Working five 12hr shifts a week

  1. I know this is going to sound totally insane, but I am determined to be a stay-at-home mom. In order to do this my husband would have to work the standard 3 12 hr shifts and then pick up 2 PRN 12 hr shifts, as well. Therefore, he would be working 5 12 hr shifts in a week (preferably in a row, nights). This seems like a lot to me, but he swears it will be no problem, as he has never had problems in the past with sleep or feeling tired. I'd love to hear any thoughts on this. Has anyone ever tried anything even remotely similar?
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  2. 82 Comments

  3. by   Gompers
    I know some nurses who do that many hours a week, and the problem is that they are so worn out all the time. They get sick often, they're more stressed, and they start to hate their jobs. Plus the patients and their families start to notice that they always seem to be there and sometimes this can cause issues because no unit wants to look like they have overworked nurses.

    The other thing to consider, and please don't get upset with me...

    But while you'd be able to stay home, your husband would have very little time with your children. Working back-to-back 12's doesn't leave much time at all to enjoy things like family dinners and playtime. Please consider your husband's bond with the children as well.
  4. by   mom23RN
    While my dh is not a nurse, he routinely works about 70 hours a week in 6 days. My gf's hubby is a nurse in a cath lab and I know he has to work close to 5 12s in a week.

    I think sometimes guys are a little more suited to working a ton.

    Good luck. You won't regret staying home with your kids (at least for the first five years or so... then you'll be running to go back to work in some capacity).
  5. by   aggieamy5
    I understand your point and we have already thought about the time he would get to spend with the children. It actually wouldn't be too much less than if he worked a typical 8-5 job. With the 12 hr shifts he'd be working 7pm-7am. He would be able to eat dinner with us before he left for work and see his children for most of the day on Fridays and all day on Sat. and Sun. I know many men in the corporate world (where my husband used to work) who work almost 60 hrs a week and do not get home until 8pm - right when young children would be in bed! Family and my future children are my top priority and I do want my husband to be able to spend time with them, as well. Thanks for the feedback!
  6. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I have to agree with Gompers. You want your children to know their dad. Working twelves together, (which he is going to have to do) barely leaves time for sleep; much less spending time with the kids, helping out at home, etc. Does he think he'll be able to work on projects with a toddler running around? Your determination to be a SAHM shouldn't come at the expense of your children's relationship with their dad. Some one on one time with dad while you work 24 hours a week may do them a world of good.
  7. by   SOREFEETEMPTYSTOMACH
    Bad Idea.he'll Have Very Little Time For The Kids Or You. The Holiday Seasons Will Be Unbearable. Knowing Nothing About Where He Works I Can Only Rhrow Out Hypothetical "what Ifs". What If The Staff Suddenly Becomes Ill, Pregnant Or Many Positions Are Suddenly Vacant? The Hospital May Require On Call And He Would Be Committed Another Day. My Suggestion Is To Sit Down With Him, Go Over Your Entire Budget And Try To See What You Can Eliminate. I Was A Single Parent, Homeowner, Worked 30 Years And A Lot Of Overtime, On Call, Committees Et Al.5 Yrs Ago I Had A Stroke. Luckily My Son Was Grown, In Law School And Independent.
    Do Think It Out And Discuss It.
  8. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Quote from aggieamy5
    I understand your point and we have already thought about the time he would get to spend with the children. It actually wouldn't be too much less than if he worked a typical 8-5 job. With the 12 hr shifts he'd be working 7pm-7am. He would be able to eat dinner with us before he left for work and see his children for most of the day on Fridays and all day on Sat. and Sun. I know many men in the corporate world (where my husband used to work) who work almost 60 hrs a week and do not get home until 8pm - right when young children would be in bed! Family and my future children are my top priority and I do want my husband to be able to spend time with them, as well. Thanks for the feedback!
    He probably won't have weekends off if he's working in a hospital. I wouldn't count on that. As someone who works 12 hour nights, contrary to popular rumor, it's not the best of both worlds. Something has to give. Do you want it to be sleep, or time with you guys, or getting other things done? He shouldn't be taking care of patients or your kids on no sleep. If his shifts are all clustered, he won't see his kids or you for days at a time if he chooses to sleep. If they're spread out, he'll flip-flop from being awake during the day to being awake during the night and that's no good either. I would make sure you guys have explored all of your options before committing to the plan you have in mind now.
  9. by   txspadequeenRN
    I think he will be fine for a while but then burn out will set in. Can you make it if he works his regular 12 hour shifts then on the other days works 8 hour shifts somewhere else. I thought I had to work all kinds of hours to make it and come to find out after going over the finances that I didn't need to work full time. Maybe you can tweak your budget some .. I don't know just a suggestion.
  10. by   MultipurposeRN
    My youngest son's dad worked 7 12 hr nights in a row then would have 7 nights off. Sounded good, but after a few years he was terribly stressed and run down.
    I would say your hubby might do ok for awhile, but eventually it will wear him down then the quality time w/ you and the kids won't be there because he'll be tired and irritable. Believe me, it can totally change someone's personality. Plus, I would have to wonder if his liability would go up...being more fatigued does lead to more errors, and that's an additional stressor. Would it be possible for you do just work prn a day a week and him to work a 4 day week then a 3 day? Your expenses should be quite a bit lower if you're a SAHM, so maybe he wouldn't need to consistently work 5 days a week. Can you downsize your lifestyle a bit, maybe? Get a cheaper car or cut back to one, or stay away from a big home mortgage? I don't know what your situation is, but it's possibly a way you could have the best of both worlds.
  11. by   barbie90210
    [font=book antiqua]everything is quite expensive and that's the problem. especially raising children. i don't think it will work in the long run. people do that but i wouldn't count on doing it forever. typically a new nurse might do it. there is a risk to health and it may not show up right away. there needs to be balance in life. good luck!
  12. by   aggieamy5
    I am not a nurse so, no, I can't work PRN shifts. Plus, for the field I'm in there really aren't too many part-time jobs out there so that's not an option. We are VERY good with our finances and I know all about downsizing, cutting back, etc. to make things work. I wasn't born yesterday. I just wanted some feedback on if anyone had ever done this and if it worked. From my experience, it seems like men can more easily handle working more hours than women. Like I said earlier, I know tons of husbands that work more than this in the corporate world and at chemical plants. My husband would also be getting the exact same number of hours of sleep that he does now. We plan to try this whole scenerio out for a couple of years before we try to start having kids. If it doesn't work then, of course, we will ditch the plan. I do appreciate the feedback, though.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    how old are your kids and how long will this be the norm??

    my dtr works 12 hour shifts two days on three days off one week and two days off and three days on ... she is not the only breadwinner but i am sure that she could support a family on a lower scale if she were..i think that committing oneself to 5 12s in row is a bit much and probably not realistic in the long run

    i have to agree with those posts who feel like the children might be missing out on some quality time with father

    i hope that you can work this out with the best thing for yourself and your family
  14. by   barbie90210
    [font=book antiqua]personally i think it will be very tough to do that over a long period of time. i work nights and most people and myself are pretty fried by the third night. you hear people say things like - "it's my third night in a row" to explain their tiredness. by the time you get home and relax a little you get about six hours sleep but it isn't the same as if you were doing it during the day. i don't know if your husband is a new nurse or not but my advice is to pace himself and possibly think about the fact that the average career length in nursing is about seven years - at least it used to be when i researched it. floor nursing is not something that people usually do forever. he should be planning his next move and if he is working all the time he won't be able to do that. many new nurses fall into a trap. they work all the time and don't plan for the future. working five nights a week permanently is probably a bad idea and may lead to errors on his part - and ultimately no license. we are just telling you what we have experienced. sorry - but i think you need to divide up the workload and parenting. maybe you could conceive of some type of stay at home business - that would be ideal.

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