Night Shift and Phone Calls from Family - Vent

  1. When I switched jobs at the beginning of November I also switched from days to nights. I have adjusted well and like it for the most part. Unfortunately, my mother has still not figured it out yet. I've tried several times to explain it to her that I go to bed at about 10 am after I get home from work, yet she still calls at 3-4 pm on days after I've worked expecting me to be up. She tells me I "need to get up and move around." This comment infuriates me!! :angryfire I need at least 8 hours of sleep to be able to do that! Granted, I was depressed after I graduated and I know she was worried about me but it has gradually gotten better after I started my new job.

    I would turn my phone off but I live by myself and I'm worried that there will be an emergency and no one would be able to get a hold of me. I've thought about calling her at 4 am but for some reason I feel bad. Maybe I just need to suck it up and do it so that she gets the point. She's a teacher's aide...it's too bad it's Christmas break. I think I'd like it better if I called on a day that she worked
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   Quickbeam
    Get voice mail. Turn your phone off. There are some people who will continue to not understand your needs so you must take care of yourself.

    I worked straight nights for 10 years.
  4. by   GardenDove
    You can't expect everyone in the world to know that you work nights, even if your mother wasn't bugging you. I never sleep by the phone, how can I expect people to know I'm sleeping. It's hard enough to sleep during the day.
  5. by   samaletta
    LMAO
    This sounds Like MY MOM!!! I am in the last semester of school, and I have had the same schedule since I started!! Mon, tues, wed. I get up at 5 am each day, so I go to bed at 8 or 830. She still calls me at 9 or 930 every now and then!!! Also on breaks from school I work midnight shift at the hospital, and she'll call me around 3 or 4 the next day BUT SHE KNEW I JUST WORKED THE NIGHT BEFORE!!!!!! I get so mad at her sometimes!!

    Like the other people said, I keep my phone on "silent".

    Sometimes when my mom calls (at times that are appropriate), she starts off by saying "how was your day?" or "hey I was thinking about you". It just reminds me of how much I love her. she makes me so mad sometimes, but I love her with all my heart!! So....I'll let her go when she calls and wakes me up, after all, she just wanted to see how her little girl was doing. :kiss
  6. by   TazziRN
    Screw feeling bad, call her at 0400!!!! Do that a few times and I guarantee she will get it.
  7. by   santhony44
    Do you have a friend or neighbor you can trust who understands "night shift?"

    If so, give that person's number out as your emergency contact number. If something happens and waking you up is necessary, that person can come and wake you up. (You could also give a spare key to your emergency contact).

    Then turn your phone off!! If you don't have voice mail that will pick up even with your phone off, get it.

    You cannot continue to work nights if you can't get reasonable sleep, and you will never be able to make some people understand what "night shift" means.

    When I worked nights, for quite a while, I turned the phone off and put a sign on the door: "Night worker, do not knock!" I had couple of relatives get offended but tough! (One was my SIL who said "I work nights too!" because she did the dishes and mopped the floor after dinner. Her usual bedtime was 9 PM!)

    Since I'm married my husband was my emergency contact. In several years' time he never had to wake me up.

    Of course calling the repeat offender at 2 or 3 AM might work well too!! Be sure to tell her that she needs to "get up and move around!"

    Good luck!
  8. by   Tweety
    When I worked nights I turned the phone off. I figured if there was a family emergency in the long run it would help for me to be rested. My family was 1000 miles away and what could I do.

    I understand your frustration all too well. People don't get it.
  9. by   clemmm78
    My kids and good friends have my cell phone number. I turn off my home phone and bring the cell into my room with me. If there is an emergency, they can call my cell. Since I started doing that, I started sleeping much better, not worrying that someone was trying to get hold of me.
  10. by   incublissRN
    Quote from GardenDove
    You can't expect everyone in the world to know that you work nights, even if your mother wasn't bugging you. I never sleep by the phone, how can I expect people to know I'm sleeping. It's hard enough to sleep during the day.
    The great thing is no one else ever calls me regularly during the day except her so I don't have to expect everyone to know.
  11. by   BrnEyedGirl
    I'm with all of the above!!! TURN OFF THE PHONE!! I've worked 12 hr nights for almost 10 years now,.some people still don't get it,..I have kids in school and it took me awhile to feel comfortable turning off my phone (one of those "kids" is now driving aarrrggghh) but,..the school has an emergency number for someone who can wake me if they need to, all my neighbors know I work nights, all my family etc,..there is a note on my front door,... you have to sleep,..turn the phone off!
  12. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Quote from TazziRN
    Screw feeling bad, call her at 0400!!!! Do that a few times and I guarantee she will get it.
    Agreed!

    While in college, my weekends are my days to sleep in and relax...not to get up early. Some Fridays and Saturdays I wouldn't go to bed until 3 4 or 5 am. My father used to call me at 6am on a Saturday or Sunday morning, 'just to see what I was doing'. Eventually, I started staying up until 4am then calling him back--'just to see what he was doing'. After about 4 phone calls, and four crummy mornings, he soon got the picture.

    No reason to feel bad here. You're not doing it to be mean, just to get your point across. You've already tried explaining it to her, and that obviously didn't work. Mean would be if you continued doing it after she got the message, just because you enjoyed waking her up in the middle of the night.

    Call her back!
    Last edit by S.T.A.C.E.Y on Jan 3, '07
  13. by   kittagirl
    My old flatmate and I worked rotating nightshifts for years.( I did 6-8 nights in a row, she tended to do more, she worked in security) When I first met my partner he couldn't understand why after a night shift we needed to sleep all day and we both regularly heard his speech about how if he worked nights he'd be up at noon, and how we both wasted our day sleeping....................
    :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire

    UNTIL he was in between jobs, and my flatmate got him a temp night watchman job, he got in at 06:30, got up in time to wash, dress and grab the packed lunch I had made him before going to work again. Was grumpy enough that whenever I rotated on to nights again he complained that me getting in to bed at 08:00 was disrupting his sleep.

    Being a pair of total cows :spin: :spin: :spin: my flatmate and I on the first day off that we shared, woke him up at noon to tell him that he was wasting his day.

    We never heard the speech again.

    For most people they have no real idea what a night shift involves. The amount of people who have said to me over the years 'Oh it must be soo nice to work nights, you have the day all to your self, after all what happens at night?

    They've never met the LOL who is all sweetness and light in the daytime but come night time is a wandering confused screamer, or the the patients who in a half asleep state forget where they are, or that they've had a stroke etc and try to get out of bed their self and fall.

    And of course the patients with resp problem for whom night time and even the thought of sleeping is a very scary idea, that and the fact that you are more likely to have a cardiac event between the hours of 04:30-06:00, (has to do with your circadian rhythms apparently.) And that there are less staff on and less support etc etc etc


    Ahhhh nights I soooooo don't miss them.



    BTW I'm with the call people in the middle of the night for a chat party.
    Once you do it once or twice they soon realise.
  14. by   incublissRN
    Quote from clemmm78
    My kids and good friends have my cell phone number. I turn off my home phone and bring the cell into my room with me. If there is an emergency, they can call my cell. Since I started doing that, I started sleeping much better, not worrying that someone was trying to get hold of me.
    Right now I only have a cell phone. I've thought about getting a home phone so I could turn off the cell phone. That way if she couldn't get a hold of me on the cell phone and needed me she could call the home number. Hopefully she would understand :spin: Thanks for the advice!

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