Pro's and con's of w/e nights

  1. I'm a single parent, child care issues abound. I've worked at a M-F 8 hours shifts job for the past year but the call schedule has gotten out of control enough that the convenience of the M-F schedule has been negated. Since the only other fields I have seen 8 hour day shifts around here are surgery and L&D (not interested!) I am thinking about weekend nights in an ICU in an acute brain injury/Spinal cord injury center.

    I have free and reliable child care available on Sat and Sun. The pay, with diff's, for 24 hours is just shy of what I make in my 40 hours a week now. There will be no real difference since I will be saving on childcare expenses by not working during the week. I'll still have half the day Saturday to do weekend stuff. Sunday will be a total wash of course, I realize that. I'll sleep while the kiddo is in school Monday and wake up with the week in front of me, to make like Donna Reed/June Cleaver with my kid. Seems too simple. What am I missing here. There must be some hidden evils lurking.
    Last edit by kimtab on Sep 19, '05
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Dixielee
    I did it for 10 years when my kids were younger. I was able to be the Cub scout mother, class room mother, soccer mom, etc. The big drawback is that you can't go to church with your children. If that is not an issue then it won't be a problem, but it bothered me. Other than that, I don't see any drawbacks at all. You can alway pick up an extra shift or two during the week and it won't kill you.

    I was also a single parent at the time, and would work all I could when the kids were with their father in the summer, then we would take a nice vacation when they came home.
  4. by   kimtab
    Dixie, Did the night schedule throw you off too much? I imagine Monday would be enough to recover and then be able to function normally for the rest of the week but then I've never done nights, so I don't know.
    Last edit by kimtab on Sep 19, '05
  5. by   jkaee
    Quote from kimtab
    Dixie, Did the night schedule throw you off too much? I imagine Monday would be enough to recover and then be able to function normally for the rest of the week but then I've never done nights, so I don't know.

    I've done weekend nights (and part time nights) before, and the most important thing is to not sleep too much on Monday. If you do, you'll most likely be up all night on Monday night and then it'll screw up your whole sleep schedule for the rest of your week. Sleep for a bit, and then try to keep busy for the rest of the day. Don't go to bed too early on Monday night either, or you'll wake up ready to go at 3 or 4 in the morning. (Believe me, I've experienced this!) Monday's will be really crappy, but then the rest of the week will go fine.

    Many of the 12 hour night shift weekenders at my current job have kids, and they do fine with it. Will there be someone on the weekends to watch your kids while you sleep, or only while you're at work? You definitely need to get some sleep during the day, or those 12 hours will be really rough!

    I wish you the best of luck. It sounds great that you will be able to do this for your kids....it's so hard nowadays when Mom has to work. I commend you for doing what you have to do, even if it's unpleasant, to be able to be there for your kids! It can be done!
  6. by   kimtab
    Quote from jkaee
    Will there be someone on the weekends to watch your kids while you sleep, or only while you're at work?
    Monday he will be in school, and Sunday during the day someone can watch him. The catch being I'll only see my son for a couple of hours total on Sunday. I think the additional time I am gaining suring the week and the ability to participate in school stuff, etc. more than makes up for that though.
  7. by   Dixielee
    Quote from kimtab
    Dixie, Did the night schedule throw you off too much? I imagine Monday would be enough to recover and then be able to function normally for the rest of the week but then I've never done nights, so I don't know.
    It worked out pretty well for us, especially since I could recover on Monday. You will need a good nap on Sat. to make it thru the night, but plan to sleep a good bit on Sunday. You will need it to get thru the night, but knowing you are off all next week makes it easier.

    Missing your child on sunday may be hard, but it will be worth it having the rest of the week off and feeling good. You can have your errands run, housework, cooking etc done while the kids are in school, and devote the evenings to homework, play, visiting etc. You will have time to do fun stuff during the day as well as be on committees at work if you need to, take classes, etc. It is a great situation. Hope you enjoy it.

    I saw you lived in Atlanta...I lived there most of my career and did my week end plan at Emory. If your hospital offers this to all departments, you will find a lot of well experienced nurses doing the shift. Keeps burn out to a minimum.
  8. by   control
    I worked weekend nights for 3 years and enjoyed it as a single person without kids. I thought my shift was ideal for working moms and dads and several of my coworkers took advantage of it.

    And if you're a church goer, go on Wednesdays!

    The only downside is after about 10 months of doing it, I got bored. Working every weekend can get old. I don't know about your hospital, but where I worked you could get an entire weekend off every 3-4 months, which equates to almost 2 weeks off without working (which rocked), plus you got an awesome shift diff. I worked in physical rehab a year, then chemical rehab and behavioral health for 6 months, tele/stepdown for about 8 months, and med/surg per diem. I gained a wealth of experience and was able to have a life outside of work.

    Go for it. And good luck!

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