How do Nurses find trusted, flexible childcare for shift work?

  1. Nursing school is a serious challenge for most everyone. After reading so, so many posts here about the tough issues mothers deal with, my heart goes out to the moma's challenges I read about . I really, reallllly don't understand how seemingly there are so many single moms and/or even married moms who do shift work in Nursing.

    Aside from the issue of getting enough rest during the day -- does everyone have grandparents nearby or etc -- HOW do you find trusted care for your children while you work afternoon or mid shifts??? Obviously those who are married or have significant others who work an opposite shift - not a rosy scenario for the relationship lol, but at least they can swap caring for their children.

    I know in larger metro areas there are companies that provide overnight daycare and even some daycare homes do it. However, I have never seen it advertised in my city or any surrounding towns either. I guess there must be word-of-mouth referrals here and there. But to have to depend on that boggles my mind especially if you have more than one child and in light of the strict call off guidelines full time positions at LTC's and/or hospitals have in place.

    I live in a town of 80-thousand-ish; can't imagine how people here deal with it. It would be the bane of my existence to continually worry about where/who/when for childcare AND try to manage NS, let alone shiftwork later.

    Hmm...maybe that is how I could work part-time through NS. *Lightbulb moment, and hugs to Nurse moms.
  2. Visit Autymn profile page

    About Autymn

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 71; Likes: 42
    Former U.S. Marine; from US


  3. by   Caffeine_IV
    Well that's one reason I live where I do. My mom is available for overnight care as well as my fiance. I at one time had 2 on call sitters that had a super flexible schedule whenever I needed them.

    When there's a will there's a way.
  4. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    We had a governess (like a nanny) from Ireland when they were young, and have used an au pair since they have gotten older. The girl we have now is from Greece. The last one was from Singapore. It is really pretty interesting and informative for the kids to know people from different backgrounds. We have never had a bad experience.
  5. by   Genista
    My mother in law used to babysit for the overlap between my husband's daytime job and my swing shift.She only had to watch for a few hours, since I left for work at 2 pm and my husband was home by 5pm. It can be very stressful, however, if your employer wants you to switch shifts or days. Not so easy to find a sitter last minute. That's one reason I love my current job- it has fixed schedule and start times (union), so I don't have to worry about changes in my schedule. Some of the moms I know who work NOCs have spouses or family who help with the kids while they sleep during the day. On the flip side, it is really nice that we as nurses have 3 shifts to choose from instead of just one.
  6. by   Andy Droid
    Quote from Autymn
    HOW do you find trusted care for your children while you work afternoon or mid shifts???

    Just remind yourself that any childcare provider is (probably) trained, and deals with children all day.

    If for some reason, you're not comfortable with that specific childcare provider, seek out another one... however, you may be told your personal concerns are "silly" or "primitive"... or that there simply are no other options available, so you're stuck with that specific provider.

    In the event that there's no other option, ask them what they plan to do with your child, and i'm sure they can explain their plan in a condescending tone, and that will SURELY alleviate any issue you personally have with the provider.

    (not meant as a serious response, just a mix of some common replies to concerns about gender preference and PT modesty.... just thought I'd try them out in a different context and see how they fly )
  7. by   0402
    We also have an au pair, like pp. We have had several girls from Germany and currently have one from Spain and have also never had a bad experience. For us, it has provided us with flexibility that no other type of childcare could. We are military and have no family in the area.
  8. by   karaRNCDDN
    I work day and evenings. My daughter goes to public daycare during the day. My grandma, my mother and my husbands mother also live close by. When I work evenings, they pick her up and my husband picks her up when he gets off work at 6:30. Such a blessing. Dont know what I would do without all of them!
  9. by   Autymn
    Thanks for sharing how it has worked for you...I've suggested a few of those things to my friend. But admittedly, her living circumstance is far different from me (younger than I, with two children under 10 and divorced; only one grandparent nearby.) And if I mentioned a nanny or au pair, I'm thinkin' she just might Those are very, very middle class-ish alternatives, not what someone who makes $22.00 an hour or so really sees as an alternative, heh.

    She has received nothing but encouragement to 'go for it', and 'you-can-do-it!' advice; the practicality of figuring out how to provide for shiftwork or rotating shifts childcare is a bit more specific I'm thinking. I asked here so that she would come and read some of the responses. Right on, and thanks!
  10. by   xandarosa
    This is actually one of the reasons I'm questioning having another child. I'm seriously worried about child care. My son is disabled and has a lot nursing hours every week. My nurses are flexible and work what ever I need.
  11. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Is there a college or university nearby? You might be able to hire a student to baby-sit overnight, especially if they're allowed to sleep when the kids sleep.
  12. by   nurseprnRN
    this is one instance in which i believe in the power of prayer. ("dear lord, please, please, please let this next daycare i see be safe/clean/affordable!")

    that, and being willing to impoverish yourself temporarily for the good of the long-term. i paid one half of my pre-tax income for child care for three years, and it was the best investment i ever made.
  13. by   JenRN30
    Not to discourage, but I would never be able to do it without my husband. We have a 5 yr old, 2 yr old, and 5 month old. I work nights, and he works from home and travels 2-3 days per week. I'm able to self schedule, and he travels on my days off. They go to daycare 3 days per week. It's very difficult because there are many hours working shifts in a hospital that most daycare hours do not cover. Nannies are great, but you're right, they are very expensive. And as a personal preference, I would not want anyone except my husband or a family member to be with my kids overnight. I hope that your friend can get something worked out, but it will be extremely difficult without a lot of family support. Especially on a new grad budget.
  14. by   Autymn
    Thanks everyone - so many great people here who take the time to share info and experiences. Yup, I think it is going to be more than a little complex for her to do this, though she is no stranger to working hard. I admire her.

    For myself, my children are older, my Significant Other is super supportive and we have family as well as friends not far away.
    What I don't see is how Nurses whose children are in sports etc figure that out. When mine were younger and involved in activities/clubs/lessons I was able to be with them as needed and later I worked straight days, weekends off.

    How would you get just one 9 year old to and from football - practices, away games, regular home games, etc etc. if you have to work three 12's?? Wouldn't you be gone when they need to get ready for school and then they get home from school by 3 pm-ish and you still wouldn't be home if you were working three 12's of a day schedule. The other two shifts would put you home for one end or the other, but not available for taking them to practices etc. And what about that first six months to a year when its common to have to put some extra time in for charting etc til you get experience and get more efficient and proficient at your job. Even if you have just two children and they are only involved in one sport each or after school activity, it could take some extraordinarily creative plan B's, C's and Z's :spin:.