How do u work nights and have a life?

  1. Do you feel your family life, your relationship with your husband or significant other, and/or your social life suffers due to working night shift?

    How do you adjust your life around it and still get to spend time with those you care about? I kind of feel like I live in my own world or something lol. Im an LPN going back for my RN. Ive worked nights in home care for the year Ive been an LPN. It wasnt that bad at first, but I didnt really have a life at the time. I was in a relationship, but he worked nights too so it worked ok for us. My new boyfriend works days and I feel like we never get to see each other. Im coming and he is going and vice versa. I cant imagine what it would be like when and if a family comes into the picture. Now I hate working nights, and always want to be home when he is. I hate getting home in the morning and he is getting ready to leave for work. I need to stay on nights for the most part at least until I finish school bc thats what works out best for studying, etc....but Im not sure whether I could continue nights as an RN. I do see the benefit, such as being able to get your work done bc no doctors or families, the shift differential, etc....but Im not sure whether its worth it or not. Do u ever feel like u have a normal life?

    How do u night shifters do it?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   nursemary9
    Hi

    Well, I've done this for over 30 years. I don't have any kids, which made it easier. My DH, before he retired, worked days.

    In actuality, I saw him more when I worked nite shift then when I worked days.

    When I worked days, I got up before 0500 to get here in time. By the time I got home I was BEAT!! So I'd lay down on the couch. He's get home & we'd make dinner; do dishes & then I'd fall asleep on the couch again. He's wake me when it was time for bed. So, I'd see VERY LITTLE of him. Then, it was hard to get to shopping & appts etc.

    When I started nites, well, I'd sleep when I got home & be up all evening with him. We had more QUALITY time together. We both always said how strange it was that we seemed to do better this way.

    After a time, we needed extra money for unexpected bills for house repairs, so working nites enabled me to work Home Health during the day shift. Then I didn';t see so much of him since I had to sleep in the evening.
    Now, I only work nites again & he;s retired. We see SO MUCH of each other--maybe too MUCH!! Too much of a good thing??????

    I absolutely would NEVER go back on days while working in the hospital. If I were to do only home health again, then I would be OK with days.

    I don't know, maybe I'm just strange.

    Mary Ann
  4. by   AdelaideChic
    I dont do all nights, but i did a lot of nights over a short period of time. I found that duirng this, it was the little things that mattered. Getting home, and seeing that he had left the light on for me, or him getting a dinner plate out of the cupboard and finding a smiley drawn on a scrap of paper...
    Not really going to help you in the long run, but at least since you are studying, there is an end in sight. A goal to work towards. Its a case of working out what works best for you both in the meantime. Is there a day you guys have off together? Can you arrange to have lunch somewhere that day, as to not spend time cooking, but spend time together.... I probably make no sense, but im tired, so hopefully some sense can be drawn from that!!!
  5. by   RNsRWe
    I tend to sleep in pieces: a few hours here, a few hours there, and frequently have several daylight hours awake. If I have a few days off in a row, I flip my schedule so I am a "day" person for a couple of days. I have kids, so it's important to not be a zombie all day, yet need to get enough rest. Like I said, I don't sleep a solid block like people who sleep all night do, but it works.
  6. by   vamedic4
    Hi Luv4nursing,
    I've worked nights for 10 plus years, have a wife and 2 little monsters. I get by by not working 3 days in a row. I have the same schedule every week (except around holidays)...Sunday, Tuesday, Friday..1900 to 0700.
    That way, I'm home to take the kids to school, the mall, the park, wherever.

    My wife works at home so it's not such a big deal about seeing her. When she used to work outside the home it was much different.
    I sleep when the kids are both in school, and I'm one of those people who can get an hour or two's nap and be fine the rest of the day (**as long as I get to bed at a normal time at night).

    I empathize with you. It's not easy trying to live your life to do something with others who have their nights off to sleep. But I see it this way. I can BE up at 0400, but there's no way in hell I'm gonna GET up at 0400. Many of the people I work with do that...I'm just glad I'm not one of them.

    Try varying your schedule...make definite plans and keep them. Get shades over your windows..reallly dark ones. Buy a fan to help you sleep (the noise and the air help tremendously).

    It's hard, and it's not for everyone. And NO amount of money is going to make up for the screw up in your circadian rhythm that results from it. Just try your best...good luck to you!!

    vamedic4
    Not working but up just the same...:spin:
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I worked nights for 12 years and always worked my 3 12's in a row. I also went to school for several years during this time (was an LPN, then ADN, BSN, MSN, post-MSN). I also was married and had two sons. I came home from work and slept for 6.5 hours then got up, made dinner, helped kids with homework, spent time with hubby, etc.
  8. by   fetch33
    Nights are easiest for me when I do my 12 hr shifts 3 in a row. That way I have long stretches of nights off where I pretend I am a housewife and don't hold down a full-time job
  9. by   all4schwa
    i don't have much of a life between 12 hr shifts, but that wouldn't matter if i was on days or nites. on my days off, i might only sleep a coupla hours when i get home, then i'm ready to go to bed early and get up early. the day i have to work again (when i'm lucky and get my days off in a row), i get up early to cook, clean, take my bf out to breakfast. i'll then sleep a good chunk like 13-1700 to get me back in the groove.
  10. by   luv4nursing
    Quote from fetch33
    Nights are easiest for me when I do my 12 hr shifts 3 in a row. That way I have long stretches of nights off where I pretend I am a housewife and don't hold down a full-time job
    thats funny...I like that idea lol :spin:
  11. by   mom23RN
    I never found much difference. What is the differene if you're sleeping while most people work or working while most people sleep? I literally slept the hours that my dh worked and he slept the hours that I worked. We sill had the good shank of the afternoon/evening to "us".
  12. by   lovemyjob
    I am having some issues with nights, too. I ALWAYS feel like a zombie. I just had over a week off and went to our parents homes for christmas. I slept everyday till noon and still felt like crap.

    I have been doing nights for 2.5 years and did them the summer before I graduated. My husband HATES it. I dont mind working nights, it just that I dont ever feel like a normal person. I am always so tired, I sleep my days off away. I just plain hate it. I do love my nightsift coworkers, and I think I would miss them terribly, and since we have a considerable shift diff, I would miss the money, too. I am really on the fence about it....obviously!
  13. by   luv4nursing
    Quote from mom23RN
    I never found much difference. What is the differene if you're sleeping while most people work or working while most people sleep? I literally slept the hours that my dh worked and he slept the hours that I worked. We sill had the good shank of the afternoon/evening to "us".
    lol....this is funny...good point!
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's hard if not impossible.That is why after 9 years on and off working nights, I am done.

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