How do you do it....working 12 hours and being a parent??

  1. I've been on soooo many job interviews....and I'm still jobless. (okay I have a job but sooo want a new position) I've been an R.N. for 7 years so I have experience under my belt. I'm even smart, I took a test today for a hospital entree' test and they said no ones scored this high in a long time.

    I know why, I have no flexiblity regarding 12 hour shifts. I apply for job positions, and they only have 12 hour positions open. (the area I live in....all hospitals are switching over to 12 hours.

    No one wants to hire 12 hour days...they hire from the the "inside". All that leaves open are 12 hour midnights. That doesn't work for my schedule. My husband leaves for work at 4 A.M. (that's the latest he can leave for work) His job gives him no flexiblity to change hours. So if I took a midnight 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. my kids would be home alone from 4 A.M. to 8 A.M. I don't know how to solve the dilemma.

    Who watches your kids? Thanks for any input. I really want a new job!!!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ptnurse
    I am in a very similar position. My husband works nights so I do too. That is the only way the schedule will work at all. He has a chance at a day shift job, but we have that overlap of a few hours when our kids would be home alone. We had it settled for the younger one to spend the night with relatives and for me to pick him up on the way home from work and get him to school on time. But the older one must be at school earlier. She would be at home for 45 minutes by herself and she says she is just not ready. (She is 11). We have made peace for now with just staying on nights. My husband has been put on meds to help with the depression that working at night brings on, but we just can't come up with a better idea. For us, the kids come first. Do you have a relative they could spend the night with and you pick them up in time to get them to school? Sorry I can't be more help. If you figure something out please let me know. Maybe we can use the idea too. We have been doing this for 4 years now. Good luck.
  4. by   Nursula
    When I worked nights as a CNA, and hubby left for work at 6am..we had that 2 hour overlap too.

    What we did was hire the teenage girl next door to sleep at our house on those nights. We paid her $10 for the night (all she did was sleep), and her parents were right next door in case anything happened. For us, this was easier than waking the kids early, having to take them somewhere, picking them up on my way home, etc. Most of the time, I was home before they woke up, and they never even knew I had been gone
  5. by   vanrn
    This may not help your present situation, but our facility's 12 hour shifts are from 3a-3p and 3p to 3a. Either shift allows some family time. Currently I work the 3a-3p, which gives me time at home with the kids. As a new nurse, I was surprised that no one else wanted this shift, which I think is great. Basically its a day shift with 4 extra hours to get your work done!
  6. by   GPatty
    My hubby has to leave at 4a, and I get home about 7:30a. We have a teenage daughter still at home, so I feel comfortable doing that right now. She does a good job of getting up in the morning and getting the younger ones up and around for school. After she goes to college, I'll either have to switch, or find a sitter for that time, but I have a couple of years to do that. Then I sleep while the kids are in school.
  7. by   peter73
    I work 7p-7a and hav e a 3 y/o son. It works out great. He goes to daycare the mornings after I work. Terry leaves for work at 6:45 am. and drops him off. Chase gets picked up by Terry in the evening on the way home. That gives me time to sleep and I get Baby free time to do my thing, make dinner, and generally get the house in order.
    I used to work days. Set my own hours at 8a-5p at my desk job. I was really upset over the whole night thing and didn't know how it was going to work. Well I was very suprised that it is BETTER. Instead of Chase in daycare 5 days a week and a mad rush for dinner and family time when I got home from work, Chase only goes 2 or 3 days. ( work 3 12hr/wk, m-t-w/w-th-f)I have way more time at home and way more energy when I'm at home.
    I don't feel like someone else is raising my child anymore, and Chase still gets to go to "school" with other kids (He's an only child)
    Now if Chase had to be up and gone at 4am that would be another story. I wouldn't do it. I was lucky how the shifts worked out. Keep looking if you really want a change, something will always turn up.
  8. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I will first say that although I am a "night person", I HATE working 7p-7a. It worked ok when I was married, but since I have been divorced now for a year, I find it very hard on my son. Not only does he have to deal with the other aspects of having divorced parents, he has to deal with his mommy working nights. Thankfully, I found a wonderful woman to watch him at night. He has to go to her house, and she does have 7 other children of her own, (adopted/foster kids), but she is good to him. The plus side is that this is only 3-4 nights a week. I guess I just "doo what has to be done". I would give anything to find a m-f 8-4 job, but that doesnt seem possible, and the money would suck anyway.

    I just explain to him (he's six) that I have to work to make money to pay bills and buy the things we need. I try to spend as much quality time with him as possible when not working or asleep. Luckily he is a very independent child, and I dont worry about sleeping when he is home. He hated it at first, but now he is getting used to the schedule. I found that it helped when I started involving him in planning the schedule. For instance, I work this day and this day, and will sleep at this time, and then we can do this and this. You will go to the babysitter at this time and after school, we can do this or this before I go to work again.

    It's not perfect, but then again, I dont really guess that anybody's life is, right?
  9. by   Lacey
    I think this is a common problem for young families. You have to be creative, remember, there are single parents that have to work full-time and they manage! Have you looked into working agency, many of them offer 8 hour shifts, also how about weekends only type jobs. If you can't find childcare, how about working only on your spouses days off? You may have to scale back on your current standard of living and work part-time but the kids are only young once and they need you more than new vehicles, a big house, etc.
  10. by   askater11
    Hi I only work contigent. And nope I don't work for the money. I have a passion for nursing. I only do it because I enjoy it.

    Thanks for all your responses. I'm so happy 12 hours are working great for most of you!!! I can't wait for the local hospitals to re-consider throwing in 8 hour shifts.

    I love 8 hour shifts. I've worked 12 hours before and I get so exhausted the last 4 hours. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!! Does anyone think hospitals will start reconsidering opening 8 hour positions? (maybe it's just my area that all hospitals are switching to 12 hours only???)
  11. by   mattsmom81
    It is dificult to staff with nurses who work both 8's and 12's on the same unit...that's why most places will do either 8's or 12's.

    There have to be enough people to work the 24/7...and you have to have enough perdiems to cover sicktime, vacations, etc.... it gets complicated to staff...that's why you won't usually see a mix.

    I did night 12's for years and my hubby left for work about 645 am. He would drop my son off in the hospital cafeteria (he was 4 by this time) .He set him up for breakfast and by the time he was througheating, I was through with night shift. I then dropped him off at school on the way home...worked well. Your hubby leaves at 4 so this will not work for you.

    How many nights a week do you plan on working? How many kids do you have? A teen can be hired as some suggested...they like the $$ to sleepover if a relative isn't available.

    I know in a pinch (hubby out of town) I took my son to work with me and he slept in an empty room but this was not a regular practice....and my hospital was open to this on occasion rather than have a nurse call in especially for a 12 hr shift.

    If you don't need benes maybe ask about doing 'short shifts' 4's, or 6 hours to cover 'holes' in staffing..or during peak hours...they may go for that and you could work around your family's schedule a little easier. Or you could work weekends only or when your hubby is off...as suggested. Good luck to you...I know it's a challenge working and raising a family, but sometimes facilities will work with you too if you ask and remain a bit flexible yourself.
  12. by   askater11
    I have two kids.

    I went an inquired at a drop-in day care today. I'm bummed they changed their hours from 6 A.M. to a opening time of 8 A.M. So that won't work.

    I'm inquiring with girlfriends that have kids. (other options) There has to be something out there.

    You guys are wonderful....thanks for your opinions!!!

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