a week so I can be around when they come home from school, etc. When I did 3rd shift, I worked in a group home for people with disabilities. I sometimes did "asleep overnight" shifts, where they actually paid me for sleeping! I just had to be an extra pair of hands for evacuation if the awake overnight person had a problem, or in a house where the residents rarely needed help at night. I knew someone who had an asleep overnight job full time--it was great! The pay is lower, and you rarely get a full night's sleep, but it's a pretty good deal, LOL. Just thought I'd mention it.

I know you have a specific job in mind--I wonder if they're having trouble finding someone interested in that job, I know it's hard to find people to work 3rd shift. I wonder if they'd be open to adjusting your hours so you can get home for 6 am?

Good luck to you. I hope this tough period is over soon. (((HUGS)))

Cate
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